to San Jacinto after 67 Years
(with a mention
of Mr. Martin's Monumental Star)
Text and Photos by Ken Rudine
Buffalo Bayou meets the San Jacinto River is the hallowed battleground
where Texas's Independence was won from Mexico in 1836. Between 1936
and 1939, a 570 foot tall obelisk was constructed to honor those men
and memorialize their victory. This San
Jacinto Monument was a continuously poured reinforced concrete
structure faced with Texas Limestone. Back then this site was 23 miles
from my house where I was born and raised.
parents took my brother and me to the top of the monument upon its
completion. The workers who built the star on top of the San Jacinto
Monument included our neighbor Mr. Martin. He lived 2 houses away
from us and I knew him and his wife as a couple who had 2 chow dogs.
Mr. Martin had a swarthy complexion, coal black hair and may have
been a native Indian like many high steel workers.
(center) with father and brother 1939
in same place in 2006
Jacinto Monument, 20 miles east of downtown Houston, is off Hwy
225 and technically in Deer Park Texas. Now surrounded by petro-chemical
plants and refineries there is no trace of the original San Jacinto
Inn, a world famous seafood restaurant. That restaurant had only moving
air for comfort during its heyday which was from about 1939 to 1959.
Refurbishing of the monument began back in the 1980's. I have revisited
to find there is $1.00 per person charge to enter the grounds. My
wife paused from her chocolate bar, mentioned to the lady we were
on assignment from TE and she waived the charge (indicating the appreciation
of potential publicity or chocolate).
of the Texas Revolution written in stone
advance portrayed on the monument base.
|A highly condensed
history of the development of Texas industries.
there were roads along each side of the reflection pool. They have
been removed and circuitous road leads you from the southwest to approach
the monument. The main floor to the left is a free museum and to the
right houses a 25 minute film (fee). Entering the old front entrance
proceeding straight ahead is the elevator to the top ($4.00). It is
a one minute trip to the air conditioned observation room. Stay as
long as you like at a level of 489 feet, high enough to see the curvature
of the earth.
is the monument facing northwest? A casual observer might guess it
is looking toward the Battleship
Texas but if I know my Texas History it is facing Washington-On-The-Brazos,
75+ miles as the crow flies, due northwest - "The First and Last Capitol
of The Republic of Texas".
Book Your Hotel Here &