Poll: Green’s tops list of ‘must see’ places
DAVID STONE | OUR TOWN TEMPLE
What started long ago as a global list of the ‘8 Wonders of the World’ has caught on like wildfire, and today there are 8 Wonders of the US, 8 Wonders of Kansas, 8 Wonders of the Milky Way … I could go on, and I will.
After reading a compilation of the 8 Wonders of Port Aransas, I got to wondering: What about Temple?
So, I asked Temple residents — more than 2,500 of them: What are eight places every visitor to Temple should see?
Forty-one places were mentioned, and an argument could be made for most. The eight selected are definitely worthy, but this could easily have been a Top 20 compilation.
8 WONDERS OF THE TEMPLE AREA
This is no surprise: Green’s Sausage House over in Zabcikville ran away from the field with 313 votes, or 12 percent of all votes cast.
Green’s, as most of you know, is a combination meat packing company, market and restaurant, and the big draws are fresh meats, kolaches, sausage burgers and beer. You just can’t go wrong with that combination.
The Santa Fe Depot was second on the list with 212 votes and 9 percent of the votes. This is kind of a three-fer, the Depot includes the Temple Railroad & Heritage Museum, the Amtrak station and Santa Fe Plaza and fountains.
The third most mentioned location is perhaps the most famous of all Temple landmarks, especially with local thrill seekers. Suicide Hill, aka the big hill on Bird Creek Drive, garnered 185 votes, which was 7 percent of the total. During the recent icy weather, my mind drifted back to the days of sliding down the frozen hill on cardboard or trash can lids. No one in Temple had a sled — especially back in the 1970s and 80s. Probably not the safest thing to do, but it was packed with kids young and old.
The fourth most popular spot was Seaton’s Tom Sefcik Hall, and legendary dance hall and bar. Over the years, the hall has hosted country, polka, waltz and rock bands, and for years the late David Zychek entertained young rockers with his annual Christmas night concerts. Sefcik received 6 percent of the vote.
Also with 6 percent, but with one vote less than Sefcik, was the Book Cellar’s legendary tunnels. The tunnels are blocked, but there is an entrance from the basement book store. Apparently, steam from a boiler room near the old Temple High School was piped Downtown to use for heat. A system of maintenance tunnels followed the pipes, and over the years the tunnels were used for a variety of purposes. The Book Cellar was a bar long ago, and according to local lore, visitors at the Doering Hotel could travel from the hotel to the bar without stepping foot on the street. Another legend has it that a young girl was murdered in the tunnel, and her spirit remains in the tunnel system. This is almost an exception to the rule: I doubt a visitor will be able to view the tunnel, but they can see the door.
Rounding out the 8 Wonders list are the Chinese Mansion between 11th and 13th streets near Munroe Avenue (you’ll know it when you see it), the Kyle Hotel, and the Arcadia Theatre, which is being renovated and will reopen this year.
That’s the list, but many others were mentioned. An honorable mention list would have to include the Hindu Temple of Central Texas (just off Midway…very cool), Miller Springs Nature Area just below Belton Dam, Christ Episcopal Church, First Methodist Church, Lions Park, the Bell County Museum, the Children’s Museum, the MKT Depot, Kerley’s Market, Buccee’s, the Czech Museum & Geneology Center, the Cultural Activities Center, Bo’s Barn, Cheeves, Pignetti’s, the Oscar Store, Walker Honey Farm, Robinson’s Family Farm, Old Jody’s, Clem’s BBQ, Ratibor Country Grill, the Scott Cabin at Baylor Scott & White-Temple and the Ma and Pa Ferguson home.
STAY TUNED: THIS GIVES ME SEVERAL STORY IDEAS