Welcome to Traveling Texas
My Goal to Visit and Photograph all 254 Texas Courthouses
New Page(s): Bee County, Fisher County, Scurry County, Borden County
New Post(s): An Update, Western High Plains – The Final Trip Day 1
“When I die, I may not go to Heaven. Well, I don’t know if they let cowboys in. If they don’t, just let me go to Texas, ’cause Texas is as close as I’ve been.” – Tanya Tucker
Comal County Courthouse, New Braunfels (41)
My name is Carson Crisp and I’m a high school student from Fort Worth, Texas. While I may attend a Fort Worth school, my home lies about forty miles to the southwest, in Acton. I’ve long admired Texas: its history, its culture, its geography, its music (but that’s not for this site), and its people. This is partly because I’m a native son and partly just because of the uniqueness of the state. All of my interests combined explains my intrigue with the Texas city, both big and small. Texas has a multitude of cities…and counties.
Texas has 254 counties, more than any other state.
In each county, there is a county seat, defined by the dictionary as: “the town or city in a county where the government offices and buildings are located.”
One such building is the county courthouse, often the jewel of the small town.
“Texas has more historic courthouses than any other state. Today more than 235 courthouses still stand that are least 50 years old. About 80 were built before the turn of the 20th century.” - Texas Historical Commission
Hopkins County Courthouse, Sulphur Springs (27)
So what’s this deal about courthouses?
One fall day in 2010, as if by chance, I took a visit with my dad to the Old Red Museum in downtown Dallas. Little did I know, until going through the museum on Dallas County history, that the building I was in was actually the historic courthouse, constructed in 1892. As we left, my dad brought out the camera and offered to take my picture.
He remarked, “It’d be neat to get your picture in front of all the Texas courthouses.” Little did I know there were 254 counties, each with a courthouse. Not all counties just have one, either. Some have multiple, like Dallas (an old and a new). I made it my goal from that point onward to get my picture taken at all 254.
Shackelford County Courthouse, Albany (94)
Eventually, I got the notion to document the experience, and over the year it took me to perfect this website, I developed a greater interest for courthouses. I became enthralled with these buildings, and the towns they represented. Not only did I want to get a picture of myself at each one, I wanted to get a picture, or pictures, of the buildings themselves. I found an interest within me for courthouse history and architecture, and from that point on I couldn’t stop.
The problem was the eighty or so courthouses I’d already been to, before I decided to fully photograph. As my courthouse project continues on, I’ve made it a secondary goal to revisit as many of those counties as necessary.
Because Acton is in Hood County, where the seat is the city of Granbury, the courthouse that represents me is a massive, Second Empire building. I have passed by this structure many, many times. Wesley Clark Dodson’s intimidating masterpiece was one of the first buildings to ever inspire me to appreciate beautiful architecture.
Hood County Courthouse, Granbury (254)
Throughout this project, I’ve kept the Hood County courthouse in mind. There are some courthouses that exceed it in terms of elegance, and some that it far diminishes.
What’s important, though, is what Texas’ courthouses stand for: the 254 different communities of people around the state. I’ve enjoyed being able to appreciate this along the journey. All of my experiences during this project: the good, the bad, the new courthouses, and the ‘redos’ are documented here on this website.
So click on “Courthouse Collection” and find a courthouse you’re familiar, along with one you’re not. There’s a lot to learn!
Thanks for Visiting and Welcome to Traveling Texas!
I’m happy you’re here.