The article listed below gives good information to the newspaper by the garden club. While this covers an event that has already occurred, the book on the history of Malakoff is still available and the address for the club is still a good address.
I have been fortunate enough to have been given the ability to follow the restoration of the home on my blog. A lot of photographs are soon to follow along with a lot of fascinating history.
Club gets Bartlett House
Special to The Malakoff News
The Greater Malakoff Area Garden Club (GMAGC) has acquired the T. A. Bartlett property, featuring the remains of one of the most outstanding homes built in Henderson County during the Depression, as well as two lots across the street from the Bartlett House and another lot that was the location of the old hotel (no longer in existence) on the southeast corner of the railroad and State Highway 198.
The old hotel lot, which is a “gateway property into Malakoff,” according to Lyn Dunsavage Young, President of the GMAGC, was donated to the GMAGC by the Cedar Lake Nursing Home and the Cedar Lake Home Health and Hospice businesses.
Located next to the Acme Brick Plant on Bartlett Road, the Bartlett House is in ruin because of years of neglect and vandalism, but it is also located on grounds that were once known for its outstanding gardens and garden furniture, which the Garden Club plans to resurrect.
The GMAGC initially plans to undertake a clearing of the debris from the property and then a major planting and beautification project on all the properties. They have begun this week with the cutting of dead trees, overgrowth, downed limbs, and the removal of junk vehicles, car parts and trash.
The Greater Malakoff Area Garden Club plans to share details of their vision for these properties at a Christmas “Before Party” on the Bartlett House property on Dec. 13 from 5-8 p.m. (on the day of the Christmas parade that morning).
There will be a cost of $50 per person or per couple, with each $50 donor to receive a copy of the “Malakoff, Texas” book that the GMAGC has been compiling for the last two years and which is expected off the presses at that time.
“Our gift of the book to the Christmas “Before Party” makes the party basically free,” explained Young. The entrance fee is tax-deductible because the club is a nonprofit 401-3-C.
The “Malakoff, Texas” book, which is approximately 400 pages with 300-plus pictures, covers the history of Malakoff from 30,000 years ago to today and is presently being sold at its prepublication price of $49.95. Like other history books in the area that have a one-time publication date, the book price is expected to rise over time, as it becomes more difficult to obtain. The Henderson County Homes book and the Family Histories of Henderson County, for example, are now selling online for $100 – $150.
Jo Ann Surls, who has worked on four history books about the area, said, “This book on Malakoff is truly the best one of all. Dozens of people have contributed personal stories that bring decades of history alive. I’ve been amazed by its intimacy. This is a collection of many people’s stories, photos, and research, including, most notably, Edna Evans; the Henderson County Historical Society, Kay Pulley, Henry Norris, Nelda Reynolds, Theo Daniel, and Pat Isaacson’s collection. It includes everything from Malakoff to Science Hill to Tool, Payne Springs, and Trinidad. It’s truly amazing.”
Anyone wishing to attend and obtain the book that night needs to send their check prior to the event to GMAGC, Box 897, Malakoff 75148 (and note that it is for the “Christmas Before Party”), so sufficient materials, books, and refreshments will be available.
“Presently, the property is dangerous because of the debris, but, once cleared for the Christmas ‘Before Party,’ we plan to resurrect the heritage plants that still exist, obtain donations of heritage plants indigenous to the area, and recreate the beauty begun by Mr. and Mrs. Bartlett eighty years ago,” explained Young. “We plan to market the property to attract people interested in architecture, archeology, gardening, and the history of this house, the town, and Mr. Bartlett’s industry (now Acme Brick) to again make Malakoff a ‘place to come to.’”
The Garden Club also plans to obtain a historic designation for the property.
Young explained the garden club began negotiating to obtain the Bartlett House property eight years ago from the heirs of the Ernest Fletes family, who were the only other occupants of the property since it was built. “We recognized it could be one of the most incredible opportunities for tourism Malakoff has ever seen.”
“Some people outside Malakoff know of its unique place in the world geologically, archeologically and architecturally, but we want all people to know about its place in history. The acquisition of these properties will give us the opportunity to share Malakoff’s uniqueness,” Young explained.
“We would appeal to the citizens to watch over these valuable resources these properties represent – as if they were their own property, because, in reality, that’s how we view it – to stop the vandalism and destruction. Once we clear it, we hope to secure it but, in the meantime, it’s to everyone’s advantage that we can preserve as much of it as possible,” said Young.