Local history and Harvest Moon as good a combination as chips and hot sauce



Hood County’s history includes ghost stories, so it seems appropriate that the rededication ceremony for the restored courthouse will be on the same weekend as the spooktacular Harvest Moon Festival just before Halloween.

Mary Sutton, a member of the Hood County Historical Commission and a county staffer who frequently gives visitors tours of the courthouse, sat down with the Hood County News this week at Mi Familia for quesadillas and a history lesson (she taught, we absorbed).

The rededication ceremony will be at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27, in the second floor courtroom of the courthouse. Big-wigs will be there, including state Sen. Brian Birdwell and state Rep. Jim Keffer. Members of the Hood County Historical Commission will be dressed in period costumes and will give tours and answer questions.

Sutton has always had a bent for history, but got involved locally back in 1998, when her daughter told her that volunteers were needed at the old jail museum just off the square. She also helped out with history camps for kids taught by historians Karen Nace and Diane Locke. Her involvement led to a position in the county judge’s office, and service on the county Historical Commission.

Sutton encourages locals to buy copies of the book “Hood County History in Picture and Story” from Granbury Printing. Proceeds fund scholarships through the Woman’s Wednesday Club. And if anyone is interested in serving on the Hood County Historical Commission, now is the time to pipe up.

“We need to submit names (to the Commissioners Court) for 2013,” Sutton said.

With the important stuff out of the way, Sutton addressed the following kind-of-related-to-history questions:

Do you believe that some of Hood County’s historic buildings are haunted?

“I have never had any personal experience, but I know rational people who have had experiences they can’t explain in some of those old buildings. Last Saturday, one of those ghost hunting groups was at the old jail. There was a young seaman whose ship had been sunk, and there is a little display case at the old jail with some of his personal effects. His ship was sunk by a German submarine. They (ghost hunters) unscrewed the tops of flashlights and they put a flashlight on the display case, and the light came on. It was going on and off to questions when it was sitting on that display case.”

If we paid you twenty bucks, would you spend the night by yourself at the old jail?

“Sure! I’ve never felt uncomfortable there. It would be a good conversation starter.”

Of the alleged ghosts in Hood County, which is your favorite?

“I like the little girl. There was a photography shop upstairs in one of the buildings on the square, where people could dress up in period costumes. The owners came in one morning and found all the costumes were not where they should be. When they developed the film, there was a little girl. I’ve seen the picture. You can tell it was a little girl.”

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