Cleburne Times-Review, Cleburne, TX

Rio Vista

April 5, 2011

Carnival to benefit Briden cabin

RIO VISTA — We remember when the cow pasture bank, an endearing moniker for the First State Bank of Rio Vista which is now Wells Fargo Bank and in a new location, placed Rio Vista on the map.

The bank sported the advantage of fly-in banking and whether or not the airfield behind the bank was put to much use, the marketing tactic was genius.

 On a plot of land nestled between the old bank building and the Rio Vista Police Department on the west side of Texas 174 stands a log cabin displaying Texas Historical Marker No. 5251002443, known as the Henry Briden cabin, having the distinction of being the first residence in Johnson County according to noted historian, Viola Block.

The Briden cabin was moved to its present location and restored in 1974. Donated to the city of Rio Vista by Lowell Smith in 1999, the historic landmark has been allowed to deteriorate until the mayor and a concerned group of individuals said we’re not going to take this anymore.

Rio Vista Mayor William Keith Hutchison and members of the Briden Cabin Restoration Committee have taken to task the restoration of the Briden cabin.

“Having grown up in Rio Vista, I have an affection and attachment to this community, as well as the history of it and the surrounding area. When I began to notice the extent of damage that time and the elements had taken on the Briden cabin, I knew I wanted to do what I could to save it,” said Mayor Hutchison.

With the help of Lowell Smith Jr. and Eddie Thomas, the Briden Cabin Restoration Committee was formed. Members of the committee are chairperson Jamie Sagastume, Ester Landers, DeAnn Linton, Lauren Hill, Roger Castillo and DeEdra Klinkscales.

 For the second year as a fundraising event, Rio Vista will host the Cow Pasture Carnival and Craft Fair on Thursday through Sunday at Texas 174 between city hall and the post office.

The old-fashioned carnival and fair will include rides, bands, crafts and food concessions. A cake walk and a hotdog eating contest will be held Saturday.

 A popular fundraiser for the fair is the raffling of a hand-made quilt donated to the city of Rio Vista and made by Cathy Hutchison, Elaine Woodard, Grace Scott, Judy Trussell, Lynda Fox and Vernell Peugh, members of the Sisters of the Heart quilting group.

Tickets are $5 per ticket or five for $20 and can be purchased at city hall and at the fair.

The winner will be drawn Sunday. The winner need not be present to win.

With funds raised by the Briden Cabin Restoration Committee and proceeds generated from the carnival and fair, work is expected to get underway at a future date.

A general contractor has been selected by the committee to restore the cabin pending council approval. But Rio Vista still needs the help of citizenry concerned for the preservation of this important part of Johnson County history.

Citizens are urged to contact the Rio Vista City Hall at 817-373-2588 to make a donation.

The Restoration Committee is receiving assistance from the Johnson County Historical Commission.

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Rio Vista
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