With the racket of a trees going down around the Compound, I figured it’d be a good idea to drive off in search of Texas. And I found a bit of it, in Irene, Hill County.
|The Post Office, Irene|
Irene, named after a prominent townsman’s daughter in 1878, was originally known as Zollicoffer’s Mill, in honor of Edwin Zollicoffer, who settled there in 1848. At it’s peak in the first two decades of the last century, the town boasted some 400 souls, the railway, a post office, a school, a store and as many as 10 businesses.
|2nd Street, Irene|
Today the railway is gone, along with the store, the businesses and most of the people, but the post office remains. You get the feeling, as you explore Irene, that it’s really a farm which happens to have several houses on it.
|No Trespassing in Irene|
Sheep graze across the road from an abandoned store, and round bales lay in lines in the sun behind the post office, which faces what looks like a cattle operation of some sort.
|1st Street, Irene|
That’s not to say that the town’s dead, or especially ruinous, despite the abandoned trailer home next to the Windstream junction shed. No, it’s just very small and right there in the middle of the farms. Perhaps it is a farm, to all intents and purposes.
There’s a small cemetery outside of town. It was sad to see the children’s graves and I reflected on the character of the people who lived through the death of their infants. I feel they were made of stern stuff; I doubt that they had much choice in that.
I like Irene, even though it doesn’t have a pub or a store.
God bless Texas,