Sunday, September 12, 2010

Texas State Railroad

The Texas State Railroad is not only a "Texas Treasure," it is the official Railroad of Texas.

The Texas state prison system established the railroad in 1881. Inmates built the line, which was used to transport hardwood which was used as fuel for the furnaces at the prison-operated iron smelter at the Rusk Penitentiary. The furnace supplied the State of Texas with iron products, including the columns and dome structure for the capitol building in Austin. The original construction was a narrow gauge line but was later built in standard gauge in order to join into the main line.

Saturday, September 4, 2010


May of 1865, General George Armstrong Custer had completed his US Civil War duties and was ordered to Texas to command a division of US Cavalry. Texas was of vital importance during reconstruction preventing the possible invasion of Emperor Maximilian’s Army from moving across the Mexican border. Custer had requested a leave of absence from the US Army to accept the position of Chef of the Mexican Calvary offered by President Juarez in the war against Emperor Maximilian. The requested was denied and Custer accepted promotion to Lt. Colonel. He first stayed in the town of Hempstead, Texas before being offered locating to the Capital City of Austin, Texas.