Abilene Christian College - Prickly Pear Yearbook (Abilene, TX)

 - Class of 1982

Page 209 of 424

 

Abilene Christian College - Prickly Pear Yearbook (Abilene, TX) online yearbook collection, 1982 Edition, Page 209
Page 209



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ulture in the country ll n the middle 1890s Buffalo Gap boasted a few industries that have vanished as the little village dwindled in population and importancef, a Buffalo Gap resident said in a 1961 interview with the Abilene Reporter-News. And although in 1982 the sleepy, little town had not totally regained its late 19th century prominence, the quiet community was an important cultural and historical site of Taylor County. The town is located in a natural pass in the Callahan Divide in east Taylor Coun- ty, and received its name from the herds of buffalo that migrated through the settle- ment in the early 1870s. . ln a historical account about the development of Buffalo Gap, visitors to the small community said they recalled seeing stacks of buffalo hides piled 20 feet high in the streets, as hunters took their toll on the herds that once roamed the plains. y 1880, Buffalo Gap had 1,200 citizens and had become the seat of Taylor County. The only county building was a two-story jail constructed of native stone blocks mortised together with can- nonballs from Civil War battlefields. The jail still stands and houses a historic museum. In 1881, Abilene sprang up to the north Opposite page: top - Autumn foliage often lured students and Abilene residents to Buffalo Gap and Abilene State Park for a country outing: left - An old wagon outside the Buffalo Gap Museum is one of thefew antiques that reminds visitors ofa simpler lifestyleg right - The Forts Trail Country Store, located on one of Buffalo Gap's main streets, isjlled with antiques, collectibles and an old fashioned candy counter. long the Texas and Pacific Railroad. By 1883, Abilene had enough people and spirit to petition for an election to move the county seat from Buffalo Gap to Abilene. When the county commissioners and the judge chose Abilene, the judge was quickly rushed home to find that all of his chickens had been killed and eaten by an angry group of Buffalo Gap men. here was a brief revival in Buffalo Gap's growth in 1909 when the Santa Fe Railroad came, but the town never regained its former glory. The town re- mained a sleepy village until another sen- sational election in 1965, when the citizens voted 76 to 75 to allow the sale of alcoholic beverages in Buffalo Gap. 1982 brought several economic changes to the country-casual community. Although Buffalo Gap had long been a favorite Saturday or Sunday afternoon spot for ACU students, in October the town became a favorite place for shoppers when a "cluster of unique shops under the oaks" opened. Mulberry Street Market, a quaint shop- ping village located in the heart of Buffalo Gap, brought a face-lift to a tired section of the town. The shopping village was the brainchild of Doris Henderson and her family. The property that the Mulberry Street shops were located on adjoined Mrs. Henderson's property where her home was built. In an interview with the Reporter-News Mrs. Henderson said she was determined that not one of the 86 live oak trees on the property would be cut down, and she "practically stood in front of those trees" when the work crews arrived to begin construction. ulberry Street Market housed several shops: E. Louise, a dress shopg Carpenter's Mercantile Exchange, Francesca's Beauty Shopg Little Mountain Art Galleryg Durham's, a gift shopg the Collector's Doll Houseg and the Gourmet Shop. Mitzi Henderson, daughter of creator Doris Henderson and owner of E. Louise dress shop, said in a Reporter-News inter- view, "We're all family out here. Everybody looks after everybody else, and we help each other out when one of us has to be away for a few minutes." he Gourmet Shop, managed by another of Mrs. Henderson's daughters, was a popular place for Buffalo Gap shoppers. The casual, stick-to-the-ribs fare was popular after a day of shopping. And ice cream lovers were delighted to find out that the Gourmet shop offered Blue Bell ice cream, which was unavailable in Abilene. The monthly flea markets, the Blue Grass Festival and the Buffalo Gap Art Festival were a few of the events that at- tracted visitors to the community. And the picnic grounds in the town and at Abilene State Park, which was several miles out- side of Buffalo Gap, attracted many visitors during the year. Despite the additions and changes to the community throughout the year, Buffalo Gap is a town proud of its heritage and history with people who have tried to preserve their country-casual roots. Buffalo Gap

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