Tag Archive: Historic Old River-Winfree
While you are at ORWFD, be sure and visit the Hospitality Room in the ORW Community Building. Chairman Tracie Comeaux will be on hand with fresh coffee, while you stroll around the exhibits of Boyce Morris, Jr. ORWFD Historian! Below is a sampling of the Historical Artifacts of our area Boyce has, through his on blood, sweat, and tears, brought up from the ground surrounding the Old River. You will want to see this! Thanks Boyce for all you do!
You will be amazed at what Boyce has discovered about our history in Old River-Winfree and the Beauty of the river that runs through us, Old River.
We are unique in our name, our heritage, and our bond to each other. Old River and Winfree, Texas come see your history!
The Cake, Pie, and Cupcake Bakeoff is another one of Old River-Winfree Founders Days good-time events.
This is the breakdown of the Awards:
$100 Cash Prize and Cup Trophy for Grand Overall Champion of Bake-Off
$100 Cash Prize and Trophy: Mrs. Ethel P. Ramsey Teen Excellence in Baking Award
$25 Prize for Best in Cupcakes
$50 Prize for Best in Cakes
$50 Prize for Best in Pies
1st, 2nd, and 3rd Place Prizes in each Category (Cupcakes, Cakes, Pies)
We were really surprised last year when not one teenager entered the Teen Excellence in Baking Award! Does that mean that moms and dads aren’t teaching their daughters or sons to bake from scratch.
Does this mean that television and media tells us we have to open a box or microwave a container to get a decent dessert…..We don’t know.
We hope that is not the case this year! We hope teens bake a Pie or Cake from scratch and enter it in the contest.
It’s a win/win contest. If your teen wins, he/she gets a $100 check AND a huge trophy. Now what could please a teen more.
Whether the teen wins or doesn’t, all Cakes, Pies, and Cupcakes are Auctioned off to the highest bidder to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project and the Pfc Wesley R. Riggs Memorial Scholarship Fun.
See what we mean about a win/win…
Enter your Cake, Pies, and Cupcakes today by printing out the form below and dropping it off at the Old River-Winfree City Hall or mailing it with your check to:
City of Old River-Winfree
OR you can drop by City Hall and Linda will give you an application to fill out.
Entry fees are just:
Yes, it’s time again for all our little girls and young ladies to shine. Great -Grandparents, Grandparents, and mom and dads will be busting with pride as their little babies join us in our unique Pageant where Natural Beauty that only comes from sweetness within WINS over outward beauty!
This Pageant strives to instill in our girls that each is unique and wonderful, just as they are!
It’s a fun, fun, fun contest, so get those entries in or come out and support Old River Country (now known as West Chambers County) girls. Other counties are allowed to enter. We understand that they got here just as soon as they could!
Enjoy the Video!
As President of Old River-Winfree Founders Day and the 5K Run/Walk Benefiting the Wounded Warrior Project in Memory of Pfc Wesley R. Riggs, I have walked in the 5K Run/Walk. I weighed 190 lbs, 62 years old, and totally out of shape.
But, I didn’t care! I knew I wanted to walk, the best I could, for our heroes coming back from the Afghanistan and Iraq Theaters of War! I knew that every time my foot hit the ground, I was extending a hand to a soldier or marine in need of support. A hand to help the Wounded Warrior Project lift them our of despair (PTSD which is very prevalent), and help them physically, mentally, and spiritually!
I walked in flip flops and had quite a hard time keeping up with the other walkers. But, I finished, I did it!
I felt so good when I saw the finish line coming up! The fastest time that day was 17 minutes; I was the very last to cross the finish line, but I was just as proud as if I had come in first!
Tears come to my eyes as I think of that day and what it meant to me and those I was helping. Those my big old feet were giving hope to.
Please join me as I participate again this year! By the way, I finished in 1 Hour and 15 minutes!!
Beat that time! Great T-Shirts; Babies can participate in the Stroller Derby; Kid’s in the Kid’s Fun Run, too!
This is our 5th year to do this and we have made it a First Class Event for you! Party afterwards for participants!
Help me, help our warriors!
PS: I now weigh 140 lbs and am 63 years old!
Editor’s note: This is a tribute to Ken “The Dauber” Pridgeon, a War Veteran himself, (serving from the age of 19 to the age of 27), Portrait of a Warrior Memorial Gallery, our Fallen Heroes, all American Veterans, and those who serve today or those who stand ready to go to battle for American Freedom. You must go, if you haven’t already. Take the kids, the grandkids, grandparents, Veterans in your family; it is a must see!
