Tour of the Town

Historian John Sellers ready to take us inside a 1930s home.
Historian John Sellers ready to take us inside a 1930s home.

Again, this is one more reason to live in a vibrant, middle sized town, like Sulphur Springs!  My friend, and local historian, John Sellers leads some of the most fascinating history tours about our community.

I recently enjoyed one of these that was absolutely over the top with fun!  It started with dinner at Coffee Off the Square, included a trolley tour, a tour of a historical home, and ended with dessert.  All this for $25!

A couple of times a year, John offers “History By Foot” tours of our town.  They are always different, fun and educational…each with their own twist.  Often they are fundraisers for the non-profit organization, the Downtown Business Alliance.

Oval windows were apparently an architectural element that Shirley Simons used in his designs.
Oval windows were apparently an architectural element that Shirley Simons used in his designs.

Tonight’s tour focused on the homes of a prominent Sulphur Springs family, the Ashcrofts.  While traveling down Oak Avenue (originally known as Depot Street), John told the history of buildings that no longer exist as well as what we see today.  We had the opportunity to tour an Ashcroft home that has recently been purchased for renovation.  It was designed by Thomas Shirley Simons, Sr. from Tyler, Texas and built in the 1930s.

If you are anywhere near Sulphur Springs, Texas, you will want to look out for the history tours.  They are interesting whether you are a local resident or visitor.  If you aren’t able to visit Sulphur Springs, then you should look around your community for something similar.  And if you don’t have anything local such as this, then maybe you should start one.

Our communities each have a wonderful history that needs sharing so that future generations know what makes it unique.  So often towns seem to eschew their heritage for something more cool or modern.  Really, the mundaneness of cool and modern is overshadowed by richness of tales of local characters and stories of the past.  Why don’t we all celebrate what makes our communities different?

A detail of the fireplace mantel mirrors the oval Windows on either side of the entry door.
A detail of the fireplace mantel mirrors the oval Windows on either side of the entry door.

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