Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Captain W. C. Tyrrell - Thanks for your generous gift!!!

I love riding in Tyrrell Park.  It is a beautiful place...wide open spaces for picnics, games of basket ball, a circle road to ride bikes on, a beautiful golf course, bucolic scenes of horses grazing in the paddocks at the stable, gorgeous gardens and community room and a conservatory.  There is an old community building in the middle of the park that once was a social whirl of dances and parties.  The woods border the road and stable.  Cattail Marsh is on one side and Willow and Hildebrandt Bayous border the park on two sides. 

Even though it is in the city it is like being way out in the country...and it was a gift to Beaumont from Captain W. C. Tyrrell.  He donated 500 acres for the park on May 22, 1920.  He was born in Iowa and moved to Texas were he was instrumental in the building of Port Arthur and Beaumont. 

His very generous gift has given me hours of recreational pleasure.  Right in the city I can be in another world...riding through the woods where I have seen opposums, racoons, rabbits, hogs, coyotees, an owl, otters, turtles of various sizes, snakes of all kinds, alligators from the very small to the very large, ducks of all kinds, hawks, eagles, water birds with pretty pink foliage, birds of all kinds, fish jumping out of the water, muskrats and I am sure I am forgetting some species!!  Gorgeous flowers, fragrant vines like honeysuckle, and good grief, HUGE spiders!!! 

Here are some excepts I found about Tyrrell Park:

"Jun. 25--BEAUMONT -- The Tyrrell Park recreation building, still out of commission after Hurricane Rita's destruction, stands silent, dark and a little ragged around the edges. But the building is steeped in the history of Beaumont. It's been the site of weddings, anniversaries and class reunions for thousands of Beaumont residents. And, for a brief period, it was home to about 200 German soldiers. During World War II, the facility was converted to a prisoner of war camp to house the overflow of prisoners of war. Here the German POWs slept on cots, tasted the Cajun-laced cuisine of Southeast Texas and endured the onslaught of vicious hordes of swamp mosquitoes. Here they rested at the end of a long day of farm labor. The prisoners provided much-needed agricultural support during years when the region's young men were busy in jobs supporting the war effort or fighting overseas, according to The Enterprise archives. The Civilian Conservation Corps built the recreation center between 1935 and..." 

From Beaumont Enterprise:
"During the Great Depression, Schaumburg, an Army reserve officer, led the Civilian Conservation Corps' effort to develop Tyrrell Park. "
I will look around and see if I can find some old pictures of the community center.  I am sure it was a magical place in its heyday!!!

I have done a number of weddings at Tyrrell Park and the gardens are perfect for a wedding....and perfect for me to go riding in.  Thanks to Captain Tyrrell's generous gift, paradise is just 8 miles from the barn. 

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