The Burton Cotton Gin/Museum & Antique Rose Emporium - April 27, 2007

On April 27 in the morning we visited the Burton Cotton Gin/Museum, and in the afternoon stopped at the Antique Rose Emporium near Independence.

Linda Russell, the Museum Administrator, gave us an excellent 'show and tell' covering the planting, picking, ginning and final processing/accessing of cotton. The Burton Gin is the oldest 2-story cotton gin in America and is recognized as a Texas Historical Landmark. Although it closed officially in 1974, it still comes alive the 3rd weekend in April for the annual Burton Cotton Gin Festival. A short video taken during past festivals showed our group the many operational aspects.

The actual walk-through of the Farmer's Gin building was done by 74-year-old docent Grover Williams. He was nothing less than a walking-talking history book of a bygone era when cotton was king. He escorted us through the entire building, going over various processes, from the starting of the Bessemer Type IV oil engine whose 50-foot driveshaft runs 4-5 steps of the process, to the final baling steps. We went into the Wehring shoe shop also, where he explained the uses of many practical hand tools and several leathers.

Unfortunately, at the Antique Rose Emporium, the peak rose (and other Texas wildflowers) display season was about 2-3 weeks ago. We took a group picture in front of an onsite pond.

On our return trip (from inside the bus) we saw the homesite of Sam Houston and his family, and in a field grazing monastery miniature horses.