Community Feature – Peeltown, TX


The story below was first published in The Terrell Tribune in 2012.  It is the first in a series of short features about what remains of some of Kaufman County’s small communities, some of which are almost lost to history.

It would be easy to breeze through the intersection of Kaufman County roads 4074 and 3094 without much thought, but the oddly curvy shape of what was once a thriving store and gas station hints at a time when this spot was a stopping point.
The 13-mile journey to Kaufman has been shortened by better roads and automobiles, but at one time, the community of Peeltown thrived.

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Community Feature – Frog


The story below was first published in The Terrell Tribune in 2012.  It is the first in a series of short features about what remains of some of Kaufman County’s small communities, some of which are almost lost to history.

FROG — The residents who can recollect the historical significance of the community of Frog hope it doesn’t become history itself.

The close-knit community just south of U.S. Highway 80 about a mile east of Elmo has never exactly been bustling, but its decline in population and commerce suggests an area whose most prosperous days are in the past.

Currently, there are few reminders that the eastern Kaufman County community with the bizarre name even exists. Only a designator on a sign above Shady Grove Cemetery on County Road 316 bears the Frog name.
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Sadler’s Crumbzz Cakes have a history of their own


J Stephen Sadler is a long way from his days as a chef in Manhattan, N.Y.
That is bad for people there who grew to love his fine epicurean delights. But it is good for people who live near Crumbzz in downtown Forney.
Sadler first served up The Sadler Crumb Cake in the tiny Hudson Valley hamlet of Highland Falls in his native New York state.
The crumb cakes were an area secret until 2001, when New York City resident Chuck Deller had one.
Deller took news of the cakes back to New York City and soon there were lines of what Sadler refers to as “cakers” lining up for a taste at  his second location in Manhattan.
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Call of the Wild – Cedar Mountain Lodge


In 2007, tragedy changed the lives of Art and Cheryl Browning forever.

Their 8-year-old son, Hunter, was tagging along with his older brother on a routine inspection of the perimeter fence surrounding the family’s rural 550-acre property near Scurry when their all-terrain vehicle suddenly flipped, trapping the youngster underneath and suffocating him.

His death came as the Brownings were in the process of constructing what is now Cedar Mountain Lodge as a location for hosting outdoor weddings and receptions, and suddenly the entire project was thrown into limbo.

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July 4 wrap-up

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Kaufman County celebrated Independence Day 2013 in fine fashion, and the weather cooperated nicely for all of the major community events.

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Character Counts – Terrell First Assembly of God Adopt-A-Block

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Bright and early on any Wednesday morning, there is a flurry of activity around Terrell’s First Assembly of God Church.

Spread out over much of two city blocks, volunteers turn the church’s parking lot, gymnasium and a house into a massive assembly line to distribute tons of fresh food items to people in need.

“It’s a really big group, with 20 or more people on Wednesday mornings, and a lot that help throughout the week,” said Maxcine Miller, who coordinates the operation for the church. “We have retired people, church members, some of the clients and a lot of people who just want to be helpful. Some of them work here every day of the week, and together they are the ones who make it possible.”
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The Adopt-A-Block food pantry has grown immensely from the humble beginnings of the church’s effort to make a difference in its neighborhood more than a decade ago.

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Where will you celebrate Independence Day?

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It has been my experience that the people of Kaufman County can be described as patriotic and fun-loving, so it stands to reason that our Independence Day celebrations tend to be great.  If you haven’t made plans already, here are a few places you may want to enjoy some fireworks, spend time with friends and family, and hopefully make some time to reflect on the history and people that made our country what it is.

If I’ve left an event off the list, please add it in the comments.

June 29

Forney- Lots to do at the Forney central park.  Concerts at the Spellman Amphitheater start at 6 p.m. with artists Railhead and Roger Creager.  Fireworks at 9:15.  Looks like on-site tickets for the concert is $17.50, but all of the activities in the park are free.  I heard good things about this event last year.  Facebook event page.

Seagoville- OK, just outside of Kaufman County, but close enough.  Free music by BackTrak at Bruce Central Park (you know, the prison park.)  Some sort of giant water slide setup is apparently in the works, $10 for unlimited sliding.  I live close to this one and have been regularly….  not the biggest fireworks display you’ve ever seen, but for a smaller community event it is a lot of fun and plenty of space to spread out a blanket.  I suppose you could bring a fishing pole and see what you can pull out of the pond.  City event page.

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Summer Fun in Kaufman County

Summer is in full swing, which means annual vacations and getaways are in the works.But residents of Kaufman County don’t need to travel to Dallas or other big cities for summer fun. There are plenty of places to visit that are close to home.

Whether it’s enjoying homemade treats from a family orchard, playing a round or two of miniature golf, dropping by a petting zoo or getting back in touch with nature, there is an array of options for summer trips within Kaufman County from which to choose.

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Cook’s Corner: Molly Cannon of Crandall

When it comes to cooking, for Molly Cannon it is truly a family affair.
“I come from a long line of people who always loved to cook,” said Cannon, a native of Crandall. “My mother, grandmother and aunt all were great cooks. My husband cooks. My son cooks. It’s just something we all love to do.”
Along with her own homegrown culinary skills, Cannon’s husband, Roger, is co-owner of First and Goal BBQ while her son, Andrew, has a culinary degree.
“We like to cook, and we do it a lot,” Cannon said. “I recently saw a sign that read, ‘To cook for someone is the same as loving someone.’ I think that’s just perfect. After all, when you cook something for someone, you truly are showing them that you love and appreciate them.”
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Kicking off a new era

If football in Texas is king, then football coaches are often treated like royalty.

As new leaders take over half of the eight varsity football programs in the county, they each bring different styles and backgrounds to their new schools, with the common goal of success both on and off the field.
Each comes to Kaufman County from the outside — North Forney High School’s Lance Gary was the head coach at Gainesville, Terrell High School’s Kevin Wilson was the defensive coordinator at Stephenville, Crandall High School’s Todd John was an assistant coach at Highland Park and Mabank High School’s Jared Wingfield was the offensive coordinator at Port Neches-Groves.
Whether it’s transitioning a winning program into a new classification, rebuilding virtually from scratch, or turning a small town into a consistent winner, each of the new coaches will face different challenges and will be in the spotlight as their respective teams take the field in 2012.

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