Post-Gallery to be filled with historic info, artifacts
By Kyle Mooty
Walking into the Lockhart Post-Gallery at 111 South Church St. in the month of December will be akin to taking a stroll down memory lane.
The LPG will be having a dual celebration of both Caldwell County’s 175th anniversary as well as the Lockhart Post-Register’s previous 150 years (it turned 151 this year).
Dana Garrett, owner of the LPG and LPR, said there would be framed copies of the newspaper celebrating the county’s centennial celebration from 1948 on one wall of the gallery, while the other wall will be adorned with framed copies of the historic Lockhart newspaper, particularly the LPR’s 1972 centennial issue. There will also be copies of the very first News-Echo (original name of the newspaper) from 1872.
The opening of the LPG’s historic pages will coincide with First Friday, Dec. 1, as well as A Christmas to Remember on Saturday, Dec. 2. The Post-Gallery will be open on Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
There will be a continuous slide show with 2,400 photos from Lockhart Christmas celebrations over its 33 years, previously known as the Dickens Festival until its name change last year.
Garrett said there will be much more history for visitors to see.
“We have various copies of the paper framed,” Garrett said. “There will be several from 1917 and 1918. The uniqueness of them is that was during World War I. There are two in particular that are framed that have historical significance. One is a full-page, handwritten letter from President Woodrow Wilson. He was pleading for citizens to support the war and to buy bonds. Buying war bonds in World War I was a big, big, big deal because that funded the war. We have frames on the front pages of the paper where they would print everyone’s names who bought war bonds that week. It was to help publicize the need for the war bonds, and to thank the people who were buying the war bonds.
“There’s another front page where they made an announcement where they closed all three banks in town for one day from doing normal business, and the only thing they were going to do that day was sell war bonds. The other super significant page is a draft notice. It was basically a notice to the young men who were of drafting age that the draft was coming and that World War I needed men to fight the war.”
When Caldwell County held its 100th anniversary in 1948 there was a large parade with several thousand people attending.
“It was a big deal because people appreciated history more back then than they do now,” Garrett said.
The pages have been framed by J.J. Grigar of Lockhart.
The 100th anniversary of Caldwell County special edition was printed when the Post-Register was owned by the Mohle family.
“It has a tremendous amount of history that they gathered going back to the battle of Plum Creek,” Garrett said of the special issue. “They have a lot of information on the trail drivers; they have individual stories on every small community in Caldwell County and the history of that community. There are some historical maps and original county plat maps that are going to be framed.”
The framed pages will be in the Post-Gallery, but there will also be tours of the press room, where tables will have printing and newspaper artifacts such as old wooden blocks, including those that have the city map on it. There will also be old typewriters.
“We’re doing it on First Friday and a Christmas to Remember in Lockhart because there will be a lot of people in town,” Garrett said. “We have also rented a booth space from a Christmas to Remember. The Little Green Church of Martindale will have its barbecue pit called Holy Smokes in the Post-Register’s pocket park selling hot dogs on Friday night and all day on Saturday for its fundraiser.”
Garrett will be opening up the archive books to anyone that wants a copy of the newspaper that was printed on their birthday. Also, all of the framed copies that will be on display will be for sale. Garrett said it allows people to buy a piece of Lockhart history.
“We will make an appointment sometime during the following week and we will go into the archive vault and pull that copy for their birthday and they can take a picture of it,” Garrett said.