Love Bug-Belle Plaine Fat Wood
Saturday, July 26, 2014
Texas, United States
In Phobia Cache Series #2: MACROPHOBIA
This is not collectible.
Use TB6C9TP 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 and prevents tangling with other items. Otherwise, take the travel bug anywhere you wish. No permission is needed to leave the U.S.
Travel bug photos are appreciated. I will re-post them here, where they can be seen by other cachers.
About This Item
This is one of a series of heart-shaped objects obtained from different places and converted into travel bugs. They are named either for the places of their origin or for Texas Panhandle-South Plains towns with interesting names or histories.
Established in 1876, Belle Plain is six miles southeast of Baird in Callahan County. Nelson Smith purchased state school land for the site in 1875. He platted a town with wide streets and a designated business district. The site was intended to become a commercial center for the county. The name may originate with the name of the first child born at the townsite, Katie Belle Magee.
By the summer of 1876, the town had three businesses. The new town prospered, drawing new settlers along with citizens from Callahan City and other smaller towns. It eventually had several stores and saloons, a stone jail, two fraternal lodges, eleven lawyers, and four physicians. A newspaper was begun in 1879. The population was never large (about 400 in 1884), but the town served as a regional supply center and exporter of wool, hides, and cotton.
The pride of Belle Plain was Belle Plain College. It was founded in 1881 by Methodist Church. Peak enrollment reached 300. The College developed a superior course of study with special strength in music. There was an orchestra and brass band, and a girls dormitory. For boys there was a military branch that wore blue and gray uniforms.
Both the college and community declined simultaneously. When the railroad was built through Baird, some Belle Plain citizens moved to Baird. In 1883 Baird became the county seat, and the population of Belle Plain diminished further. The town's newspaper moved to Baird that year, and the stone jail was eventually disassembled and rebuilt in the new county seat. The region was also damaged by the hard winter of 1884–85 and the drought of 1886–87. After a financial struggle, the college closed in 1892. With the college gone, the county government lost and most of the population having moved away, Belle Plain was doomed. In 1897 only four families and one small store remained in the area.
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