Could Medicine Mound
Texas' most interesting ghost town?
Medicine Mound Museum
is to the staff of Texas Escapes. Three reasons that come to mind are: #1 It doesn't
mind being called a ghost town. It is what it is and it's certainly not pretentious
(if it ever was). It is proud of it's fascinating history - but while many former
towns are proud - Medicine Mound can boast
having the most affectionate and charming overseer any town could ask for in the
form of Myna Potts (reason #2). |
Photo courtesy Teresa Byrd, 2006
| If the first two
reasons are not enough, then let us include Myna's helpers, John and Geri Bates.
If you think you're in "good hands" with your choice of insurance companies -
their logo only has two hands - while Medicine
Mound has six capable hands. Our correspondence with the town's caretakers
included letters from Myna - from which we assembled the following "interview."
"We surely are a bit off the beaten track, but it is the track our fathers picked
long ago. Now [TxDoT] chose a spot on Hwy 287 to build a wonderful rest stop,
to view the mounds to the south.
Medicine Mound Museum |
Photo courtesy Geri Bates, 2006
W.W. Cole Building|
Photo courtesy Geri Bates, 2006
| I own the store (now
the museum), which was my fathers grocery store. He died in 1966. The Cole building
was originally the bank, drugstore and post office. Only these two buildings now
survive. I have part of each business' fixtures. Now these two buildings were
built in 1933 because the town burned. The original town buildings were wooden.
The solid granite round rocks were brought from Oklahoma and are actually prehistoric
I always knew I wanted to do something with the buildings and as
I worked with Bill Neal while he did his book on the area, it occured to me there
would never again be such a collection of area pictures. I included those that
were donated or were in my collection - and those that were not donated I had
photocopied. So this is how it started.
York Steam Laundry"|
Medicine Mound old photo courtesy Teresa Byrd, restored
by John Bates
| I have not sought
publicity since I have always been very low key. I really want RURAL AMERICA to
be kept in place. I am 79 and know I can not continue as I have in the past. I
did quite a few things in the past. The first Saturday in November I cooked turkeys
and ham and friends brought dishes and we had a feast. Now John Bates is taking
the "Bull by the Horns". |
Yes, I have never been far from Medicine Mounds.
I have been to a few places but MM has always been home. Now, I will tell you
that I am from the generation where your parents picked and chose your friends.
I remember slipping off to one family's home - they had wooden floors and no linoleum,
but it was very clean. All the family had lovely voices, and they could sing as
well as play musical instruments. Such talent! - and what fun to go there.
Mound Museum old bottles display|
Photo courtesy John Bates, 2006
hat and hat box. Medicine Mound Museum Display|
Photo courtesy John Bates,
| My plans for the
future? To keep Medicine Mound together and to fit into this world of tomorrow.
I have had opportunties to split up the collection, but [the interested parties]
have only wanted the "keepers." It's true some things could go, but for the present
I'll keep the things together which represent the rural America I knew."|
Myna Potts, November 2006