A New Beginning

For years, the community has accepted that the Payne Gap Cemetery officially started in 1905 based on a deed from W.F. Hearne to trustees of the Payne Gap School District that transferred four acres to expand the school’s campus. However …

Mills County in Wikipedia

About a month ago while attending the Mills County Historical Commission meeting, I visited the then current Wikipedia article about Mills County, and I was surprised at how anemic it was. …

Once Upon a Time, 5,000 years ago …

Late last year, we hosted Del Barnett, Archeology Steward, Texas Historical Commission, who spent the day with us completing an archeological survey of the Duncan Ranch. Our day started at the Payne Gap Schoolhouse, where we spent some time analyzing the fossil life in the stone walls. We also dug around the environs of the schoolhouse looking for evidence of the original, wooden schoolhouse that burned in 1938 (more details of this event included in

Glenn Dale Duncan, 1934-2022

lenn Dale Duncan, 87, passed away in the early morning of March 15, 2022, at Goldthwaite Health and Rehabilitation. Dale was born at his parents’ home in Payne Gap, Texas, on November 23, 1934, to Orbie Duncan and Willie “Bill” Duncan. He was an only child, but he grew up with a close extended family …

Fire Nor Man Wants to Die

Around noon on March 14, 2022, I noticed a flurry of activity near the fence surrounding our wind project’s lay down and operations and maintenance areas. I soon realized that some workers had started a blaze. Seconds later, it was out of control, tearing its way toward the northeast and moving as fast as liquid …

Deep Beauty

In 2019 Swift Current Energy collected a large number of geological core samples in preparation for the Castle Gap Wind Project, which will start construction in 2022. In August 2019 we were asked by the project developer to store the samples in the schoolhouse until they were no longer needed. We kept about ninety boxes until early January 2021, when the developers notified us that they no longer needed them. In early January 2022 we

100 Million Years Ago

I have always been fascinated by the ridge of boulders to the north of my dad’s house in Payne Gap. I suspected that some dramatic tectonic event caused part of the hill to slide down, exposing all those large rocks, and apparently I was on the right track. I reached out to Linda Ruiz McCall, Information Geologist and Resource Center Manager at the University of Texas Bureau of Economic Geology, who shared the quoted text

Those at Rest

The most thorough resource for finding out who is buried at the Payne Gap Cemetery is Find-a-Grave, and we enjoy contributing information to to the site. For those new to the history of the cemetery, the first interred there is Laura E. Carswell, who died in 1889. In fact, her monument states, “the first burried [sic] at the Gap.” Laura was married to John Jacob Carswell, according to Find-a-Grave. Patsy Blasdell, a living relative, recounts,

Bill Duncan Quilt

Jeffrey and I found this double-knit quilt top that Willie “Bill” Duncan (Sam’s grandmother) made years ago in an old quilt box that we uncovered while cleaning out the schoolhouse. I love the black “X” in the center (eye of the storm?) surrounded by green blocks, and I love the way the quilt blocks play with the stone pattern of the schoolhouse wall in the photo above. Nice work, Nannie!