Parker County Today November 2017 - Page 80

Continued from page 55 (a nice change from observing the antics of the single guys that live a few houses down from us). It’s a woodsy sort of place that rests on the banks of Joe Pool Lake. It’s a great place to watch the sun set over a large body of water — one that’s way more spacious than our swim- ming pool. Joe Pool is a huge lake — 7,500 acres.  Another great thing about Cedar Hill is that, although it’s remote, there are still restaurants, should we decide we could go for something besides our own cooking, and plenty of “cute” shops in case my wife begins to suffer a severe case of retail withdrawal, and it’s all about five miles from the park. It was great to relax by the lake, hike, bike, explore rugged limestone hills and prairie pockets, or tour an old Texas farm.  In warm weather (when we went last November, it was not at all warm) you can swim, fish and boat, or paddleboat. You can camp at one of 350 developed campsites, all near restrooms with very hot showers — a must for me. All sites have water and electricity; 150 have sewer hook- ups, too. Several sites are ADA-accessible. Or you can hike to a primitive campsite, if trails are open. (Not really for me, these days, but it may be your cup of tea.) Explore the trails on a bike or on foot. The DORBA Trail, named for the volunteers of the Dallas Off Road Biking Association, crisscrosses 1,200 acres and is open to bikers and hikers. The trail is closed when the weather is damp, so call ahead to make sure it’s open. Besides enjoying the great company of our friends and fellow Glampers, what I personally found interesting was the story behind the park and the historical glimpse we got from the houses and barns that belonged to the Penn family that once owned and lived on Cedar Hill Park and Sponsored By 78 worked it as a farm for more than a century.  The Penn Family’s Story John Anderson Penn grew up in Illinois but became caught up in the fervor of the “Goldrush,” went to California in 1849, and struck gold.  In 1854, he moved his family to the piece of land that is now known as Cedar Hill, leaving behind his home in Illinois to settle in Texas.  Like so many farm families of that era, the Penns grew wheat, corn, oats and barley. John also managed herds of horses, sheep and cattle with his sons.  In the late 1850s, John Anderson Penn’s son John Wesley Penn became sole owner of 1,100 acres, known as Penn Farm. In 1859, John Wesley married Lucinda Moore and they built a frame hou 6R*F6VB( G( v2W6VBF6RFRw0bF2&&BFR6&&7BbFV"Wv0FR'&6rB6VƖr6GFRGW&rFR6fv"BGvb2'&FW'2VBFR6fVFW&FP&ג( 2'&FW"vƖFVBFRv"*FV"fFW"FW'6V&WGW&VBFƖ2'sbvW6WBV6FBffR6G&VFW'VBWrW6RF66FFRFV"w&vpf֖ǒFR6G&VGFVFVB676W2g&FW&v'FVFVvFw&FRFWB66V"&VBvF'&V0f"'fW7FrBFr*FRf&v2&7W&W2'WB7FFRV2vW&Pg'VvvVFW&VvBWrV6Rbf&WVV@FWvVBVWFRBRf"'G2*vW6WVFVBg&&GFW6P&FRV6FBW"R6G&V6FVVBFf&ЧFRB6G&Wr( G( VvVBFRf&W&FBFW"66FWVB0f֖ǒf&VBFRvW"7&VvRFVvGFF( @6FVVBvR