FIRST: When I walked into the Portrait of a Warrior Memorial Art Gallery, I thought of the famous “Jaws” movie line “WE’RE GOING TO NEED A BIGGER BOAT!”
I met Ken “the Dauber” Pridgeon when Old River-Winfree Founders Day was looking for someone to paint a roadside mural for our Founders Day. Ken is famous for the mural at the Baytown Museum and I thought, that’s our guyI
I remember going to his house in early to mid 2009 and saw the work he does. We did commission Ken to do our Roadside mural.
Go to this ORW Community News posting to see Ken painting our mural: https://orwfd.wordpress.com/2010/06/25/commissioning-history/
It was months after that, I felt led to ask Ken to do a portrait of Pfc. Wesley R. Riggs for Founders Day. Ken says when do you need it….. Ken tells the story that it was on a Wednesday I asked him to paint the portrait. He remembers me saying, Saturday, of course! That was two days away!
(This portrait of Pfc. Wesley R. Riggs turned out to be the FIRST portrait in the long line of Portraits of our Fallen Heroes that Ken has done since that day. It started Ken on a Journey of a lifetime, blessed by God.) As Ken set there painting, we didn’t know that another soldier, Army Staff Sgt. Jesse W. Ainsworth, was being escorted by the Patriot Guard going north on Hwy 146 taking him back to his final resting place in Dayton, Texas. Staff Sgt. Ainsworth was the second portrait. The rest is history.
I see Ken when he comes back to where it all began at Old River-Winfree Founders Day and follow his posts on Facebook, but, I had never been to the Memorial Gallery.
August 30, 2013
Yesterday, I was dropping off flyers for the ORWFD 5K Run/Walk Benefitting the Wounded Warrior Project in Memory of Pfc Wesley R. Riggs and I put the Gallery and Ken on my list of places to stop.
I shot pictures up a storm outside, making sure that all of those who saw this post would feel as it they were with me on this visit. I was a happy little camper; hot , but happy.
I then opened the door to go into the Gallery. It was then the 6 senses we are all born with, normally, took over.
First was the gift of sight: My eyes opened wide at the color they were viewing, brilliant in red, white and blue. The Red, White, and Blue of our Fallen Heroes. When my eyes started going from left to right around the Gallery, my thoughts were, “So many portraits”. Meaning, so many lost lives. I took in the portraits that go from ceiling to floor and my eyes started misting up and tears flowed gently down my face.
Mind you, I’m not out of the doorway yet. I’m just standing there taking it all in.
Then my hearing took over and I could hear music, Patriotic Country Music coming from a radio in the back; and, something else; a voice, and I realized and recognized Ken singing at the top of his lungs along with the radio.
I could smell the very faint aroma of paint and started taking pictures to make sure you were seeing what I saw.
I worked my way back toward the music and Ken, all along snapping pictures and just looking at the lives affected by our last two wars and beyond. As I neared Ken, I saw him with his paint brush up, just a painting away on another portrait of a hero, a special kind of hero.
I called to Ken and approached him as he sat and we greeted one another. I turned around from him, telling Ken how wonderful the Gallery is, and I spotted it.
Right behind where Ken paints is his first Portrait, the portrait of Pfc Wesley R. Riggs son of my friend, Daniel Riggs. I’m an emotional person, but it seemed like Wes was there cheering Ken on and watching over the work. Right by Wes was Staff Sgt Ainsworth, Ken’s second portrait.
Ken and I started talking and I continued my way snapping pictures, sharing with Ken, reminiscing, and talking about the upcoming 2013 ORWFD on October 12, 2013.
We talked and I saw soo much more, like the Vietnam jacket pictured in the video below. SO much more to see.
But, YOU will have to go find out the rest of the story on your on. Ken is getting older and his health seemed off to me, he seemed tired. But when he starts talking about his “boys and girls” his face lights up and it’s a beautiful transformation.
Go….. go soon, to see Ken “the Dauber” Pridgeon, a Texas Icon!
On October 5, 2013 at Barbers Hill ISD Eagles Football Stadium, the Civil War Canon will fire again telling all that hear that we support our men and women in service and start the 5th annual ORWFD “Chip Timed” 5K Run/Walk; a few minutes later, another “blast” will be heard starting the Kid’s Fun Run. Every single dollar raised goes to the Wounded Warrior Project and the Pfc Wesley R. Riggs Memorial Scholarship Fund.
