Consider Corsicana

My hometown.

Where the street lights flash yellow after 8 pm. Where folks long past high school age still have school spirit. Where you can lean on your neighbor when need be, as long as they didn’t hear that trash you were talking about them last week after church. Where the only place to shop is Walmart.

At least, that’s what most people who live there think. The truth is, you can stray from the big box stores and highway intersection chain restaurants. With long standing business like Collin Street Bakery and Roy’s Cafe, it would seem Corsicana intends to support small business, but it has given in to corporate overlords that send small business owners packin’. And shoppin’ …at Walmart.

I set out to explore the side of Corsicana locals advertise but often don’t aid. Since the mid to late 1800’s the town has boasted a beautiful, red brick, classic downtown. Built mostly on oil, struck from 1894 through the mid 1950s, the town of 25 thousand shows us glimpses of the past in crumbly mortar and peeling, patina copper ceilings. A gilded era long gone. The only thing better than a trip down Beaton Street today is looking at photos of downtown Corsicana in it’s true prime, the turn of the 20th century.

Next time you’re headed to Houston, stop by for a chicken fried steak and leave with a fruitcake, no matter how close it is to Christmas.

Probably didn’t look much different in 1900.
This soda jerk has exchanged hands several times over the years, but the mural to the other liquid gold: Dr. Pepper, has stayed the same.
There are a few painted pianos scattered over several city blocks.
Don’t even think about eating anywhere besides Roy’s unless it’s after 2; then head on over to Old Mexican Inn.
The pocket park was installed when I was growing up, and there are plans currently in the works for a second! If you graduated high school from CHS, you probably had graduation photos taken here.
This was a surprise. You can stick it to the man here now? Apparently so! Just wear a handkerchief to hide your identity while doing so.
Antique shops dot the downtown district.
Most of the stuff inside these shops has probably spent most of it’s life right there in Navarro county. Just like their shopkeepers.
From time to time, older structures catch fire or succumb to poor care, and this means you can take a 5 pound hunk of Corsicana home with you in red clay form! These Whiteselle “cherry reds” are all over Texas, even on campus at A&M.
Pull up a chair. Modern interior design and restoration shops also make their home in downtown. Along with live theater and a library with over 50 thousand books, there is always something to do in downtown Corsicana.
You never have to drive too far outside of town to really get away from it all… Texas, forever.

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