The Baytown Sun from Baytown, Texas on December 2, 1982 · Page 20
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The Baytown Sun from Baytown, Texas · Page 20

Baytown, Texas
Issue Date:
Thursday, December 2, 1982
Page 20
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4-C THE BAYTOWN SUN Thursday, December 2, 19«2 Home To Be Added To Heritage Park By CAROL FOSTER WALLISVILLE (Sp) — A new home is under construction for Wallisville Heritage Park Foundation. The 140-by-36-foot building will feature a late Victorian design on its front to blend with other historic buildings in the vicinity. John Middleton, founder of the organization, said the building will house offices, display area, library, a coffee bar, dark room, locked storage and a file room. The building will be virtually fireproof, Middleton said, and records now being stored in an old one- room school building will be transferred there upon completion. The building may be finished in January, although Middleton a n- ticipates bad winter weather could delay opening for a month. The 19-member board of directors for the privately funded foundation will hold meetings in the new building to carry on several projects. One of the chief purposes of the foundation is a planned restoration of old Wallisville. Equally important is excavation of E! Orcoquisac Archaeological District. Middleton said the University of Houston will set up an archaeological field school at the El Orco- quisac site after the property is released by the Corps of Engineers. It is considered a very important historic find. In 1968, all homes and buildings in Wallisville were torn down after condemnation by the Corps of Engineers. Construction began on the Wallisville Reservoir project. A 19,000-acre lake was planned. But, in 1973, when the project • was 75 percent complete, a group of environmentalists including the Audobon Society, Sierra Club, commercial fishermen and some land owners filed a federal suit against the Corps of Engineers. Their contention was that the environmental impact of the reservoir project was devastating to the area. The groups were successful. Litigation and judicial orders forced construction to halt and ordered a new environmental impact statement. "Everything stopped, crews moved out and most of the construction at the dam site washed away," Middleton said. Hearings were held with local impact and in 1977, the Corps of Engineers substantially reduced the scope of the project and said the Wallisville townsite would no longer be necessary. The buildings were gone, the town lost, but Middleton and other residents first wanted to buy the land back from the government. "Eight years after Judge Bue's injunction the study was revised, recognizing the importance of the two historical sites. They recognized, too, the environmental impact in the original plans," Middleton said. Plan 2-A came into being, reducing the project size to 5,000 acres. The El Orco- q u I s a c A r- chaeological District and Wallisville townsite were taken out of the plans. Before releasing the final study, the Corps of Engineers employed an archaeologist, Anne Fox, to spend three months with a crew studying the sites to verify their historical importance. Miss Fox published a thick book with her findings that said the two projects were of even more historical value' and importance than originally believed. The Corps has since employed a fulltime archaeologist, Carolyn Goode, to work with the Galveston District. Middleton said she has been of invaluable assistance to his organization. The Indian site will be systematically evacuated, a project that could require several decades of work, and all artifacts will be retained by the Wallisville Heritage Park Foundation. Artifacts will be preserved and offered for public view. Middleton said his organization's members believe the two projects will make Wallisville "unique" and the Wallisville townsite restoration will be comparable to Williamsburg. The foundation has begun acquisition of buildings to be restored and set up in Wallisville even though Middleton anticipates a two-year delay in getting court clearance. The lands for the project have been declared "excess federal land" and the procedure for their release or sale is a long and tedious one. First building purchased by the foundation was an 1869 Wallisville School House. Middleton said he saw the old school moving down the highway on back of a truck. "I did some fast checking and learned it had been bought by a church in Oak Island. We contacted the owners and bought the building right off the truck," he sai'J. A home built in A886 for an Italian cobbler named Joseph Per- silio and a 1910 Union Church that later became the Anahuac Methodist Church were also acquired by the foundation. The old Eminence Schoolhouse built in 1916 was put in its original location after purchase. Plans are to rebuild the town exactly as it was before devastation by wrecking crews. The foundation has acquired over 4,000 negatives and photographs of old Wallisville and is in process of reviewing and cataloguing them. The courthouse will be rebuilt exactly as it was and used for offices of the foundation. Photographs and scraps of construction materials were salvaged. Middleton has one of the doors, some windows and several other relics from the WALL1SV1LJLE HERITAGE Park Foundation will have a new home in 1983 when construction is complete on this structure off Interstate 10. The new building, featuring an early Victorian exterior trim, will house offices and display area for the foundation. original building to aid in the construction. The foundation of the building is still standing. When rebuilt, the courthouse will also be used as a display area for all artifacts from the Indian excavations in Chambers County. Another point of interest in the planned restoration is reconstruction of the 1895 jail and hanging tower. The Wallisville Heritage Park Foundation directors are building a library of books on historical matters, particularly geneology, by accepting memorial donations for purchases. Middleton said an oral library maintained by the foundation is a particular source of pride and has been praised by state historical authorities as one of the better ones available. Employees of the foundation are conducting interviews with senior citizens in Chambers County and recording their memories for posterity- Cooperation from federal and state authorities including the Corps of Engineers has been excellent, Middleton said. He praised Corps employees for their assistance and said it had been "invaluable." 