A separate “Stroller Derby” will then start for all parents to push strollers or pull wagons with their babies and toddlers aboard showing their little hearts support our men and women in the military!
Barbers Hill Bank, a branch of Anahuac National Bank, is exclusively sponsoring all expenses for the 4th year in a row, so that all entries and donations go to our Warriors.
The volunteers you see at the ORWFD events give of their time and their heart to put this event on every year to make sure we provide a first class race and a lot of fun!
The official 2013 ORWFD 5K Run/Walk T-Shirt will also be on sale at the race to raise more money for our heroes. The first 50 entries received a free T-Shirt.
An estimated 400,000 warriors suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
An estimated 320,000 warriors suffer from traumatic brain injuries (TBI).
Over 51,300 warriors suffer from physical injuries.
These statistics only tell part of the story that don’t include the trauma, anxiety, and worry of the families who wait and the families who received our warriors back from the theaters of war!
You understand the severity of veterans’ battlefield injuries — amputated arms and legs, disfiguring burns, paralysis, and invisible wounds, such as TBI’s and PTSD. The recovery from these injuries takes a lifetime of commitment.
Please stand by our nation’s wounded by participating in the 2013 Chip Timed 5K Run/Walk and the Kid’s Fun Run on October 5, 2013 which benefits the Wounded Warrior Project (90%) and the Pfc. Wesley R. Riggs Memorial Scholarship Fund (10%).
T-Shirt picture Courtesy of Fred Westin and the Traverso Family.
All American T-Shirts in Old River-Winfree Official T-Shirt Vendor for 5 years running!
(Click on Picture to Enlarge)
2013 ORWFD T-Shirt is a Historic T-shirt. These T-Shirts will be on sell at Founders Day on October 12, 2013 for $5.00. They will also be on sell at the City Office Prior to Founders Day.
From Boyce Morris, Jr. Historian of Old River-Winfree Founders Day and Curator of the Future Old River Country Museum
I had the opportunity to sit down, and talk to one of early residents of Winfree, Texas. Mr. Louis B. Traverso.
He is 90 yrs. Old at looks great. Mr. Fred Weston, and wife Kathy Weston accompanied him for the visit. It was such a pleasure to sit down, and talk to them.
They told me about their family that came to this country from Genoa, Italy, and the old home place on Old River.
I was given a picture of the store that once stood on the south side of Old River. Records I’ve read from Mr. Harry Daves collection states that this location use to be named Straddle. There was a post office, store, school (Winfree School), and a house in that location. It’s believed that the post office was located in the Traverso Store. There was also a ferry crossing on Old River near the site of the Traverso Store.
In the picture of the store was Louis B. Traverso’s father Louis John Batiste who was born January 2, 1882. He passed away November 30th, 1960. His wife was Annetta V. Legatos born Sept. 19th, 1887. She passed away April 6th 1934.
The old store is no longer there. It was moved up to the road, which is now Hwy 565. He said that all of the original store was not moved to this location. Only a part of the store was moved. It was moved using logs to roll it on.
There was a camp house built on the site where the store stood. I don’t think it is standing anymore. Mr. Traverso lived there, and went to school at the Winfree school that was located there on Old River. The lumber used in the building of the home that the Weston’s live in now was cut, and made from a saw mill that Mr. Harry Daves once told me about that was located on the North side of Old River.
Mr. Traverso told me that the load of lumber brought over to use only cost thirty five dollars at that time. The home that the Weston’s live in now was moved from the river location to it’s present site using logs to transport it on.
The home is located just west “Priced to Sell” Resale shop now. It was called Old River Grocery back in the 70’s when I moved to this area. I believe the name of the store has been changed several times. He went on to tell me about his Grandpa that owned three coastal boats.
One of the boats was given to Peter Stephen who was born at the George Ball home on Old River. The boat was built at Lake Pochatrain, and named THE GARFIELD. Later it was renamed THE ANNETTA after Mr. Louis B. Traverso’s mother. I was given a picture of the boat, and a page of genealogy records. I have been invited to accompany Mr. Weston, and Mr. Traverso on a tour of the site where the store, and other buildings were once located.
I was also given permission to use my metal detector on that site to try, and locate relics, and artifacts from the past years to add to my collection, and display at the founders day each year until we can get a building for a museum built. Then all the relics, and artifacts I have found on the sites that I have hunted on Old River will be displayed in the museum.
I do not intend to let any of the historical artifacts that I have recovered leave this area. I want them to remain in the Old River-Winfree area for everyone to see, and enjoy as I have.
