www.thegrove-jefferson.com                          June 2004                                      ISSN 1558-3252

This is a tiny little free subscription ezine for friends of The Grove - it is by request only. In other words, we NEVER arbitrarily add email addresses. We also NEVER sell or share email addresses with anyone else, for any reason at any time. We hate SPAM as much as you do!

Hi all - so, here's the first issue of a simple little ezine that we've put together to answer a lot of the questions that we get by email. The most common is, "What's been happening at The Grove?" We'll tackle that one shortly.

Meanwhile, out in the garden the Tiger Lilies are getting ready to bloom in another week or so, and for some reason the Day Lilies are coming up a bit late, so we're expecting the garden to look like an explosion of orange in the very near future.

We have several news items to share, including a ghost story or two, so let's get started with this first issue of the GroveZine!

We're in mourning for Matt's, a popular Tex-Mex restaurant here in town. Not that there isn't a wealth of other wonderful places to eat - Italian, Mexican, Gourmet Burgers and more - but Matt's was a nice addition to the Jefferson restaurant family. Many of you probably ate there during one of your visits. One favorite was the "Cowboy Chicken Fried Steak", which was a normal CFS topped with chili, then served with rice and beans. And who could forget their "Bowl of Bob"? It was a delicious concoction of meat, cheese, guac, beans, sour cream and who knows what else. Yep, we're going to miss Matt's a lot.

If you're a golf fanatic, then the annual Jefferson Lions Club Golf Tournament may be just the thing to entice you to our gentle little city. You can find out all of the details on their website (just click on the golf link): www.jeffersonlionsclub.org

As July 4th approaches, you may want to consider coming to Jefferson for the holiday. A band plays patriotic music in Otstott Park's gazebo, there are day-long festivities, and you'll never forget the home-town American feel of the holiday. Everything is capped off by a fireworks display that will literally take your breath away. Contact the Chamber of Commerce at www.jefferson-texas.com for details.

The Grove Tour

Other big news around the place: we've opened The Grove up as a Jefferson Tour Home. It's been a long time coming, but so many people have strolled by wanting to tour the house, that after it was on Pilgrimage we thought that the time was right. There are two tours: 3PM on Saturday, and 11AM on Sunday - but there is much more info on the website: www.thegrove-jefferson.com

The tour takes visitors to the garden for a story or two, and then all through the house. You'll hear the history of The Grove, its classic ghost stories, and the tales of what's been going on lately. We're working hard to make it an interesting attraction for the visitors to the city of Jefferson, and we greatly appreciate the support that everyone's shown.

What's That Plant?

If you've been on the tour lately, you may have been invited to take home a piece of The Grove's garden - we try to have plant cuttings rooted in small cups for your convenience. If you want to know more about the plant that we've been giving away lately, it's called "Tradescantia Zebrina", or more commonly, "Zebrina Wandering Jew". It will grow as a ground cover, but we use it in hanging baskets - its little purple flowers are very nice. You can place your plant in bright indirect or filtered sunlight. If your "Zebrina Wandering Jew" looses some of its color and starts to appear droopy, then it's time to water. To make a hanging basket, take cuttings and root them in the pot - the cuttings are very east to root. Happy growing!

What's a tale of The Grove without a ghost story or two? Well, since something seems to be happening all of the time it's hard to record it... which is another reason for this ezine. It's one way to keep a record of things. Here's just a few stories about what's been happening lately:

Last week I was doing a book signing over at the train station, and had a chance to visit with one of the employees there. For years he's lived in the house diagonal from The Grove across the street. One of the things that he said to me was, "Man, I don't know how you manage to sleep in that house!" I told him that we sleep rather soundly, with an occasional surprise or two from the house. He went on to say that over the course of the years he's seen some very strange things happen at The Grove. The thing that surprised him the most occurred when he was sitting outside as the sun was going down one evening. Some movement over at the house caught his eye, and he saw that not only was the light on in the front parlor, but it was swinging back and forth. One of the unusual things about this was that the house was empty - no one was living there. He told me that the next day as he was walking by, he stopped to examine the place to see if someone had moved in, but to his surprise there wasn't even an electric meter mounted in the box. An interesting tale, to be sure. While we've definitely had lights turn on and off for no apparent reason, we've never experienced the swinging light phenomenon that so many people have reported. Maybe someday.

One of my favorite things that's happened lately involves Charlie Young, who bought The Grove in 1885 and lived here until his death in the 1930's. Earlier this year, a friend of ours from Dallas had come over for the weekend to help us get the house ready for Jefferson's Pilgrimage. She was sleeping on a couch in the "new room" (the room off the kitchen that was added in 1870), and her 12 year old daughter was sleeping on a couch in the blue room (the room between the new room and the East Parlor). The next morning I asked her daughter how she slept, and she said, "Fine, except for that man walking around." Now, I was the only male in the house, so I was very interested in what she'd seen. She said that he was kind of a short man, with dark skin and a big mustache. Her mother had come into the room along with my wife, and listened as the girl described the man in detail. My wife slipped out of the room and dug out a photo of Mr. Charlie that we had in a drawer, and gave it to the girls mother. She was amazed that her daughter was describing the man exactly, when there was no was no way that the girl had ever seen the photo - or have known anything about Mr. Charlie, for that matter. She said that he'd just walked around the room looking around, and passed through a few times. She said that she wasn't frightened of him, which didn't surprise me; people always ask how we can live here, but the things that happen really aren't scary when they occur.

I don't want to ramble on too much, but there is one more story that I have to tell. I was working on this month's ezine on Monday June 7th, at about 5 PM, when I happened to glance over into the Blue Room. I saw a dark figure walk across and duck into the center stairwell, and was sitting there wondering what it was when Tami said, "Did you see that? Two people in black just walked through the Blue Room!" We'd both seen it happen right there in the light of day - and apparently Tami had been watching longer than I, since she'd seen a couple walking past. It seems like there's always something happening at The Grove.

Well, by next month I'm sure that there will be more stories to share. Thank you so very much for spending a little time with us, and we hope that you enjoyed it!


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