On my recent trip to South Texas my father wanted to stop our caravan and visit the King Ranch, which is the largest ranch in the world with over 1 million acres of land. The next two bus tours were full, so we browsed the exhibits and read about the ranch in a small museum that they have on the property. We decided to see a twenty minute film about the King Ranch, the King family, their Santa Gertrudis cattle and Triple Crown winning race horses. Near the end of the film the narrator documents the King family donating the land and platting the new town of Kingsville, Texas to be a new rail hub and headquarters for the St. Louis, Brownsville and Mexico Railroad. Vintage photos were shown of an imposing railway station and headquarters for the fledgling railroad.
EUREKA, I thought that I had found a lost Louis S. Curtiss building! I recognized the structure as a Louis Curtiss building right away. And knowing that Curtiss had designed several railroad stations reinforced my resolve. I immediately asked the Museum personnel for the location of the train station, which they showed me on a city map. We drove there, family caravan in tow, and much to my disappointment there sat a rather conventional brick train station with wide overhangs. Not the building that I had hoped to find.
BUT there was one clue there that mad me think that I was not completely off base. There in front of this rather unremarkable train station sat a series of unusual Prairie Style Urns. Unusual, in that they were vertically proportioned... They were almost in the style of Arts and Crafts, Teco art pottery and very eclectic. Eclectic is the word most often used to describe the work of Louis S. Curtiss. Maybe I was on to something.
More to come....
3 weeks ago