Saturday, December 21, 2019

Adventures in Wild Weird Wharton County

I planned to publish this before I left but was so busy that time just got away from me.  So, here we go with another Texas travelogue ---

The Monday before I left on Wednesday, my friend Bobby and I went adventuring.  We took a short drive through Pierce, TX.  I say short because most of Pierce is private (no trespassing the law will come take you away, ho ho).  We may have ventured in some small part of that private, no trespassing area but no unpleasant results.

Pierce, TX is located off Hwy 59 between Wharton and El Campo.  It consists of eight or so houses, a small post office, a church, and a country club (who knew?).  And there are maybe 50 residents.

It was established by Abel Head (Shanghai) Pierce in 1881.  Pierce, (born in Rhode Island) in 1857, stowed away on a ship, got off in Indianola, Texas and ultimately became a somewhat infamous land and cattle baron.  He was known for his cheapness, branding stray cattle (no matter previous brands), selfishness, and ruthless business dealings.  He commissioned a marble statue of himself - a 6'5" likeness placed atop a ten-foot granite column to mark his grave, 10-odd years before he actually died so he could enjoy seeing it. Well, I guess if you are paying for such a thing, then you should get to enjoy it.

We drove a bit onto the ranch – 32,000 acres of pastureland, rice and row crops (usually cotton).  You can’t drive too far before you run into gates that close the old Pierce house off from the world.

No one lives there now – it’s used as an entertainment venue.  But we did come across a couple of houses that stand on the cotton fields.

 Pretty sure no one lives in this one, but . . . .

This one has an address, a decorated mailbox, and if you look closely a package on the front porch.  Of course, it doesn’t appear to have electricity, plumbing, or running water and the windows have tin “shades” but there is a door.

The other thing Pierce, TX has is this -

Nope never seen any polo games going on but, I keep checking!  You just never know what you’ll find if you get off the highway!

17 Dec 2019