Monday, March 10, 2014

FINDING A SETTING FOR A STORY




The setting for all my books, as most of you know, is in Texas.  Recently, I began writing a historical short story that needed a town to get started. The time period is 1870 and the main part of my tale takes place in the fictitious town of McTiernan, a few miles north of Dallas. Actually the town will be built during the telling, but that's in the story.

In the book, Katie and the Irish Texan, the hero, Dermot McTiernan, came to Texas from Ireland to make his fortune in 1861. He becomes a ranch hand, working for land owner, Ian Benning. In 1863, they joined a brigade of Texas soldiers to help save the state from being destroyed like Georgia in Sherman's March to the sea. After the war ends, he returns to Ireland intending to marry his love and bring her home to Texas. Well, we know the course of life and love never runs smoothly and Dermot returns to Texas alone.

Sooooo, here he is in a saloon, in the middle of a card game, and about to be accused of cheating. He's not wearing plaid or a brightly colored hat and his name isn't Waldo, but where the heck is he? There are a myriad of places he could be, after all Texas is a pretty big state. While I peruse the internet, he starts to tell me a little more about himself and come to find out, he's been lumber-jacking in East Texas in and around the city of Jefferson.




Now, at this time, around 1870, Jefferson is quite the happening place. Toward the end of the war, she had been scheduled for destruction and to be set ablaze by the advancing Northern troops. Thankfully, she was spared this fate, unlike many of her sister cities, and by 1870, there were over two hundred buildings scheduled to be built. The town reached its peak population of greater than thirty thousand and became the sixth largest city in Texas.





Jefferson became a port for steamboat travel and at it's peak in the early 1870's, accommodated up to two hundred fifty steamers per year. She also was a major railway hub until 1873 when the completion of the Texas and Pacific railway rerouted rail travel  from Texarkana to Marshall bypassing Jefferson. After that her population diminished to about 3,500 residents.




Today, Jefferson is a lovely historic town, home to more state registered historic structures than anywhere else in the state. She truly lives up to being called, The Queen of thee Bayou, a unique and special place to be explored and shared.


I appreciate you stopping by and as always, I love to hear from you!

Hugs and have a great week,
Carra

Find me on my websitehttp://carracopelin.com
Facebook: http://facebook/carracopelin
Twitter: http://twitter/CarraCopelin



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