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Looking for Zodiac

November 1, 2016

I spent way too much time writing my most recent post on Texas Hill Country, but I enjoyed every step of the way.  First I had lunch with my friend Jim McCrae to get some stories – he knows lots of history and is the director of Fort Martin Scott.  Then I gathered some information on the net – I quickly found a master’s thesis from Brigham Young University which had interesting details.  I gathered some photos from the net which represented the story, but they weren’t just right, so I went to the Pioneer Museum and had an interesting discussion with Dr Lindley, the director, then took some photos of their model of Zodiac while the docent pulled out stories from a couple of their books for me.  Then I went to MarktPlatz and photographed the water wheel erected at the 125th Anniversary remembering the Mormons at Zodiac and how they helped the fledgling community.  This afternoon I wandered out east to find the original town site and the historical marker.  In the process I met Elmer Schmitdzinsky, whose family has owned the land since 1895.  Elmer is a genuine and interesting man who has scratched out a living on the farm most of his life, despite drought and floods and the vagaries of markets. He asked me if I had seen a picture of the marker; I replied that I had, and he told me I was welcome to walk to see it, but that’s all I would find, the same photo I’d seen.  I didn’t tell Elmer, but I also go to those places to listen for voices from the past.

I didn’t hear any ghosts this time; all I heard was a gentle breeze and the whine of vehicles on Highway 290 a mile distant across the Pedernales River.

There is nothing left of Zodiac but stories.  And a millstone.

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