CALVERT TEXAS WEBPAGE
Wecome to the colorful town of Calvert, a great little town that was once the 4th largest city of Texas and boasted of having the world's largest cotton gin and an iron foundry that produced some great ironwork still visible in many of the town's store fronts and early-day Calvert antiques.
Between 1870 and 1890, the business district was completed and the town of Calvert named for it's most famous resident, Judge Robert Calvert, a planter and state legislator, who had settled near Sterling (a
couple of miles from present-day Calvert) in the 1850's. Calvert soon became a boom town with
frequent shoot outs, stacks of gold piled high on the tables of the gambling house and barrels of whiskey kept
in grocery stores for cash customers.
The Citizens of Calvert Texas also organized and built schools and churches and Casimer's Opera House provided operas,
plays and concerts. Businesses thrived.
FOR MORE HISTORY, SEE OUR CALVERT HISTORY PAGE.
Calvert History Page
However, by 1960, this little town had fallen on hard times and most of the business district of Calvert was in serious disrepair. Then along came a historical grant and a concerted effort by the townspeople of Calvert and an influx of cash from neighboring Houston. Soon a new town of Calvert was born featuring some of the finest antiques shops in Texas and a legitimate claim to the "Antiques Capital of Texas".
Almost 50 years later, the community has again fallen on hard times with many of the antiques shops closing their doors and most open only Thursdays thru Sundays. But a few creative die-hards led by Gracia Casey Thibodeaux, Candy Shores, Jody Powers, and others have pationately pursued their creative dreams and have some fantastic shops in Calvert today.
This webpage is devoted to putting a spotlight on the town of Calvert including such features as "my favorite shops", the "History of Calvert" and the "Calvert Bulletin Board". Our visitors can use the bulletin board to post announcements, ask questions, or add additional information to the website.
Over the coming months, I plan to post additional coverage of the various dining, shopping and entertainment businesses in Calvert and also add a free online ad section where area resident can "buy, sell, or trade" goods.
We welcome your feedback on this webpage and your suggestions for additional features.
CALVERT BUSINESS UPDATES
Received the following Calvert Business updates from Ron Wilkinson (RonRWPhD@aol.com), a part-time resident of Calvert:
There is now a high end Europeon bistro in Calvert and hand made chocolate business. The two are owned by Ken Wilkinson (no relation to me), an Englishman who now lives in Houston, but commutes to Calvert daily. He has a website: www.cocoamoda.com.
The old movie theater has re-opend (The Eloia) as an antiques store. The owner, Harold Maris, plans to eventually show old films and will soon be opening a old fashioned soda shop of sorts, in the lobby---with old fashioned candies and desserts, as well as drinks.
There are now two art galleries: Track Five and another one focusing on gourd art, but whose name I cannot remember. Salazar's garage was torn down a year or so ago. Reportedly, the owner's plan to build a new building with a facade to duplicate the old.
My partner and I own a building downtown next door to Candy Shore's candle shop. It is a successful women's dress shop named "So Darned Cute".
TXDOT is to start installing handicapped access ramps in the spring and that should be finished in the summer.
MY FAVORITE CALVERT SHOPS
In this section, we will begin presenting some of the more interesting shops and shop owners in Calvert. This is a work in progress. If you have a nomination for an addition to this section, send me an email at:
COMMON SCENTS-CALVERT SHOP OF THE MONTH
This delightful shop called "Common Scents" is owned and operated by Candy Shores, a virtual newcomer to Calvert from the Fort Worth area. Candy ran a successful Bar B Que restaurant in Calvert for five years before moving across the street to open up Common Scents.
Candy's delightful candles come in a vast array of mouth watering scents incuding such delights as Apple Cinnamon, Honeydew Melon, Orange Dreamsickle, Sex on the Beach
Banana Nut Bread, Cotton Blossom, Honeysuckle, Orange Spice,
Blackberry Sage, Cranberry Cobbler, Huckleberry , Strawberries & Creme
and numerous other wonderful flavors.
Much to our surprise, this magnificant candle collection was just the tip of the iceberg. This talented young lady designs her own jewelry line and creates southwestern art that you'd expect in the finest shops of Santa Fe. And it doesn't stop there. Her eye for the unusual and her flair for "shabby chic" decorating make for an incredibly interesting shopping experience...well worth the trip to Calvert. See Common Scents & More for more information.
ZAMYKAL KOLACHES-CALVERT SHOP OF THE MONTH, NOVEMBER 2007
Down the street (southward) from Cajuns and Candy is a delightful kolache bakery called "Zamykal Kolaches" owned and operated by Jody Powers, another transplant from the Fort Worth area. With hard work and dedication, Jody has managed to create a thriving business in what had become a vacant building.
Not only are the Kolaches some of the best I have ever sampled, her business is warm and inviting and tastefully decorated inside and out. In addition to great Kolaches and coffee, Jody sells antiques which is a trademark of the town.
Jody names the delightful little bakery for Grandmother Zamykal who immigrated from Czechoslovakia and settled in Texas in the early 1900's
Jody's kolache recipes , which come from her Grandmother Zamykal are baked in 26 flavors plus. At Zamykal Kolaches, you'll also find such delights as home-made fudge, coffee, and light and airy Secret Kiss cookies.
ANOTHER GREAT REASON TO VISIT CALVERT!!
If you have a message of interest to our readers, send me an email or mail me a letter and I'll post it on the Calvert Texas Bulletin Board. Also, any stories or photos of early day Calvert Texas are always needed. Thanks!
