Sunday, November 13, 2011

Montague, Texas

It was a cloudy and blustery day that greeted us as we wended our way to Montague (pronounced "MON-tayg"), Texas.  Montague is the north central Texas County Seat of; you guessed it, Montague County named after Daniel Montague, a surveyor of the area. Not a very populous county. In 938 square miles, the population was estimated at 19,117. About 400 of those live in the town of Montague the same number that were there in 1880. How weird is that?

Of course, when you get there, you can see the town and the County for that matter, have not changed much. Very little progress has taken place and a view of downtown Montague speaks volumes as to the state of small town Texas. The only building of substance is the Courthouse. A really well cared for building built back in 1912 by Architect George Burnett in the Classical Revival style.

It is the fourth courthouse since the first in 1885 when the town was founded. Montague was a point on the Chisholm Trail and an important transportation hub at its Red River Station on the border of the then Indian Territories (Oklahoma). When we took the picture of downtown, the only thing missing was a tumbleweed rolling across the street. It certainly was windy enough.

When we got there we (well..I) was hungry but the only café in town was closed so we decided to head back to the town of Bowie, Texas (like in Jim Bowie) to see if there was anything to eat there.

On the way out of town, we encountered a cool assemblage of Windmills. Custom Water Co. LLC had a shop across the road where we could plainly see pieces and parts of different types of windmills (yes, Dana, I checked, they were closed and I didn’t spot any water pumps). Note the number of Aeromotor windmills whizzing around in the brisk south wind.

We entered the town of Bowie, which, I must say, is a far more bustling place than Montague. Bowie, named after Texas Revolution hero Jim Bowie back in 1882, had lots of traffic rolling through the historic downtown area. Bowie is the most populous city in Montague County.We arrived, adding to the ambience, to the blare of a locomotive rolling over the crossing right through the middle of downtown. I spotted a busy café on the raised boardwalk,  “Sweet Boys” Diner.

The menu had all the Texas mainstays like bar-b-que beef, pulled pork and chicken but some other, “feel-good” foods like fried ochre, green beans and a pretty good selection of seafood like Mahi Mahi from “Costal waters” (they need to get the spell checker out next time). A little trivia.  Mahi Mahi  is commonly referred to by its Hawaiian name but is also referred to as lampuga, lampuka, calitos, maverikos, dorado and “Dolphin Fish,” leading to some confusion in that it is not Dolphin but a ray-finned fish common to temperate oceans around the world.

We decided on the Beef Rib Special, which came with two sides and some pretty melt-in-your-mouth rolls. The Ribs were fall off the bone good but had a little too much “smoke” flavor to them for my discriminating palate (yeah, right), which kind of overwhelmed the beef taste we were craving. We could even smell the wood smoke on our clothes when we got back to the car. But a great and reasonably priced meal all around. The service was pretty good too.

As the newly shortened day grew darker, we fired up the Rogue and programmed Patty for the long ride home. Thankfully, more rain greeted us that evening feeding thirsty Texas as we fend off our prolonged drought.