Central Texas Town Up For Sale Beginning Friday

By: Paul J. Gately Email
By: Paul J. Gately Email

THE GROVE (April 23, 2010)-Downtown The Grove and everything in it goes on the auction block Friday morning and by Sunday night every piece will have been sold to the highest bidder.

The downtown business district - founded in 1859 - sold to Moody Anderson in 1972 and he spent nearly 40 years gathering memorabilia to fill his Country Life Museum from floor to ceiling.

Now, all of that memorabilia will be sold by Burley Auctions and auctioneer Rob Burley.

According to the Burley Auction Group website, thousands of items and then the buildings, themselves, will be sold this weekend.

Burley said the town opens up for an auction preview at 8 a.m. Friday and the first lot of 600 is set for sale beginning at 10 a.m.

The items include a fully-stocked country store, a bank teller cage and vault, a post office - which was decommissioned in 1996 but up until then operated daily - a dentist's office, a saloon and a blacksmith's shop.

The Grove is on Farm Road 1114 just off State Highway 36, sixteen miles southeast of Gatesville in eastern Coryell County.

It was established about 1859 and named for the grove of live oak trees in which it is situated.

At one time the settlement was called Morrison Grove. By the late 1860s the community had two general stores, a mill, and a gin.

The post office opened in 1874 with J. B. Coleman as postmaster. In the mid-1880s the community had three general stores, two groceries, and a population of 150; area farmers shipped cotton, hides, and grain.

By 1900 The Grove was one of the most prosperous towns in the county. It had a two-teacher school with sixty students in 1904, and a Lutheran school opened there in 1908.

The community began to decline in the 1940s, when it was bypassed by State Highway 36.

Some area farmers were forced to relocate when Fort Hood was established in the early 1940s, and others lost land when the Belton dam was built in 1953. Improvements in transportation and consolidation of agriculture also contributed to the community's decline.

The public school at The Grove closed in 1948, and students were bussed to schools in other communities.

The Lutheran school continued to operate until 1962 but was then closed for lack of students.

The population of The Grove, reported as 150 in the 1940s, fell to 140 in the 1950s and 1960s, and by 1970 to sixty-five, where it remained through 2000.

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  • by Anonymous on Apr 24, 2010 at 09:10 AM
    I'm with you zenaida. They've been trying for several years to sell it intact and no one has bought it. I hate to see all this memorabilia, that someone worked so hard to put together, sold piecemeal this way. I agree that it is very sad.
  • by zenaida Location: waco on Apr 23, 2010 at 05:24 PM
    Since they are auctioning off the contents before they auction the buildings, I would doubt there is any intention of keeping the place intact as it is. What good would the buildings be without their remarkable contents. This is a sad sad day. And to "Real," I wish I had the money, because I would have given anything way out there in the sticks, protected from the unwashed masses.
  • by Real Location: close by on Apr 23, 2010 at 03:33 PM
    It's a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there!! I hope somebody keeps what is left going!!
  • by Dustin Location: Temple on Apr 23, 2010 at 01:22 PM
    "let the rest of the world enjoy it for Free just like it is intended" what does that mean? These buildings were built to house businesses to make money. Just because they are old doesn't mean there is a obligation to give it away. Hopefully someone will to something to preserve the history, but if they choose to make money at it, it is their right.
  • by Bob Location: Denver on Apr 23, 2010 at 11:48 AM
    It would have to be someone with a lot of money to do it for free.
  • by Gary Location: WACO on Apr 23, 2010 at 08:43 AM
    I hope whoever buys it decides to let the rest of the world enjoy it for FREE just like it is intended to be and don't commercialize it or change anything
  • by Tae on Apr 23, 2010 at 08:23 AM
    This is so awesome to know that there was a community like this close by. I was never aware of the buildings! I love historical items!
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