Focus on architecture
Photo and painting contests are under way to capture the importance of Temple's historic structures. The deadline for both contests is March 31.
FLASHBACK: Back in the day, shoppers from south of town Tangoed to Temple.
Temple High choir members Terry Austin and Josh Liller both earned All-State honors.
Holy Trinity Catholic High School to hold Open House.
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WEDNESDAY JANUARY 19, 2022
Temple artist Susan Sterle paints the Moody Depot on a sunny day. Artist and photographers will have a chance to claim $300 prizes by earning the top spot in the Temple Community Treasures painting and photo contests. The subjects of the two events are historic buildings in Temple. Both contests are open and run through March 31. Winners will be announced in May.
By DAVID STONE, Our Town Temple
For the next three months, Temple’s historic buildings will be the focus of local photographers and artists.
The Temple Community Treasures photography and painting contests will be held in conjunction with National Preservation Month, which is held in May of each year. The contests began Jan. 1 and the deadline for filing entries is March 31.
The winners of both contests will be announced in May.
The purpose of the contests is to attract community attention to the importance of preserving historic buildings and community architectural assets.
The object is simple: Capture an image of a building you consider to be historically significant.
“We’re not using a set definition of ‘historic,’” said Main Street Project Manager Dan Kelleher. “Any older building that the entrant considers significantly historic is fine.”
In the past, some of the most photographed buildings have been the Kyle and Hawn hotels, the Arcadia Theater, Jupe Grain Elevator, the First Methodist Church sanctuary and all three railroad depots.
Photos must be printed on 8x10 photo paper and placed in a frame that is no larger than 11x14.
Compromised images created by blending exposures, combining photos, cloning or excessive blurring or contrasting will not be eligible.
In the painting contest, artwork can be created in-studio or at the site. Acceptable mediums are oil, acrylic, watercolor, pencil, pen and ink, pastel or mixed media.
Entries must not be larger than 16x20 and entrants must place the work in a frame no more than three inches larger than the artwork and make them ready to hang with a wire hanger.
Watercolors, pencil, pen and ink, and pastel works must be framed in glass.
Each contestant may submit up to three photos and/or paintings, and entries must be hand-delivered to the Discover Downtown Temple Office in the Historic Post Office, 101 N. Main Street, by 5 p.m. Thursday, March 31.
The back of the artwork should be labeled with the artist’s name, phone number, email address and the address of the building in the photo or painting.
The Photo Contest is sponsored by the Main Street Project and Extreme Clean of Temple. Main Street is sponsoring the Painting Contest along with Sterle Fine Art Studio. Prize money for both contests is being provided by Extreme Clean.
The first-place winners will each receive $300, second-place winners will take home $200 cash and third-place will get $100.
All entries in the Photo Contest and the top 20 entries in the Painting Contest will become part of a traveling exhibit and will be displayed in the Bell County Museum, the Czech Heritage Museum & Genealogy Center, and the Temple Railroad & Heritage Museum.
If the artist desires, their entries may be sold following the tour.
Digtal photographs also will be accepted, and they will be judged separately from the frame entries. A sole winner will be named from the digital contest and the winner will receive a first-place ribbon.
For additional information, entry forms and a copy of all the rules, contact Dan Kelleher at email@example.com for the Photo Contest and Susan Sterle at firstname.lastname@example.org for the Painting Contest.
FLASHBACK: THE TEMPLE TANGO TRAIN
Here’s a photo of the Santa Fe Depot shortly after it opened in 1911. A new rail service was added at the request of the Temple Chamber of Commerce in 1913 linking Temple and Somerville, and bringing in shoppers from the region south of Temple. The Chamber held a contest to name the new train.
By DENISE KARIMKHANI, special to Our Town Temple
Built in a Prairie-Beaux Arts style by Chicago architect Jarvis Hunt, Temple’s Santa Fe Depot opened for business in January 1911.
Constructed of brick and stucco, the two-story project was started in August 1909 but proceeded slowly because of various delays and painstaking attention to detail. An attractive feature of the depot was the long narrow loggia created by a series of large open arches, separated by heavy brick columns.
The depot contained a large main waiting room, ticket office, women’s restroom, a waiting room for blacks, storeroom, sales room, smoking room, baggage room, telegraph offices, a vault and offices for the trainmaster and railroad personnel.
Outfitted with the comfort and convenience of travelers in mind, the depot was furnished with comfortable leather chairs and settees highlighting its marble floors and green wainscoting.
The depot remained the “Queen of the Santa Fe Line” for nearly 80 years until passenger travel declined. In 1995, the city of Temple bought 8.76 acres of land surrounding the depot and the Santa Fe Railroad donated the building.
