Wales visits Dimmit County and historic sites
Oct 03, 2012 | 1096 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
DIMMIT — The Texas Tropical Trails group of 31 people, including Bart Wales, museum curator, visited Dimmit County recently. Also included with the group were 16 guests representing 20 cities or communities and 11 counties as well as Guerrero, Coahuila, Mexico.

The first stop was at the Kings Highway Camino Real Old San Antonio Road marker in on Highway 83 in Catarina.

In 1918 the Daughters of the American Revolution dedicated over 100 pink granite markers, roughly every five miles along the route. The Kings Highway Camino Real Old San Antonio Road marker was originally located on a private ranch, but was relocated to Catarina.

The group then toured Dimmit and the Dimmit County Courthouse.

Named for one of the framers of the Texas Declaration of Independence, Dimmit County was created from four other counties in 1858. Organized in 1880, Carrizo Springs was chosen as the county seat.

On Nov. 12, 1883, the county commissioners court chose noted architect Alfred Giles to design a permanent courthouse for Dimmit County. Later that month, on Nov. 26, the court reversed its decision and selected J.C. Breeding & Sons of San Antonio to act as both architects and builders.

Probably working from Giles’ initial plans, they erected a structure which featured a double gallery porch. The building’s cubical form and Italianate detailing resemble Giles’ designs for other Texas courthouses erected about the same time.

By the 1920s, the thriving Dimmit County needed a larger government facility. The commissioners court called in Henry T. Phelps to design an expansion.

The architectural character of the Dimmit County Courthouse was transformed from a simplified Italianate style of the late 1880s to the restrained Classicism popular in the 1920s.

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