A Structure Rises: the Turner-Peters Dogtrot Cabin Near Completion

Written by Brazos Heritage President on . Posted in Blog

Cedar wood walls stand strong and firm once more, cracks in the process of being chinked, while near the wrought iron entrance gates paving stones have been set in place for the amphitheater where six flags will stand tall, representing those symbols of national sovereignty flown at various times over Texas since her birth. This same half-circle will provide seating for 60 and a place for Texas history teachers and docents to lead historical presentations for classes and visitors. The amphitheater is connected to the cabin by a walkway composed of crushed granite composite and paving stones at either end.

The cedar shake roof shelters the two living areas and the dog “trot” from the elements, These rooms will once again hold period treasures, showing how the owners likely lived back when the cabin was new and stood on the open prairie land of what was once Brazos, and later Grimes, County.

The Turner-Peters Dogtrot Cabin now nears completion of Phase I, with the structure reassembled, roofed and awaiting finishing touches. To the right stands a model of the cistern that would have once been the source of family water. Across from the entry gates, a walkway leads to a shaded area where a replica cannon will sit, patterned on the famous Twin Sisters. This artillery piece has been donated by Samuel W. Smith, a WWII B-17 Flying Fortress pilot awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross medal, former Texas A&M Chemical Engineering professor, and history enthusiast. Mr. George Nelson will serve as cannoneer, heading up a six-man crew for those rare times when the piece is actually fired.

In later phases, bronze statues of Texas Ranger Eli Seale, Hiram Hanover (first Boonville postmaster and later State Representative), and Texas President Sam Houston will be grouped. A fourth bronze of Harvey Mitchell, Father of Brazos County, will be placed near the entrance across from the amphitheater.

A labor of love by the Sons of the Texas Republic, this historic structure is ultimately envisioned as the core of a Boonville Historic Site, with additional representations of pioneer life in the town of Boonville, once the seat of Navasota, later Brazos, County.

The site is scheduled to open after Labor Day with a small public event; the first general opening for public visitation is scheduled to coincide with Boonville Days on October 10. A formal dedication will take place in Spring 2016 in conjunction with the Brazos County Historical Commission’s celebration for the 175th anniversary of Brazos County’s creation, and with all planned features in place.

The site will need docents who can be available whenever a school tour or other event is held. If you are interested, please contact us at brazos.heritage@gmail.com. We are functioning as a liaison on the project for the Sons of the Republic of Texas and can help you connect with the appropriate people. In the meantime, I urge you to stop by the site, located east of the Kroger center on Boonville Rd. and view the progress that is being made. It is really a beautiful development and I am excited to see it come together at last. If you would like to donate to the costs of restoring the cabin, or its operation as an historical site, please visit our website at http://brazosheritage.org/projects/turner-petersdogtrot-cabin-project/ where you can securely donate via PayPal. You may also send a check, made out to Brazos Heritage Society, to P.O. Box 1776, Bryan, TX 77806. Any and all assistance is appreciated.

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