Thank You, Burton!
I got to spend Saturday at the Burton Cotton Gin Festival, one of the big dates on the local calendar there. Although I’d visited the museum there many times, this was the first occasion to be there for the festival. Nothing says small-town Texas like hearing a polka cover of Hank Williams’ “Take These Chains from My Heart” by the Shiner, Texas Hobo Band (above). I missed the cotton ginning-and-baling demonstration — the gin’s 16-ton, 1925 Bessemer Type IV diesel oil engine, “Lady B,” is reportedly the largest internal combustion engine of its vintage still operating in the United States — but in all it was great fun!
As someone who’s spent a long time around small, local history museums, I must say I was genuinely impressed by the size of the event. There are only 350 people living in Burton, and I’m pretty sure at least half of them were volunteering at the event. Kudos to the Burton Cotton Gin Museum, its staff and volunteers, and the community, for putting on such an impressive event.