I’ve seen so many elderly, and younger alike come to view my displays, and tell their stories. It brings back so many memories to them.
It was an honor to talk to Mr. Weston, his wife Kathy, and Mr. Traverso. We laughed, talked, and had a great visit. I hope to be able sit and enjoy their company again in the near future. I would like to hear more of their stories, and the memories of their life on Old River.
Great trophies, great food and an overall great time! As with everything at Old River-Winfree Founders Day family event!
Boyce Morris, Jr. was born in Louisiana, and raised on a farm in Mississippi, Moved to Texas in 1971, and in 1976 move to Old River Winfree. Throughout his school years he was interested in History more than any other subject. All his life he has enjoyed searching for historical artifacts, relics, and Indian artifacts. He has owned metal detectors most of his life, and spent time doing what he likes to do.
He loves to share his finds with others, so they can see, and enjoy what was a part of our past, and history. He has dreamed of being on a battle field from the past wars, and seeing what was left behind. When he was drafted into the service his dream came true. He was stationed in Korea on the DMZ where the Korean war was fought. The bunkers, tanks, and much more that was in his dreams was there.
He worked at Shell Chemical in Deer Park, Texas where he retired after thirty four years. Now he can spend time with his Wife, and three daughters, Kimberly, Rebecca (Becky), and Karen. He has five wonderful grandchildren, Trenton, Samantha, Jordan, Emily, and Ean. He is a member of Eagle Heights Fellowship church in Mt. Belvieu Texas.
Texas Navy Button
Value: $1,750 +
Time was when the land now known as the Lone Star state was literally another country – the Republic of Texas – and from 1836 to 1846 it defended its sovereignty with an army, navy, and marine corps. Boyce Morris, Jr. has the relics to prove it. “Back in October, I had an urge to go hunting at a site that has yielded many Republic of Texas items to me. Not only do I have the owner’s permission, but he has given me the exclusive freedom to detect the property. I had no idea that this area was so full of history, but nearly every time I go, something shows up.” On this visit, that “something” was a rare Republic of Texas Navy button. “It was a weak signal, really deep, and in a spot I’ve searched many times. Somehow I’d just missed it. It was the thrill of my life to find such a significant historical relic!” In addition to continuing his work in the field, Boyce looks forward to sharing his discoveries with other later this year, and in years to come. “In July 2009, there will be a Founders Day Celebration for our small city of Old River-Winfree, Texas. I will be there as an ambassador with my collection on exhibit. Maybe one day there will be a museum build, and then my collection can be placed in it for everyone to enjoy as I have.”
Old River-Winfree, Texas is a town heaped in History and Tradition. Founders Day commemorates and celebrates the founding of our community, promotes cooperation and volunteerism in the community, generates community spirit and recreation, and enhances the economic welfare of the town.
July 1979, Old River-Winfree was incorporated joining the two towns of Old River (North of Old River Bridge) and Winfree (South of Old River Bridge). This incorporation declared independence against the threat of further taxation.
Old River-Winfree Founders Day celebrates not just the original settlers from the early 1800’s, but also, that independent spirit of those that gathered on that hot July day to band together and incorporate the towns of Old River and Winfree. This is part of the heritage and pride of our town.
They are your friends and neighbors and deserve so much recognition, because they never let us down.
The following businesses were announced as Contest Sponsors at the May 13, 2013 Old River-Winfree City Council meeting for the 2013 Old River-Winfree Founders Day, a City Sponsored Event.
- Barbers Hill Bank – 3K/5K Run/ Walk Benefitting the Wounded Warrior Project in Memory of Pfc Wesley R. Riggs
- Sam’s Express – “My Best Friend” Dog Contest Sponsor
- Carnes Engineering – Pie, Cupcake, Cake Bake-off and Auction
- Dane Listi, Attorney at Law – Old River Country Natural Beauty Contest
- R&L Auto Supply – Classic Car and Truck Contest
To volunteer, email firstname.lastname@example.org
The City of Old River-Winfree and Old River-Winfree Founders Day is proud to present the 2012 Miss Old River Country Natural Beauty Pageant Winners.
Old River Country is named after Old River that flowed between the towns of Old River (to the north of the River) and Winfree (to the South of the River). These two towns were incorporated in July of 1979 to form Old River-Winfree.
Historically, West Chambers County was known as Old River Country.
The Pageant is sponsored by Dane Listi, Attorney at Law in Baytown.
Photography is sponsored by Affinity Photography by Kimberli Smith also in Baytown.
