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A Walk Through Houston's History - Part 1

A cache by Texas Bandits Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 11/13/2013
3 out of 5
1.5 out of 5

Size: Size:   regular (regular)

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Geocache Description:

A Walk Through Houston's History - Part 1

Welcome to Sam Houston Park, home to the Heritage Society, which is a museum complex that collects, preserves, exhibits, and celebrates the diverse history of the Houston region. Along with a museum that has permanent and temporary exhibits, the Heritage Society also operates ten historic structures, dating from 1823 to 1905, throughout Sam Houston Park.

Besides the historic structures, there are also many memorials, statues, sculptures and fountains located throughout the park. To learn more about the items, Sam Houston Park and the Heritage Society, simply click on their names anywhere on this page and you will be directed to websites that contain more information.

This is 1 of 4 "Walk" caches that we have placed here in the downtown area. The other 3 being "A Walk in Space", "A Walk Through Houston's History - Part 2" and "A Walk Through Houston's History - Part 3" . We know that these four caches are a lot of work, especially during Houston's typical hot and humid climate, so we're going to reward you with a collectible Geocoin once you've completed all of four of them!

And finally, a special thanks to the Heritage Society for allowing me to place this cache in the park!

As shown in the map below, the Park is divided into 3 sections. Section 1 contains the parking lot (free, but limited space) and the Kellum-Noble House. Section 2 contains a few more historic structures and memorials along with the Heritage Society's admin offices and Museum. And Section 3 contains the main bulk of the historic structures along with a statue, fountains, the Armillary Sphere and public restrooms.

Click here for a larger version of this map

To locate this cache, you will be making stops throughout Sections 1 and 2 of the park (see Note 4 below), gathering numbers that will help lead you to the cache's location. Following the steps below, you will need to locate the items listed and answer their corresponding questions.

Cache Notes:

  1. Sam Houston Park is open from dawn to dusk. The Heritage Society Museum gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10am to 4pm. (Admission is free.) The Heritage Society parking lot is open for Heritage Society visitors 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Saturday. There are public restrooms in the Museum, located in Section 2 of the park, and over by the Armillary Sphere, located in Section 3.

  2. You can download a question and answer chart by clicking on the "Related Web Page" link on this page.

  3. The cache is not located at the listed coordinates, but they will lead you to the first part of the puzzle.

  4. Unless you took advantage of the free parking in Section 1 of the park, there is no reason to go there to answer the Kellum-Noble House questions. Traffic on the roads separating the sections of the park can be very fast at times, so the answers to the questions for that House can be viewed from Section 2 of the park.

  5. The steps needed to solve this cache were laid out to minimize the amount of walking that you will need to do. However, feel free to start and end wherever you like. All of the items that you need to locate are easy to find.

  6. The cache that you are looking for is a camouflaged, waterproof lock and lock container located somewhere in Section 2 of the park.

  7. Depending on the time of day, there may be many muggles around so use stealth when searching for the cache and please replace it back exactly as you found it.

Now, on to the hunt!

Stop 1 - Go to N 29 45.559 W 095 22.246

You should find yourself on the southwest corner of Lamar and Bagby, which will place you in front of the Heritage Society complex and one of the "Sam Houston Park" signs. Locate the numbers on the sign.

  • Answer #1, or A1 = The number that appears on this sign twice
Now walk towards the Heritage Society buildings in front of you and follow the signs leading you to the museum. As you pass between the buildings, you will enter a courtyard.


In this area, you will find the World War I Memorial, the John B. Connally sculpture, Jane Ellen's Tree and the entrance to the Heritage Society Museum. The first three items are part of Stop 2 while the Museum is covered in Stop 5.

Stop 2 - The Courtyard

Word War I Monument - On the front on the Memorial, locate the two dates on the plaque.

  • Answer #2, or A2 = The number that you get when you subtract the date on the left side from the date on the right side.
John B. Connally sculpture - Locate the two numbers on the left side of the sculpture's base.

  • A3 = The difference between the larger number and the smaller one.
Jane Ellen's Tree - Walk towards the trunk of the tree until you arrive at the "Jane Ellen's Tree" marker.

  • A4 = The number that appears on this marker twice

Number check! A1+A2+A3+A4 should equal 14.

Now turn around and head north along the sidewalk towards the log cabin.

Stop 3 - The Old Place & Alexander Hodge Memorial

On one side of the sidewalk you will find "The Old Place" log cabin and on the other side, the Alexander Hodge Memorial.

The Old Place - Count the number of vertical boards that make up the shutter on the front, left window. Then count the number of stumps on the front porch.

  • A5 = The number of vertical boards minus the number of stumps.
Alexander Hodge Memorial

  • A6 = Add the number of Republics that was he the Hero of to the number of words on the back of the Memorial.

Number check! A5+A6 should equal 8.

You will now need to head southwest to find the final 4 outdoor items.

Stop 4 - The Nichols-Rice-Cherry / U.S.S. Houston Memorial area.

In this area, you will find the Baker Family Playhouse, the U.S.S Houston Memorial, the Nichols-Rice-Cherry House and a view of the Kellum-Noble House.

Baker Family Playhouse - Search for the 3 numbers on the bricks located on the ground in front of the Playhouse.

