Bead-The Flat Clear Glass Teardrop TB
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Sunday, January 12, 2014
Texas, United States
In the hands of t.o.m.m.y.
This is not collectible.
Use TB5HVF7 to reference this item.
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Please drop this item in rural OR Premium Member Only caches. Do not place it in an urban cache or abandon it at a caching event. Transport the bug in the original plastic bag for as long as the bag lasts; the bag keeps the trackable clean, protects the number and prevents tangling with other items. Otherwise, take the travel bug anywhere you wish. No permission is needed to leave the U.S.
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About This Item
This is one of a series of large beads obtained from different places and converted into travel bugs. They are named Texas towns with interesting names or histories.
Remnants of The Flat are now protected as the Fort Griffin State Historic Site, in Shackleford County. The town was situated between Fort Griffin and the Clear Fork of the Brazos River, the water source for the facility. Since the fort held the strategic hilltop, the town became known simply as the Flat.
The town, even in ruins, retains its hard-won reputation for being one of Texas’ most lawless communities. Populated at one time or another by many of the more colorful characters of Western legend, the Flat had no municipal control since Shackelford county had yet to be organized. The roster of trouble-makers included Lottie Deno (renowned gambler), Big Nose Kate (perhaps a “sporting woman” and later a companion to Doc Holliday), John Wesley Hardin (gunfighter from the DeWitt county war), John Selman (lawman and later outlaw), John M. Larn (lawman turned rustler). Other persons who passed through included Pat Garrett, Doc Holliday, and his long-time friend Wyatt Earp.
The misbehavior in the Flat got so out-of-hand that the commanding officer of Fort Griffin declared martial law in the mid 1870s. Undesirables from the Flat were banished to towns that were short of undesirables. With the riff-raff gone, the county was organized in 1874. During this period buffalo hunters used the fort as a supply base. The Butterfield Stage route passed the Flat (East-West) and cattle drives passed the town going north to railheads in Kansas.
The town peaked at 1,000 permanent residents - an enviable figure for the times. Transients added to that number while the buffalo roamed, but the population declined. Albany had started accommodating the cattle herds that passed by and even the fort itself had its contingent reduced. Two events further accelerated the demise of The Flat in 1881- the fort was closed and the community was bypassed by the railroad. The Flat did manage to hang on into the 20th Century but today the population consists of Fort Griffin park personnel.
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