R&L Auto Supply, Page’s Paint & Body, and Mont Belvieu Auto Supply really put on the Ritz, hometown style.
Lots of Classic cars and trucks, PLUS a vintage Tractor and Motorcycle, really showed their shine at the 2012 ORWFD Classic Car & Truck Show.
It doesn’t get any better that this ORWFD Event put on at R&L Auto in good old Old River-Winfree.
See some of the pictures below!
It is not too late to get your entries in. Moms are scrabbling, pet owners are calling, vendors are registering, bakers are baking. It is so great to see how our communities are coming out to support Founders Day.
So, it is not to late, even up to an hour before the event. Come one, come all!
We took some pictures of the trophies for the Mr/Miss Old River Country Natural Beauty Pageant with the sashes and crowns. The pictures do not do them justice! They are bigger and better than ever. Participation trophies, too lets everyone go home with something!
Contact Linda at 281-385-1735 (City Hall) for information on entries OR contact the Chairperson listed on the entry forms.
Go to http://www.orwfoundersday.com for all the forms, events and information!
See you’ll there!!
We are still heading West,not much luck here,lots of swamp land. Too boggy for settlers,scouts are ahead of us by 1 day.We have word sent back from him Indians are present and river is near to high flat ground….With this high technology we have on board our wagons,we will be arriving where our scout is in 3 days…. just pulled the tents up and headed west….
Come join us at Old River-Winfree Founders Day to greet these settlers! See how they lived, cooking utensils, what they faced when they settled here in Old River and Winfree!
See Old River-Winfree Historian and Artifacts Caretaker, Boyce Morris, with unique artifacts from the 1800’s. BRING THE CAMERA!!
Lots of Contests for the whole family!
2012 Old River-Winfree Founders Day Sponsors!
Please share this post with all your friends. We realized with buses for the kids running so late bringing the kids home, that we should change the judging time to ensure everyone has a chance to get there on time. Even the parents!
If you need a form, you can stop by most Old River-Winfree businesses or go to http://www.orwfoundersday.com, click on forms, and find your page for the Dog Contest. It will have the form on it. Just print and send it in or drop it by City Hall.
The first 50 get a T-Shirt with their packet!
Not much time left until Race Day on October 13th!
Go to orwfoundersday.com and click on FORMS to register online or print and mail in your entry with your payment!
While you are on the website, visit the events page to see what else is going on that day. Stay with us and experience HISTORY!
See you there!
They guard our children, our homes, our lives; and let us know when danger is around real or perceived by them.
They help us to remember our childhood; those days of carefree abandon. Before we knew the world was not always nice.
We are so busy and caught up in our lives; but look down into their eyes and see such love, unconditional love, loyalty, and devotion even though sometimes we forget to let them out and shame them because they potty on the floor. Sometimes their food bowl goes empty a little too long and we wonder why they are gnawing on the furniture. We forget to fill their water bowl and wonder why they drink out of the toilet.
Sometimes forgotten in the back yard, they stand vigil for us, their family.
WELL…..this event is for THEM. IT IS ALL ABOUT THEM!!! We don’t care if they are ugly, dressed up, not dressed up, big, small. funny, talented, not so talented, or what. They are a part of your family and they are welcome in the “My Best Friend” Dog Show.
The only thing we ask is that they are vaccinated and you bring proof of that vaccination. Linda Murphy, City Secretary has chosen this event to head up as she absolutely adores her little dog.
SO! Come one, come all! Bring them to show off; the good, the bad, and the ugly. THIS IS THEIR EVENT!! Their time of petting, and loving, and joy!
Visit “My Best Friend” Kids Dog Contest to learn more.
Entry Form can be found at “My Best Friend” Kids Dog Show Entry Form
Or print from this post:
We’ve tried everything and everyone to keep this Texas State Historical Marker clean and fresh for those tourist that do the Historical Marker Run!
Solution? Call Boyce. He was told about the marker and the problem with keeping it up and he immediately said, “I’ll take care of it!”. That is one of the MANY reasons Boyce is “Volunteer of the Year”.
He already takes care of the Texas State Historical Marker at the end of Woodland Lane. Bet you didn’t even know there was one there! There is a more than a 100 year old cemetery back there.
Thanks so much to a good, kind, church-going man like Boyce Morris for always lending a helping hand where he can!
Above is Mr. Boyce Morris at the 2011 Old River-Winfree Founders Day. He presents and displays the Historical Artifacts of Old River-Winfree proudly!