The following year, the Texas Department of Transportation awarded the city a $2.4 million grant for restoration, and the city invested another $1.6 million. Renovations were completed in 2000.
One of the early trains to service the depot was a new passenger/freight line from Temple to points south with an ultimate destination in Somerville. Requested by the Temple Chamber of Commerce, the train was approved, and railroad officials passed the naming of the infant train to city fathers.
A public contest was held to select a name that would “sound trippingly on the tongue and murmur voluptuously in the ears of the railway officials.”
A committee of five staid married men sorted through thousands of suggestions and when the envelope containing the word “tango” was opened, the committeemen “moved by some irresistible impulse at once began rhythmically moving around in their chairs” and they unanimously favored the selection of “tango.”
They wired the top five suggestions to W. S. Keenan, the Santa Fe agent at Galveston. The message was received and delivered at 3 a.m., and Keenan was awoken from a sound sleep. It was reported Keenan exhibited no hesitation in choosing his favorite and shot a message over the wire containing a single word — Tango.
No longer an orphan, the new train now had a name. The name was suggested by Miss Reba Robinson who received a prize of $10 in gold.
Infiltrating every level of society by 1913, the tango dance was either vilified or glorified. Some called it a disease; state legislatures considered banning it; it was blamed for the “lack of vim and action” in Congress; and Pope Pius X declared it immoral and off-limits to Catholics.
In contrast, many cities embraced the sultry dance enthusiastically and provided creative accommodations to keep up with the public demand for places to tango.
The tango inspired frocks, shoes, corsets, bloomers, veils, perfumes, hair tints, purses, fabrics and the names of colors (particularly oranges and reds). If people weren’t dancing the tango, they were talking about it, and the people of Bell County were no exception.
When the name of the new train service was announced, the Waco Morning News reported in August 1913 that no sooner had the labor unions of Waco put a ban on the name “tango” and others of similar character than “a great railway company immediately adjusts its iron heel to the neck of the honest laboring man and adopts the name ‘Tango’ for one of its passenger trains!”
The Austin American-Statesman reported, “Temple dispatch doesn’t say whether it is a midnight flyer, [but it is] bound to be fast.”
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram predicted that “even preachers will make use of this ‘Tango’” and those dignified persons who frowned on the new-fangled dance would be forced to do the tango after all if they elected to take the train.
The Temple Daily Telegram endorsed the name choice and called it ‘the right kind of tango’: “Unofficially it has come to the ears of the promoters of the voting contest that Tango is the name of a very popular dance. It is said that the chief characteristic of the dance, and in fact the characteristic which is signified by the name in its original language is to “come close together.”
If that be the interpretation, the name is well chosen — the train is designed for that very purpose, of bringing the people to the south of Temple into closer relationships, commercially, socially, and otherwise.
The train was christened and made its first run on Aug. 25, 1913. On its initial trip from Somerville, it carried 40 passengers in one car and 18 cars of lumber. A crowd of enthusiastic citizens gathered at the depot as the train rolled in at 10 o’clock.
A return trip left Temple at 5 p.m., arriving at its destination by 8:45 p.m. People who lived in Rogers and Heidenheimer were the most frequent users, and the postmaster reported the train facilitated mail service south as well.
When it was too wet to plow, farmers often rode the Tango to Temple to purchase needed supplies. Temple merchants promoted Dollar Days in September and the response was overwhelming. Customers waited in lines for stores to open and shopped until they dropped when stores closed at 6 p.m.
According to the Telegram, passengers, mostly women, were packed like sardines in two coaches and a combination car on the Tango train, and others arrived via the Katy line. Autos, buggies, and wagons were in force as those closer to town took advantage of the bargains.
Merchants were caught unaware and ill-prepared for the crowds, but they were happily surprised. The Tango train proved a real boon to merchants, and the newspaper’s alliterative slogan encouraged more business: “Take the Tango train to Temple, trader!”
During the severe flooding of December 1913, the trains were temporarily halted until repairs along the tracks at Cameron were made. Rumors circulated that the train was removed for good and when the Santa Fe office was inundated with anxious inquiries, they assured passengers the train would resume its normal schedule.
Passenger service resumed about the middle of the month, and the newspaper stated, “A little thing like a flood can’t compare to an overwhelming demand for the train.”
More than 200 people were transported to Temple on the Tango in the days leading up to Christmas 1913.
The Katy line and The Interurban brought additional folks who carried with them eggs, butter, and other perishables to sell at local markets. Muddy streets did not deter shoppers on Christmas Eve.
