The Search for Dextra

This week, Jasmin and I went on a search for a “ghost town” called Dextra.  We weren’t able to find a whole lot of information on the town site, but we did find an extremely helpful article by Mr. Bob Bowman detailing how to get there.

The county road that leads to Dextra is right outside of the town of Sacul, which isn’t much more than a ghost town, itself, with a population of about 170.  There are only a few buildings, and even fewer of them contain actual businesses anymore.  The most notable of these still-operational structures is a long strip of a building where they hold Bluegrass music shows every month.  We stopped to take a few pictures and noticed flea market type merchandise being displayed and a couple of open doors, so we went in.  Set up like a small, informal museum showing the history of Sacul, it was incredibly charming!

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We met the lady in charge, a Ms. White, who had been born and raised in Sacul.  Ms. White proved to be more than happy to answer all of our questions, and was an invaluable source of information.  She told us that the building we were touring was built in 1903 and used to house three different establishments.  A general store, a bank (the vault is still standing), and a mercantile store.

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General Store

One exhibit in particular that Ms. White was clearly very pleased with was a large sheet of advertisements, which she remembers being used as a stage background in the school she attended.  She pointed out that it’s so old, one of the advertised phone numbers is simply “44”.  She estimates the backdrop to be between 80 and 90 years old.

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Stage Backdrop of Advertisements

When asked about the town of Dextra, she told us that she wouldn’t have really considered it a town, so much as a small community.  She showed us a photograph of the inside of the old Dextra schoolhouse, back when it was still in operation, and she also brought us to this exhibit:

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Apparently, some time ago, someone brought her this cornerstone, which had been torn out of the framework of the Dextra Masonic Lodge.  Removing the top, she revealed a cylindrical storage space inside of the stone.  If there was ever anything inside, she informed us, whoever tore it out must have removed it before bringing it to her.  We thanked Ms. White for the information and got a few more pictures of Sacul before heading out to find Dextra.

 

When we came across the few structures that make up Dextra, we were more than a little disappointed to discover that the church had been rebuilt in the 1950s and appears to still be in use; so it was not the historical marvel we had hoped for, and Ms. White had not exaggerated the overgrown state of the old schoolhouse.  We intend to return in wintertime, when some of the overgrowth may have died back enough for us to get a better view.

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The lodge, however, was everything we had hoped for.  In a beautiful state of decay, but not so far gone that we couldn’t visualize what it had once been, the building was perfection.  The hole from the missing cornerstone is easily noticeable, and there is no glass in any of the windows anymore, so we could easily get a good look and snap a few pictures of the inside.  For a structure that was built in 1918 and has been abandoned for so many years, we were surprised to find it in such good condition.

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After we had gotten all of the pictures we wanted, we headed back to the main road (after almost driving into a ditch), and drove on a little further into Cushing, which I’ll talk about in another post, because this one’s getting a tad lengthy.  If you get the time to visit Sacul (which, in case you haven’t noticed by this point, is Lucas spelled backwards), we would highly recommend it!  There certainly isn’t much to do, but the little museum/flea-market is fun, and there is a little cafe (which we did not try, this time) where you can grab some lunch.

2 thoughts on “The Search for Dextra

  1. TextileRanger

    I used to go through Sacul and Reklaw a lot, when going from college in Nacogdoches, to my parents’ home in Dallas. Glad something is still there! But I missed hearing about Dextra back then. Great photos and descriptions!

    Liked by 1 person

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