Thursday, March 19, 2015

A Tale Of Texas Tulips And My Great Grandpa Rejecting The Lone Star State

This morning among the ads on the back page of the Dallas Observer I saw an ad that upon first perusal I thought was advertising tulip fields back in my old home zone of the Skagit Valley of Washington, where the annual Skagit Tulip Festival starts up April 1, lasting through April 30.

What was being advertised was not a tulip field in Washington called Texas-Tulips, but instead what was being advertised was a tulip field in Texas, called, appropriately, Texas-Tulips.

I do not recollect ever seeing a tulip blooming in Texas. I figured the extremes of the climate made that bulb reluctant to bloom.

I figured wrong.

This morning I blogged about the Texas-Tulip operation on my Eyes on Texas blog in a blogging titled Tiptoe Through Texas Tulips.

On the Texas-Tulips website I learned that their "story begins in Holland, the Netherlands."

It seems like just about every tulip story traces back to Holland. I know that is the case with the Skagit Valley tulips.

The Dutch Americans who planted the Texas-Tulips did so in a field located near Pilot Point, east of Denton, at the north end of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.

Way back around the start of the new century I had reason to learn my family history, on my dad's side, going all the way back to when my great-great grandpa brought my great-great grandma, great grandpa , great grandma and great aunt to America, back in 1889, the year Washington became a state.

But, it was not to Washington my ancestors first journeyed to when leaving Ellis Island. They ended up in a town somewhere in the middle of America. Iowa maybe. It's been a few years and I have a bad memory. However, I do remember my great grandpa was sent to Texas to see if a Dutch community they'd heard of somewhere in the Denton/Pilot Point zone looked promising.

My great grandpa returned to his family to report that Texas is not where they wanted to be. My great grandpa was then sent, by train, to Washington, eventually ending at the far northwest corner of the state, a short distance from the Canadian border, at a Dutch town called Lynden.

My great grandpa returned to his family with tales of apple orchards, berries growing wild, the tallest trees he'd ever seen, fertile land similar to Holland. And mountains. Soon my relatives boarded a train and made their way to Washington, where they soon had a farm and a road named after them, which exists to this day.

And somehow I ended up in the land of Texas, which my great grandpa rejected a long long time ago....

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