Boy Scout Cabins

Scout cabins have always been popular with Scout Troops.  Many exist today in the Council.   Two new ones have been built in the last couple of years, one in Golthwaite in memory of Dr. T. C. Graves and one in Stephenville by the Lion’s Club for Troop 39.

But what about the old cabins that troops used years ago?  Some of those are still around too, one in Rising Star and another in Sipe Springs.

First Scout Hut

The first known Scout Hut was constructed at Lakewood, a swimming pool just south of Brownwood and a popular spot for people to go swimming and stay overnight.  Troop 5, sponsored by the Austin Ave. Presbyterian Church, under the leadership of E. M. Davis, arranged with the owners, W. D. McCulley, to construct a log hut at the pool in the fall of 1921.  They finally started on the hut in 1923.  By the spring of 1924, they had a partially completed hut but had plans to make it into one of the best cabins around.  By early 1928, the cabin was finished and in use, along with two signal towers, flag poles and leveled the land in front of the cabin.  One signal tower was in front of the cabin and another was on top of a hill.

It is interesting to note that the logs for the cabin were obtained from an old Coggin homestead on the corner of Austin Ave. and Avenue K.  The logs were taken out to the building site by Ned McCulley, Duncan McCulley, Cecil White, Robert McDowell, Jesse Wheeler, Robert Rives, Elmo (Monkey) Hicks, Rusty Rogan, and Harry Boyer. They were fitted back together using nothing more than a hammer and small hand saw.  The finished cabin had a sand floor.

Lucas Farm

Black Arrow Society - 1929Troop 2, not to be outdone by Troop 5, started building a cabin on the Capps-Lucas Pecan Farm.  It seems that C. L. Pouncey and Mr. Lucas both belonged to the same church and were friends, so it was easy to get permission to build the cabin on the Lucas property.  By the fall of 1929, they almost had it completed and were using their cabin for almost all their meetings.   It was made out of old telephone poles and they filled in the cracks with clay.    They had built the entire cabin by themselves except for the chimney.

Many activities were held at the cabin including meetings of the Black Arrow Society, the Council Executive Board, Courts of Honor and several other events.  Sometimes two troops would go out there together and camp.  The cabin was situated on the far end of a lake, so it was ideal for all kinds of activities.

By 1936, Troop 16 had taken over the cabin and was using it for its meetings, campouts and other activities.  They put on a new roof in 1938, and it was still being used as late as 1939 by the troop.

Rising Star

The log cabin for Rising Star Troop 115 was built behind the First Methodist Church there and was dedicated on May 13, 1933.  The cabin was made of logs chinked with concrete and had a concrete floor, shingled roof and chimney made of native stones trimmed with petrified wood.  That cabin still stands today, and you can see it sitting just behind the parsonage next to the church.  It is still in good shape  and currently being used to store a lawnmower and other tools used to take care of the grounds of the church.

Other Scout Huts

Here is a photo of the elaborate Scout cabin in Iraan, Texas.

On May 11, 1933, the Boy Scouts of Breckenridge were presented with a cabin by Mrs. H. B. Furr, Chairman of the Mother’s Auxiliary of the Boy Scouts of Breckenridge.  The Scout cabin was located on the Furr Ranch about one and a half miles from Breckenridge.

It was reported in the “Boy Scout News” of the Brownwood Bulletin on December 18, 1936, that Troop 6  of Eastland was making progress with its troop cabin as reported by Scoutmaster BilThey almost had the wall completed.

Town Now Gone

Sipes Spring Scout HutThe Scout cabin built at Sipe Springs is still in existence even though the town is no longer there.   The cabin was built sometime in the early 30’s when they had a troop sponsored by the school , which by the way is also gone.  The cabin is located next to the old water tower stand, next to the paved Highway 1477 through town, and is in perfect shape.  The construction is almost identical to the Scout Cabin in Rising Star.   Someone has recently replaced the roof with a new metal roof and replaced the door.  It has a dirt floor and nice fireplace.  If you use your imagination, you could look up the road and see the Scouts coming to their troop meeting that night!

It was reported in June 1938 that the Scouts of Blanket were making a unique totem pole to place in front of their Scout hut.  Each Scout was carving an emblem on a piece of wood that would be assembled to make the totem pole.

In April 1939, it was reported that Cross Cut had acquired a Scout hut that was located on the Lewis E. Newton place.

Railroad Car

Old Railroad Car used for Scout HutOne of the most interesting Scout huts had to be the one that Troop 2, Brownwood, sponsored by the fire department, acquired in the summer of 1939.  A railroad coach, 53 by 9 feet, was moved to a lot at the old No. 2 fire station near Coggin School.  The officials of the Santa Fe railroad, members of the Brownwood Volunteer Fire Department and their troop sponsors all pitched in together to bring the car to its site.   The troop met in that spot for many years.  The old fire station is now gone as is the railroad coach.   But, sitting in its place,in the exact same spot, is an old World War II barracks from Camp Bowie, used by Troop 22 for many years up until 1998, when Neal Pepper and Chris Firth were Scoutmasters of the Troop.

Troop 49 of Cisco, sponsored by the Baptist Church, was making plans to build a Scout Hut on some land provided to it for that purpose.  Another friend of Scouting was providing the logs to use in building the building.  This was reported on November 11, 1940, in the “Boy Scout News” column of the Brownwood Bulletin.

In December 1940, it was reported that Troop 43 was gathering at their Scout hut on December 23rd to work on completing the cabin.  All the Scouts were to bring a sack lunch and fruit or canned goods to use in a “good turn” for Christmas.

Scout Hut From Camp Bowie

Troop 14 Scout cabin from old Camp Bowie Mess HallTroop 14, sponsored by the First United Methodist Church of Brownwood, started meeting in 1972 in the Woodland Heights Elementary School’s cafeteria, an old World War II dining hall building from Camp Bowie.  In the fall of 1973, they moved the building, partial concrete floor and all, over to Bill Allcorn Park.  They continue to meet in that building today along with Pack 14.   They have added a totem pole in front of the building near Indian Creek.

Today’s Scout Huts

We know of several other Scout huts that exist in the area.  Troop 37 in DeLeon has a Scout hut made out of red brick tile with a metal roof and is located near the airport on the south side of town.   Scout Troop 30 of Dublin meets behind the First United Methodist Church in an old house that has been turned into a Scout hut.  Troop 67 in Comanche meets in a Scout hut located just behind the water tower in town.  Of course, Troop 77 of Goldthwaite and Troop 39 of Stephenville both now meet in brand new Scout Huts built just recently.  Troop 63 of  Breckenridge meets in a Scout hut located in town and Troop 10 of Ranger also meets in a Scout hut in the park.

This page taken from "Ninety Years of Service," by Frank T. Hilton, 1999

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