  • A7 = The sum of the 3 numbers.
U.S.S Houston Memorial - Note the number of flagpoles and then look at the plaques located on the memorial.

  • A8 = Add the number of flagpoles to the number of last names on the memorial plaques that start with the letter "Z".
Nichols-Rice-Cherry House - Count the number of horses near the front porch steps and the number of windows on the north side of the house. Then locate the "Ima Hogg" marker on the south side of the house.

  • A9 = Add the total number of horses to the total number of north side windows to the smallest number on the Ima Hogg marker.
Kellum-Noble House - At the Ima Hogg location, turn around and you will be able to see the Kellum-Noble House and the Quilters Cottage (The structure to the right of the Kellum-Noble House) across the street. Everything you need to locate can be observed from this area. However, if you wish to visit the House, please be careful crossing the road. As mentioned before, the traffic here can be dangerous.

  • A10 = The number of full size windows on the front (north side) of the Kellum-Noble house minus the number of bird houses built into the street facing (north) side of the Quilters Cottage.

Number check! A7+A8+A9+A10 should equal 70.

Make your way northeast, back to the Heritage Society Museum, which is in the building directly behind "The Old Place" cabin.

The museum is now charging $5 per adult and $2 per child for entry. I am currently working on a solution with them but in the meantime, I am not going to require anyone to pay in order to complete this cache. If you wish to support the museum and decide to pay for entry that's fine but if you do not want to, message me and I'll give you the answers for the museum section of the cache puzzle.

Stop 5 - Heritage Society Museum

All of the items that you will be looking for in the museum will be in the "permanent display" section, which will be to your left as you enter. However, feel free to look around at the temporary displays as well, which change every few months.

The Model T car

  • A11 = The only even number that appears on its license plate.
The Boneshaker

  • A12 = The last odd, underlined number that appears on its plaque.

The Duncan General Store

There are many items on display in this store, which you will have to search to find the answers to the final 6 questions. However, there is no need to open, move or touch anything in the store to get these answers.

First, locate the display that has Jacks and Tops in it.

  • A13 = The total number of Jacks and Tops.

Second, find the picture of the Houston Packing Company.

  • A14 = The number of "Cotton Oil" containers in the picture.

Now locate the "Barbed Wire" display. Then find the 4 digit number that is associated with "Kelly" on that display.

  • A15 = The digit that appears twice in this 4 digit number.

After that, find the "Tums" Match box located somewhere on the back wall displays.

  • A16 = The number of match books that the box holds.

Look at the displays on the right side of the room.

  • A17 = The total number of ducks located behind the railing.

Finally, look for the "Fair Store" sign above the ducks.

  • A18 = The sum of the two numbers on that sign.

Number check! A11+A12+A13+A14 should equal 32.

                            A15+A16=A17+A18 should equal 84.

Be sure to sign your name in the visitor's logbook on your way out of the museum. Add "Geocacher" in there too! :)

Time for math!

The North Coordinates are AB CD.EFG, where...

A =

A6 + A4

B =

A5 + A14

C =

A2 - A4

D =

A11 + A12 - A8

E =

A9 + A17 - A18

F =

A13 - A11

G =

A3 + A10

The West Coordinates are HIJ KL.MNO, where...

H =

A1 + A4 - A9

I =

A5 + A14

J =

A15 - A14

K =

A16 - A7 - A6

L =

A8 - A11

M =

A13 - A17 - A3

N =

A2 + A10

O =

A18 - A12

Now that you have the coordinates, it's time to find the cache! Here are a few final notes...

You will not need to enter any of the structures to find the cache. Nor will you need to go onto any of the porches or move anything on the porches to find the cache.

Due to the sensitive nature of the outdoor displays, we feel that we need to give a pretty specific hint to make sure overzealous cachers (like us at times) don't damage or otherwise disrupt anything in this park.

However, since we don't want cachers to just read the hint and go straight to the cache without completing all of the steps, we're going to "encrypt" it in the same manner that we did the coordinates. That way you'll have to work for both of them. And since you usually need a pretty specific hint for downtown caches anyway, due to signal interference from the buildings, we don't feel bad about giving one. So you're also getting a bonus puzzle as part of this cache, albeit an easy one.

Like the coordinates, we'll encrypt the clue with the A1, A2, A3, etc... codes. You'll then have to simply substitute the number that they represent with its corresponding letter of the alphabet.

For example if the clue was "A1 A2 (A3+ A4) A5"

And you had previously figured out that...

A1 = 20 , A2 = 18, A3 = 4, A4 = 1, and A5 = 5

Then A1 would equal the 20th letter of the alphabet, which is "T", A2 would equal the 18th letter, "R", (A3 + A4) would = (4+1), or 5, which would equal "E" and A5 would also equal "E", since its value is also 5.

And once done you would come up with the word "TREE".

Don't forget, once you've completed all 4 of our "Walk" caches, contact us and you'll get a collectable Geocoin!

Congrats to Log Dawgs for being FTF!

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

(N6+N4) (N17-N5) N11 N1 N13 N2 (N12+N14+N8) N11 (N2 + N3) “(N15+N12) (N9+N14) (N16-N7)” N14 N11 N9 (N18-N6) N13 (N8 -N10) (N18+N8)

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)

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