Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Wednesday Guest - Caroline Clemmons

Growing up in Lubbock, Texas I lived very near Yellow House Canyon. Although I was never allowed to roam there freely, the boys I knew (my husband-to-be included) hunted arrowheads and spear points in the canyon. At least I was allowed to ride with a friend on horseback in the canyon, and I could envision Native Americans swooping down into the ravine, I thought every cleft might have housed Comanches, and generally felt as if I were in the Old West.

My husband found a perfect Clovis knife he added to his collection. At a Boy Scout Jamboree, his Boy Scout leader encouraged him to exhibit the collection. Unfortunately, someone didn’t remember the Boy Scout rules and stole the entire collection. My hero has been looking for replacements since then. Imagine how odd it seems to us to visit Lubbock and go through the Lubbock Lake Site Landmark Visitor Center where my husband and his friends used to play.


Yellow House Canyon is a major landmark on the Texas South Plains and cuts a gap of more than thirty-five miles into the eastern edge of the Caprock escarpment in Lubbock and Crosby counties. The canyon received its name from the Casas Amarillas, where Yellow House Draw curves toward the east to expose a yellow cliff likened to the features of a city seen from a distance. The canyon is hardly noticeable until central Lubbock County, just north of Lubbock. Artifacts found at the Lubbock Lake National Historic and State Archeological Landmark, within the city limit of Lubbock, indicate that people have inhabited the area for more than 11,000 years. Prehistoric animals occupying the region have included bison, mammoths, camels, early horses, and giant armadillos. Coyotes, wolves, antelope, prairie dogs, and black bears were among later arrivals.

Allegedly Francisco Vázquez de Coronado came as far south as the Lubbock Lake site in 1541. At any rate, later Spaniards did follow the canyon, including Father Juan de Salas, who traveled through en route to the natives of the San Angelo region in 1629 and 1632, and two groups of pearl-seekers, who went to the South Concho River in the 1650s. The Lubbock Lake site came to be generally known by the Spanish, who called it La Punta de Agua. The trail through Yellow House Canyon, Blackwater Draw, and Portales Draw provided early travelers with an acceptable route across the South Plains where water could readily be found. Though the Spanish probably knew this, later settlers avoided the region. Ranald S. Mackenzie, however, used the route during an 1872 expedition.

What is now the city of Lubbock was founded at Lubbock Lake with the establishment of the Singer Store in 1881. This store, the first commercial enterprise in the area, served early ranchers, the military, and occasional Indian groups. A friend who has been through Lubbock insists that Singer must have settled there simply because that is where his wagon broke down. What a cynical judgement! Lubbock Lake Landmark Site is under the auspices of the Museum of Texas Tech University, with excavations conducted under a Texas Antiquities Committee permit.

For thousands of years, across hundreds of generations, people have come to Lubbock Lake. Hunter-gatherers, the Apache and Comanche nations, and the founding of a modern city are each a part of the history of this National Historic Landmark that is one of the premier archaeological and natural history sites in North America.

The setting for my current release, HOME, SWEET TEXAS HOME, a contemporary sweet romance from The Wild Rose Press is in and near Lubbock. The buy link is www.thewildrosepress.com/caroline-clemmons-m-638.html Learn more about me from my website www.carolineclemmons.com or blog http://carolineclemmons.blogspot.com

12 comments:

VICKI BATMAN, a sassy writer of sexy and funny short fiction said...

Hi, Paty and my friend, Caroline!

I love hearing about Lubbock as I am a Tech girl! I met some of the nicest people there.

Thanks for the wonderful post, girls.

Lauri said...

To really explore Texas has always been on my bucket list, but now it's moved up a couple notches! Great blog, Caroline! And best wishes on the new release!

Calisa Rhose said...

Very informative post ladies. I enjoy this type of history lesson.

Tanya Hanson said...

I know I'm going to love this book. I am getting to be a Texas-a-holic. My only foray there, however, was the writing retreat put on by TWRP in Bandera last year. I had the best time ever, and will go again.

I love history, Caroline. Love this post.

Kathy Otten said...

I always wanted to visit Texas, so I enjoy blogs that talk about all varied places in the statelayer. Maybe someday I'll get there.

Lynne Marshall said...

Wonderful information, as always, Caroline. These days, I believe they have some mean chili cook offs in those parts, too. :)

Jeanmarie Hamilton said...

Hi Paty and Caroline,
I certainly enjoyed your post too about that area around Lubbock. I've been to Lubbock for different reasons on several occasions but haven't been north of Lubbock and now I wish I had. We'll have to make a trip there soon. The Pass of the North, where I live, has always been a very busy highway for dinosaurs, prehistoric man and contemporary man. We have an area on my side of town between the foothills and the Rio Grande where the remains of an Archaic village was found by a bull dozer. (It's just north of Mount Cristo Rey where dinosaur tracks have been found.) Fortunately all activity with the machine was halted and the area has been preserved. Fascinating to know that people lived in Texas so many thousands of years ago. Thanks for the blog, Caroline.

Jeanmarie

Sarah Raplee said...

If I ever make it back to Texas (graduated from Univ. of North Texas, I'll definitely visit Lubbock! Enjoyed the post.

Texans are such big-hearted, warm people who pride themselves on their toughness - I love their unique cosmopolitan Southern charm!

Now I need to go put your book on my to Be Read shelf!

Caroline Clemmons said...

Ladies, thanks for stopping by to read and taking the time to comment. Although I love all of the West, I supposed West Texas is in my blood by now.

LaVerne Clark said...

Wow - what a wonderful place to grow up in! I can just imagine running around searching for those artifacts. Oh the history! We're such a young country here in NZ that finding those sorts of things are highly unlikely. I have a new place to visit on my bucket list too! Meanwhile, I'll satisfy myself with a visit through your book. One of the reasons I love to read. Thanks for the taste Caroline : )

Angelyn said...

I love hearing about Lubbock, too. There's an outdoor ranch museum there that's a great resource for research if you're ever there...

Caroline Clemmons said...

As yes, the Ranching Heritage Museum is a wonderful research treasure trove for any historical writer. One of the buildings there is from a ranch where my husband's uncle was manager or something like that. I love to visit that museum.