'Luxurious' Edsel Got Bad Reviews From Car Critics, Public By GEORGE A. GIPE "Looks right! Built right! Priced right!" trumpeted the Ford Motor Co. as it prepared the American public for the epitome of the push-button era, the 1958 Edsel. After sifting through 6,000 suggested names for the medium-priced ($2,400 to $3,600) car, the company decided to name it after Henry Ford II's father. Though not the most expensive car on the market, the Edsel was promoted as the most luxurious. On or near the dashboard were push-buttons that operated the trunk lid, hood lever and parking brake. It had a speedometer that emitted a red glow when the driver exceeded his chosen speed. There was a single dial control for both heating and air condi- tioning, a button to raise or lower the radio antenna, plus an assortment of lights to warn that the engine was too cold or too hot, the generator was not functioning, the parking brake was on, and the oil and gas levels were low. The control box of the transmission — on top of the steering x>st in the center of the wheel — had five buttons. Eighty inches wide and just 57 inches high, the Edsel was overpowered, with a 345 horsepower engine. The radiator grille, later to become infamous and almost synonymous with automotive ugliness, was mounted vertically with the letters "EDSEL" in gleaming aluminum on the middle. Comedians likened it to a toilet seat or a horse collar. In addition to being saddled with this liability, the Edsel did not perform very well. Shortly after the 1957 models hit the market, Tom McCahill of Mechanix Illustrated wrote: "On ribbed concrete, every time I shot the throttle to the floor quickly, the wheels spun like a gone-wild Waring Blender...! couldn't help but wonder what this salami would really do if it had enough road adhesion." Added Consumer Swigert Faces Hospital Stay Reports: "Combined with the car's tendency to shake like jelly, Edsel's handling represents retrogression rather than progress. To look at the Edsel. buttons pulls the driver's eyes clear down off the road...most gadget-bedecked, more hung with expensive accessories than any car in its price class." The Edsel purchased by Consumer Reports also had the wrong axle ratio, an expansion plug in the cooling system that blew out, a leaky power-steering system and a heater that emitted blasts of hot air after it was turned off. But the worst reviews came from the American public, which came, looked, nodded and left. "The Ford Motor Co. has laid an egg," said the manager of a New York franchise. He was right. In two years, two mon- ths and 15 days, Ford sold only 109,466 Edsels, losing about §250 million in the process. The death bell tolled in November 1959. Because only 2,846 of the 1960-model Edsel were sold, they are as scarce today as the famed and very costly Type 41 BugattL DENVER (AP> — Jack Swigert, an Apollo 13 astronaut newly elected to Congress, faces a hospital stay of a "few days" after his regular weekend chemotherapy treatment, an aide says. Swigert, who has bone marrow cancer, has been undergoing chemotherapy treatment since mid- September. He was admitted to Denver Presbyterian Medical Center last Wednesday after reporting a fever, said June Weiss, Swigert's press secretary. "They went ahead and did his regular chemotherapy treatment on Saturday without really identifying the source of the fever and infection," Ms. Weiss said. Swigert would re- main in the hospital "another few days, two or three days, I would guess," she said Monday. Swigert, 51, a Republican, was elected Nov. 2 to represent the new 6th Congressional District. 11 takcvs so link'. It means so much. Bio Brothers & Sis 128 -.'8470 crs THE GREAT TEXAS CHRISTMAS PARTY Arts & Crafts Show REPO LIQUIDATION n MOBILE HOMES ^ t/, 14" & 28'WIDES TAKE OVER NOTES International Star Mobile Homes 7710 N. Hwy. 146 (MO at Monl Belvieu) Baytown 383-3586 Benefiting United Cerebral Palsy DECEMBER 4th & 5th Join The Fun! Lots of Things to See & Do Come Meet Spiderman in Person •Game Booths • Robbie The Clown • tyile Bobbing •Pinata •Moomnlk • Pony Rides • Live Aiimals • Santa Clats • Stage Band •Food • Arcades • Erni The Chicken • Lawrence The Rolling Skating • Majic Stow • Cake Walk More! Admission Adults '2°° Children »1" Call 456-0909 448-4244 Tickets At The Door Hows: Dec. 4th-12:00 to 12:00 Dec. 5th-12:00 to 12:00 [ Frwthr Days More than any other state, Texas has historically epitomized strength- the strength of independence, the strength of its people, and especially economic strength. Since becoming #1 in Texas for return on average assets and return on average equity in 1981, Mainland Savings has reflected this strength in all facets of Savings and Loan operations. And by combining our exceptional customer service, spiraling growth pattern, and ability to consistently excel, you can be assured of our continued financial leadership in this prosperous state. If your financial status isn't as strong as you'd like it to be, call Mainland Savings and let our strength work for you. FRIENDSWOOD-102 N. Friendswood Dr. Friendswood, Texas 77548 482-7553 HOUSTON-3401 Allen Parkway Houston, Texas 77019 527-8446 HITCHCOCK-8300 Highway 6 Hitchcock, Texas 77563 986-5547 BAYTOWN-1308 W. Baker at Garth Baytown, Texas 77521 420-5693

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