School Program Friday, October 17

Tomorrow, I’ll be presenting my Civil War program in the library at the Alba-Golden ISD with Lori Hooten, a wonderful and committed librarian. I’m sure I’ll post a photo or two of my trip.

I love East Texas and this community is no exception. The city of Alba (once a coal town, believe it or not) is known as “The Little City with a Big Heart!”  Alba has a website here and it says this of the history of the town:

“The town of Alba is a pioneer town with history that goes back to 1841, when Joseph Simpkins, a gunsmith, settled with his family. By 1881 the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroad came through Alba and the following year the Town site was laid out. By 1884, the population had grown to 50 people and then rose to 300 people by 1896. The town incorporated in July 1909. Lignite coal was discovered in the area around the turn of the century and by 1911 mines were producing 20,000 tons of coal per month. With this increase in the economy, Alba grew to a population of nearly 1,500 people. By the late 1920’s a record high population of nearly 2,000 was reported as residing in Alba. The Great Depression and the closing of the mines in 1940 dealt a severe blow to the community and the population declined to what it is today, somewhere around 430 people. However, the creation of Lake Fork Reservoir and the ease of transportation to US Highway 69 is providing an incentive for economic opportunity and development again in the community of Alba.”

There is a Wild Hog Cooking contest in April, with prize money awarded! I love to eat wild game, but I’ve yet to eat decent wild pig. However, I bet these cooks can do it.

Monroe Celtic Festival

Tom, Mary, and I are busy practicing and preparing for the Northeast Louisiana Celtic Festival, October 25-26. The festival has a grand website. You can find out all about it here: