Sulphur Springs historian John Sellers said Tuesday he has some new sights and, maybe, a surprise or two for the Downtown Business Alliance History by Foot tour Saturday morning.
Sellers has led a number of these popular historic walks.
“This is actually my fourth one,” Sellers said. “I knew it was something that a lot of cities do, and I thought it was great idea when I brought it to the Downtown Business Alliance. I've been shocked at the popularity.”
For every walk, Sellers brings some new bit of history to his presentation.
“What's the most exciting thing about this walk is it will be the first one since the completion of the square,” he said. “In the previous walks, I've not spent much time on the square. I've talked about it, but have been avoiding construction.”
The History by Foot walk Saturday will start at the flag pole at the center of the square. One tour starts at 9 a.m., and the second at 10:45 a.m.
“I'm going to show my cistern site and talk about each side of the square, what used to be there and some of the events that occurred on the square,” he said. “We probably spend a good portion of the tour on the square.”
Sellers says the upcoming tour will follow a different path from those previous walks.
“We are going to go up Gilmer Street at least about a block and talk about some of the really important buildings in that first block or two of Gilmer,” he explained. “We will take a right on Tomlinson and go down an alley, it's just a walk to get to a place I haven't been — the Spring Lot.”
The Spring Lot, the “cradle of Sulphur Springs,” according to Sellers, has been cleaned up and should make a pleasant stop for the walk.
“We will talk about the beginnings and what we can see,” Sellers said. “We've kind of been over by the Stockade, before but this time I am going to be down on the Spring Lot.”
The tour will then turn north on Davis and turn on Main Street.
“Main Street always has a lot to see,” he said. “I want to go back to Main Street and talk a little bit, again, about what's happening on that street.”
The History by Foot tours do not always focus on buildings, but Sellers provides information about people, different time periods and events that have occurred within the area.
Sellers says his stories are true and come from his knowledge of Sulphur Springs, and every tour is different.
A new feature of this walk will be a visit to a century-old sign recently uncovered on Church Street.
“What we discovered, that actually was an outside wall for probably 20 years,” he said of the sign's location. “That kind of dates [sign], I know the buildings around it were built about 1910.”
The sign advertising a brand of cigar is remarkably preserved.
“They built the thing, they put plaster over it and that's how they preserved it,” he said. “That sign is a hundred years old. Those are Havana cigars that were very popular at the turn of the 20th century.”
Sellers said he also learned this week some new things about the buildings in that block of Church Street.
There may even be some surprises included in this History by Foot walk.
Tickets for the walk are $10 each and are available at Alliance Bank, City National Bank and the Genealogical Society Library, 212 Main St.
Sellers there is still space available for the 9 a.m. tour, and the 10:45 a.m. tour is filling quickly.
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