The Tango Train experienced at least two accidents in its lifetime. In December 1914, seven train cars derailed at Milano and thankfully there were no injuries.
In May 1915, the train wrecked at Coaldale between Cameron and Milano. A box car and a flat car of lumber were thrown from the track, but passengers in the rear of the train only felt a slight shock. The train remained popular, and locals hailed its reliability, punctuality and convenience.
In January 1915, Santa Fe Superintendent Hull was questioned about rumors that the Tango Train would be taken off the regular run between Temple and Somerville. After conducting a thorough investigation into the matter, the Telegram reported there was no foundation to the story: “Temple citizens worked hard to get the Tango, but they would gladly work harder to keep it on its regular run. According to railroad officials the Tango is a permanent fixture and nothing short of the most extraordinary circumstances would cause its annulment.”
After April 1916, the Tango Train all but disappeared from news reports. Did it fizzle out like the tango dance? No one seems to know.
THS assistant choir director Meagan Burt, all-state choir member Terry Austin, THS head choir director Cameron Roucloux, all stater Josh Liller and accompanist Dawna Mischtian are shown in the above photo.
THS duo named to All-State Choir
Two Temple High School students have earned All-State Choir recognition from the Texas Music Educators Association.
Terry Austin and Josh Liller both earned All-State honors and the duo will be recognized during the TMEA Convention in San Antonio in February.
Austin, a senior, earned All-State honors as a Tenor I. He is a three-year member of both Polyfoniks and the THS Meistersingers, and he also is active in the Theatre Arts program.
“I feel really blessed to have been selected to the All-State Tenor-Bass Choir,” Austin said. “I’ve worked so hard for the past three years toward this goal. Now that I have accomplished it, I feel motivated to work even harder and continue pushing myself toward my dream of becoming a music educator.”
Sophomore Josh Liller earned All-State honors as a Bass I. He is also a member of Polyfoniks and the Meistersingers. Liller is in his first year of singing with both choirs.
“I honestly hadn’t believed I would advance in the previous round of auditions, but I was ecstatic and surprised to see I had made Area as fourth chair,” Liller said. “I was as rigorous in my preparation as I was able to be, because I knew this could have a big impact on my options for the future. The one thing I was proudest of myself for doing was gathering confidence in myself for the audition and calming my nervous energy.”
The audition process started early in the fall with over 70,000 students auditioning for roles in the All-State Choir. Only 28 students are chosen in each category for spots on the honor choir.
“Being selected for the Texas All State Choir is the highest honor a choral student in the state of Texas can achieve,” said Cameron Roucloux, head director for Temple High School Choir Department.
“This process begins in July when these students go to camp to get a jump on the music for the following year,” he said. “Terry and Josh both placed in the top five chairs at both the region and pre-area rounds. The area round of auditions is by far the most competitive audition.”
“Our region competes with North Austin, up to South DFW, and over to Tyler,” Roucloux said. “This audition has 20 students who are competing for seven spots. Each of these students is top five from their own region. So, to have both Terry and Josh to make the choir is an incredible honor. This speaks to their hard work, dedication, and perseverance.”
“This is the first time since 2014 that this program has had two All State students in the same year,” he continued.
Austin and Liller will perform together in the TMEA Tenor-Bass Choir. The All-State Tenor-Bass Choir will perform on the final day of the TMEA Convention in San Antonio on Feb. 12.
Holy Trinity to hold Open House on Jan. 23
Our Town Temple
Holy Trinity Catholic High School will host its annual Open House on at 11 a.m. Jan. 23.
Tours of the campus will be available, as well as the opportunities to meet the faculty, staff and the school’s amazing students.
Holy Trinity offers a wide range of exciting clubs and sports. The clubs that will be represented during the Open House include Forensics, Interact, Pro-Life, Student Council and NHS (National Honor Society). Also, a multitude of sports will be represented including basketball, football, volleyball, soccer, tennis, swim, cross country, softball, baseball, golf, and track and field.
Over the last 25 years, Holy Trinity students have excelled in sports, clubs and academics.
Athletes have won many championships, and Forensics competitors have received hundreds of awards. Holy Trinity has placed in the top three among TAPPS 2A or 3A schools in the state academic meet every year since 2004, including winning 12 state academic titles.
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Partial road closure set for Wendland Road
A portion of Wendland Road, beginning on the south side of the Wendland/Moores Mill intersection, will close for about two months on Monday, Jan. 24.
This is part of the ongoing Outer Loop construction, which is a multi-phase project that will connect to Interstate 35 in North and South Temple. Detours will direct traffic around the closure.
For additional information, call the city of Temple Engineering Department at (254) 298-5660.
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