We got a lot done over at the Hermit Haus in the past week. First, we now have someone to clean the place every week, and she started out by doing a deep clean of the basement, including the former storage areas we are going to make into offices. They look so much better with years of grime removed.
On Friday, our partner in Hearts, Homes, and Hands, Kathleen, brought her husband Chris over to work on the offices we’ll be using for that business. That’s right, the Hermit Haus will soon be home to three businesses, at least until the new one moves across the street.
Kathleen brought in some lovely furniture to use in her office, all white and brass and modern looking. We all have office envy, even though our stuff is just fine.
We got to talking about how Mandi and I had looked all over the darned office trying to find the pins to rebuild the large shelving unit we had in the old office. Chris and Lee were looking at it to figure out what kinds of substitute items we could go buy to make it work, when Kathleen and I started looking at the little white cabinets in her office, which we’d never been able to really see before she brought in lamps. Kathleen opened the cabinet door, and we discovered some office supplies in there…and the stuff to build the shelves!
This is just a little tidbit that Mandi found out yesterday when talking to some friends. We’ve talked about putting photos of the prominent Cameron residents who attended the First Christian Church during its long history, and we have a new one to add.
It turns out that Lucille Marie Jones Braden (Marie), the mother of the actor Tommy Lee Jones, attended the church late in her life, after she married Cameron resident Carlton E. Braden. She was a member of the Board and quite active until her death in 2013.
She sounds like a pretty cool woman. Apparently she married and divorced her first husband, Clyde Jones, twice. That’s from Wikipedia. She also had lots of careers, ranging from hairdresser to police officer. She retired from working at the State of Texas in Mental Health and Mental Retardation (MHMR as we call it today, to avoid the unpleasant actual name).
You know she had to be strong to thrive for many years in Midland, Texas and raise a son who went to Harvard on scholarship. She also loved to crochet, according to her obituary, which makes me like her even more.
She’s buried along with Mr. Braden in Milano. It’s amazing what you can find out on the internet these days. Thanks to Mandi for finding out about this bit of history.
We got all our necessary permits. Since then, we have been waiting for the rain to let up long enough for the little house we’ve bought to store things at the Hermit Haus to be delivered. That day has finally arrived, and Mandi and Lee had the fun of watching it get all set up.
Mandi said the installation went surprisingly smoothly, perhaps because they had a huge empty lot to put the building on. That’s a lot easier on a very large truck, wouldn’t you think? We located the cottage next to the covered carport, so offer some shade for parked cars, and to cover up a mysterious hole in the ground. Hole? What hole?
Things have been pretty quiet around here, but we do have one piece of good news: the first meeting in the upstairs part of The Hermit Haus will be held at the end of the month.
The organization is Milam Touch of Love (the link is to a website in progress; they can’t take donations until later in the week), which is an organization dedicated to helping get the animals in Milam County’s animal shelters/pounds adopted. They also will be raising money to help the city shelters with needed supplies, such as food, blankets, heartworm protection, and eventually, spaying and neutering.
Sue Ann’s on the board for the organization, so she offered up our facility for the first Annual Meeting, now that it’s all organized and has proper paperwork. Now we will have to get that place all cleaned and vacuumed! There’s plenty of time, of course.
We are excited to be able to give back to the community and help the abandoned and abused animals aroud here. As the owner of three dogs who were dumped on their rural property, one dog adopted from the Cameron Pound, and caretakers of some of the many wandering cats of the city of Cameron, Lee, Sue Ann, and Mandi know first-hand that there is a real need.
Want to Come?
If you live anywhere in Milam County and want to help the animals, you’re welcome to join us on Thursday, May 30, from 7-9 pm at 411 W. Main in Cameron. You’ll be able to become members of Milam Touch of Love, learn about volunteer opportunities, and meet some really great people.
Want to Meet Them Sooner?
Scratch that! The festival has been rescheduled for August, due to the bad weather we’ve been having. Milam Touch of Love will have a booth at this Saturday’s Cameron Fun Fest and Barbecue Shootout. There will be adoptable dogs and friendly people to chat with. We assume the dogs will not be near the shootout and more near the fun fest.Share 0
Mostly what I found out was that the church went through a LOT of ministers. Of course, I was looking at an eight-year span, so that should not be a surprise. My favorite one’s name was Harsh Brown. The newspaper kindly explained that Harsh is a “family name.”
The current building replaced a wood one in 1935, under the direction of Rev. Grove, who also doubled the church membership during the 5 years he led the congregation. Here’s the cool part: The whole thing cost $6,000!
I learned that the church used a nearby house as Sunday School rooms for a time, starting in 1959. I wonder if it was the house next door? The article from the Herald on October 26, 1959 said it was on Gillis St., but the next-door Rossen house faced College Ave. Maybe someone will remember that. There was a house on Gillis next-door to the Rossen house, so that could have been it, too.
I also learned that the carport where we park our cars was added in 1969. I wonder if the one that’s there is the original? I wonder so much about this building!
But, the best thing I found, by far, was an actual photograph of what the church looked like in the 1980s. This picture was in a 1983 edition of the Herald. You can see they had not yet added the brick sign, and had only one cross in front. Also notably missing is the steeple. It looks more Art Deco without the steeple on it. I think our renovation may be bringing it back to its past! I’ll be sure to pass this picture on to our architect!
One more thing you can easily spot is the Rossen House, still happily sitting behind the church. The big wall of the industrial building next door was already there, though. I think you can see a little bit of the Gillis House in the far back. I wish I could see if the basement windows were there at this point or not. I’m still hoping we can find other photos in the museum in the town when Melanie at the Chamber of Commerce and I take a field trip over there. We may learn even more.