A Day of Fun and History
This weekend I “dog-sat” with Daisy, a friend’s dog and Lulubelle’s friend. We had a big day on Saturday, starting with breakfast with Le Peep Cafe. There are two locations in San Antonio – we went to the one on Stone Oak Parkway.
I took Lulubelle and Daisy out of their crates and left them in the truck while I went in and enjoyed a delicious breakfast. When I was leaving, the manager and two members of the staff came out to the parking lot, bringing treats and bowls of fresh water for Lulubelle and Daisy. The manager invited them to the doggie diner on the patio, where they not only welcome but cater to dogs. Lulubelle gives Le Peep Cafe 5 stars!
After breakfast, we headed north to Kerr County to visit the ghost town of Camp Verde.
According to the Texas State Historical Association, the general store opened in 1857 to sell liquor to the soldiers on payday since liquor wasn’t allowed in the military camp. The first post office was opened in 1858 but postal service stopped and started in several locations until 1899 when Walter Nowlin established the store and post office. The building was washed away in a flood in 1908 but was rebuilt and continues to operate today.
The Kerr County Historical Commission’s history of Camp Verde reports that the camp was established as an outpost of Fort Mason, Texas in 1855. The following year, the camp became the site of the War Department’s experiment to use camels to carry supplies and communications overland. Confederate forces captured the post in 1861 and used the camels to haul cotton to Mexico and bring back salt. Union prisoners of war were held for about a year in a facility called “Prison Canyon” near Camp Verde.
The Camels of Camp Verde tells the fascinating story of the camel experiment. Interestingly, Lieutenant Colonel Robert E. Lee was stationed at Fort Mason and charged with the responsibility of protecting both the people in the area and the camels in the camp. He was relieved of his duties in 1861 and ordered back to Washington, but instead of going to Washington, he joined the Confederacy.
When we visited on Saturday, the store was holding its annual Christmas Open House. Santa Claus was there; Lulubelle was convinced it was really Santa because the beard was real, so she posed for a photo with the jolly old man.
In the afternoon, the temperature reached 84 degrees so Lulubelle and Daisy needed to cool off. I asked if the dogs could swim in the creek and was told, “Sure!” The girls had a wonderful swim in the creek, which you can see in a picture in this article about Camp Verde. You can also see a picture of the historic general store and post office.
At the end of the day, the girls and I were tired but glad we spent the day of fun and history.