Two Visits this year to this charming small town in the upper reaches of Texas Hill Country. Hico, Texas motto is “Where everybody is Somebody.” A Brownwood couple had recommended we visit, and we made a side stop in the Winter to Wiseman Chocolates. It is a quaint shop in the old doctors victorian house with locally made wonderful chocolate showroom of all things chocolate, gifts, alcohol laced chocolates and my favorite – dark chocolate toffee. Bring your credit card.
Hico TX provides an alternative ending to the death of Billy the Kid and has a Museum to “prove” that he was not killed in New Mexico. He lived to be an old man and died in Hico, TX. Twenty five years ago, I had visited the cemetery in Lincoln, New Mexico which boasts the grave of Billy the Kid, so I was intrigued. They have pictures of both the old and young Billy the Kid and factual accounts of another person in Billy’s grave. Two little towns. Two little Museums. One Billy the Kid Outlaw. No fee required, but a recommended $10 dollar donation to see their “evidence”. Interesting place.
Now, if you want to get your buzz of caffeine either before or hitting the delightful Hico Mercantile, you must visit the food truck – Get Buzzed. It sits in an alley across from the store that draws people to Hico. You can also rent them out for bartending using local ale, beers and Texas bourbon.
There is a dark side to this part of Texas. No one there said a thing, but we were told by no less than 4 people in Brownwood (1.5 hours away) that Hico had been the headquarters for the KKK or Ku Klux Klan as recent as late in the last century. The Kozy Kup Cafe was the local diner with fantastic food and pies. It is no coincidence that this was the former meeting place and has now changed its name. Sort of.
The other legend with the old timers who remember it as a kid (80 plus years ago), is that there was a hanging tree in Comanche, TX for any blacks who were there at night. Again, going through Comanche about 45 minutes from Hico, there were no signs and no-one to tell us if this is truth. But we found the described tree – smack dab in the middle of Comanche with lots of historical plaques. There is a place for shame and not being associated with such a dark time of lynching in America. Let this be a reminder of people’s capability for sins of those here and in our past.