Lee Jamison

Lee  Jamison - Woven Together_ Polk County Courthouse

Woven Together: Polk County Courthouse, 2018

Painting oil on canvas  
24 x 36 in

Location: Intersection of Tx Hwy.190 and U.S. 59, Livingston

This is a nexus of transportation and mind in East Texas.. Polk County is one of the places most deeply cherished in my late mother-in-law's memory. It was a place of childhood joy from country living for her, even as it was remembered as a place of hard life and poverty by her parents.

Highways 190 and 59 meet on the far left, and immediately behind us a rail line crosses the highway. The rumbling of that rail line over a century has so shaken the records vault on the right it has been necessary to shore the building up with steel braces. This building, then, is also the one exactly copied in 1908 as referenced in my notes for the painting of the Trinity County Courthouse and Jail. The 1884 building that previously occupied the spot now held by the Classical Revival style courthouse was designed by Eugene T. Heiner, who also designed an 1889 courthouse in Huntsville, a twin of which may now be seen in Wharton. The 1913 building seen here is likewise similar to the smaller 1914 Marion County Courthouse on the left of Austin Street: Jefferson.

The Alabama-Coushatta Indians, beloved of Sam Houston, have their reservation in Polk County. The path they used to take to visit each other, blazed ages ago by Caddoan tribes, was essentially that taken by the builders of Highway 190 in knitting east and west together.

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