1264 FM 2116
Rockdale, Texas 76567
email address: email@example.com
Received the following email from Bob Burnitt (firstname.lastname@example.org):
I have very much enjoyed your work and posting it on the web for all to see. Calvert Texas is interesting to me especially since that is where my father was born and raised and where his ancestors settled in 1850, 1853, and then the last bunch of them in 1890. One of my Gr Grandfathers, Goal Berry Mears Sr. came there in 1890 or 91 as well.
In 1850 one of my Gr. Gr. Gr. Grandfather’s (Aaron Wood) came to Old Sterling and in 1853 his daughter Lucy Wood Burnitt and her husband and by Gr. Gr. Grandfather William C. Burnitt came to Old Sterling, to be followed by William’s Brother Willis Burnitt. Aaron Wood is buried in Calvert Cemetery . His wife outlived him by a good many years and was buried in Clifton Texas in 1900.
I noticed on your description of the homes in Calvert you show #19 the “R.W. Burnett House at 305 Gregg Street that was destroyed by fire in 1984. That is mostly correct, but there are a couple of minor errors. Richard W. “Dick” Burnitt DID live in the home at the time it burned, he had an “apartment” fixed up in it, as most of the home was in disrepair. However, R.W. “Dick” Burnitt (whom I knew) did not build the house. He was the “baby” of the family and was the last to occupy it. He was born in it.
The house WAS built around 1890 or 91 by R.W. Burnitt’s Father Pyke Burnitt, it is REALLY the “Pyke Burnitt” home, but you are correct RW “Dick” Burnitt did occupy it LAST. He was born in that house as was MY Grandfather AW Burnitt Sr. in 1893. My father was Andrew Wagner. Burnitt Jr.
Pyke Burnitt’s brother Seth Burnitt I built the Seth Burnitt Home around the same time in Calvert, it still stands.
Also our last name is spelled with an *I*. BURNITT. However, my Gr. Gr. Gr. Grandfather Greenville Burnitt Sr. was actually BORN Greenville BURNETT in North Carolina in 1793. He altered his name to Burnitt with an *I* as a young man and it was his sons William C. Burnitt and Willis Burnitt what were Calvert Texas AREA pioneers. Willis’ daughter was Minnie Burnitt Barton who married Francis Barton and built the “Minnie Walker Burnitt Barton Home” (Usually referred to as the “Barton Home”).
Willis died in 1864 and is buried in the Calvert City Cemetery . I have his probate file among others, his “Death Certificate” is in it, but in those days they did not typically name the cause of DEATH. Since the Civil WAR was still going when he died, I have assumed he was wounded or something, became ill, no telling what, but I assume he died from effects of the WAR. He was 34 when he died. He did die in Robertson County and his will was probated in Owensville and in Monroe County Mississippi according to the records I have. William C. Burnitt died in 1875 at the ripe old age of 49. He MAY have died of Yellow Fever, once again, I have his probate file and there is no cause of death. I feel it is very likely he could have been very much affected by the war and it may have had something to do with his early death. I would like to know, but so far haven’t learned anything.
William C Burnitt and Willis Burnitt had two other brothers. One was Greenville Burnitt Jr. that also died in 1868 at the age of 34 in Mississippi , and is buried there. The YOUNGEST of the four Burnitt brothers Captain Edwin Burnitt seemed to be a War casualty too, but he lived the longest and died at the age of 83 in Ardmore Oklahoma in 1920. His son, Walter Rorer Burnitt was one of the Ardmore Oklahoma Pioneers. All of those Burnitt Brothers were born in Alabama during the “ALABAMA Land Rush” and were raised in Mississippi and I believe they came to Texas in the 1850’s to hopefully escape the “tensions” that were developing in the “country” at the time. It did them no good, they ALL served the CSA and died young for it except for Captain Edwin Burnitt who died in Oklahoma . However he was disabled after the Civil War. So the family was very DEVASTATED by the Civil War and this devastation had an EFFECT for GENERATIONS though some of them did prosper financially here and there. The Mears family was the same way, though GB Mears Sr. and his brother Thomas Robert Mears came to Texas around 1890 after being raised in Mississippi during the terrible time known as RECONSTRUCTION. They both did well in Texas , but the “Hard Times” they knew made them TOUGH and HARD.
Our “Grandpaw Mears” was somebody my father’s generation liked to talk about a lot. I knew him, he died in 1961. But he was very prosperous and actually generous too, but a very tough and hard guy. He would fight a Circle Saw as they used to say. I grew up hearing many stories about HIM that in RETROSPECT sound funny today.
Not that any of this is a “big deal”. I just noticed the very small misspelling and such and thought I would let you know. But MORE IMPORTANTLY, I would like to Thank You for being such a good historian and working so hard on all of this Data. It is really SOMETHING, that is quite a SITE you have going there!!!
Thanks Again, Bob Burnitt Ellis County Texas email@example.com
Received the following email from Betsy Gruchalla
I am Betsy Tyson Gruchalla. My grandparents, Thomas Clifton Tyson and Lena Kenny Tyson, lived with their children in Calvert, Texas.
I understand my grandmother, Lena Kenny Tyson, worked at the Central Hotel on Main Street in 1933. Do you have any information about this hotel?
My dad, his sisters, and my mother graduated from Calvert High School. Are there any albums from the 30s?
Do you know where deeds for homes in the 30s and 40s might be stored?
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