TPWD News Release — April 30, 2007
ANDERSON, Texas — Those searching for a special way to celebrate Mother’s Day this year might want to head to Fanthorp Inn State Historic Site’s stagecoach event Saturday, May 12.
Stagecoach Days is a monthly occurrence at the Fanthorp Inn, in which visitors are offered the unique opportunity to ride on a bright red, authentic replica 1850s Concord Stagecoach.
Seating nine adults, the stagecoach has room enough for the entire family. The tour starts at Fanthorp Inn and goes to the historic Grimes County Courthouse, lasting approximately 20 minutes. The trip even includes some unpaved roads, so visitors get to experience the feel of an 1850s ride as well.
“This is certainly something most people today haven’t experienced,” said Cathy Nolte, park superintendent. “It puts you back in touch with a more basic, simple time, and gives us a greater appreciation for what we have today and what our ancestors went through to settle this country.”
In addition to riding the stagecoach, visitors can also tour the Fanthorp Inn.
In 1834, while Texas was still a part of Mexico, English immigrant Henry Fanthorp built his home in the Original Austin Colony that is today Anderson, Texas. His home was built near the road and offered a convenient stop for weary travelers. Not long after his home was built, many rooms were opened up to travelers and long-time boarders.
Nearly 175 years later, guided tours of the double-pen, cedar log dogtrot house offer a glimpse into the lifestyle of an age long past.
“Each room is restored and furnished with furniture representative of the time period when the Inn was functioning,” said Nolte.
Live dulcimer music and poetry by Kenny Lewis also help make the event memorable.
“Kenny is wonderful,” said Nolte. “He has a fantastic repertoire of poetry. One minute he has you laughing, and the next drying your eyes. He’s quite talented.”
Nolte said families are welcome to picnic at Fanthorp Inn as well, while they take in the abundant scenery of Grimes Counties’ rolling hills and colorful varieties of wildflowers.
“We have many picnic tables set under the trees, so you can pack a lunch, spread out under the shade and enjoy some time together with the family,” she said.
May is a particularly special month to attend Stagecoach Days. The City of Anderson hosts a "Stagecoach Stopover" event in conjunction with Fanthorp Inn’s activities. Historic courthouse tours, walking tours of the community and historical re-enactments will all be taking place May 12. Food vendors and live music will also be present at the Anderson stopover event.
“It really is a great complement to the stagecoach activities at Fanthorp Inn,” said Nolte.
Stagecoach rides will be offered Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fees are $1 for Texas State Parks Pass members, $4 for non-members and $2.50 for children 12 and under. More information can be found through the Texas Parks and Wildlife Web Site, or by calling Fanthorp Inn State Historic Site at (936) 873-2633.
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