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Gordon Center explores Texas’ historic hotels

Oct. 7, 2008

THURBER, TEXAS—Many Texans may not realize that the Bonnie and Clyde Suite of the Stockyards Hotel in Fort Worth displays writings by the infamous Bonnie Parker along with one of her pistols or that Teddy Roosevelt recruited some of his Rough Riders at the Menger Hotel bar in San Antonio.

Fortunately for those wanting to add more adventures to their Lone Star vacations, Tarleton State University’s W.K. Gordon Center for the Industrial History of Texas at Thurber is hosting a free program on Sun., Oct. 19, at 2:30 p.m. The program will feature Liz Carmack, author of “Historic Hotels of Texas: A Traveler’s Guide.”

Carmack decided to write her travel guide because none of its kind existed and she enjoyed the refreshing individuality of older hotels and their stories. She traveled more than 17,000 miles to visit the 64 hotels featured in her book.

While at the Von Minden Hotel in Schulenburg, a self-described “medium” helped her pick out a room with the least amount of supernatural activity. At the 14-story deserted Baker Hotel in Mineral Wells, she took a three-hour tour by flashlight.

During the presentation, Carmack will discuss practical tips for planning trips to historic hotels, specifically those in this region. Her travel articles have appeared in “Texas Highways,” “Austin Woman”, and “Heritage” magazines. A book signing will follow the presentation and copies of the guide will be available for purchase in the museum’s gift shop.

The Gordon Center is a museum and research facility located about halfway between Fort Worth and Abilene at exit 367 on Interstate 20. The museum is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., on Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and closed on Monday. For more information, call (254) 968-1886.

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