Plainview Texas, Cows And Antiques
We recently made a trip to Plainview, Texas, Hale County seat, to admire the county courthouse and see some of the popular antique shops. While there, we got some great photos of the courthouse and antiques for Hettler Insurance agency. On a side note, there is a town called Hale Center that we passed through on the way to Plainview. For an agency that provides auto and home insurance policies, that town’s name is a bit humorous.
Interestingly, the courthouse in Plainview has a dome on top; which doesn’t appear to be very common around the Lubbock area. The county was named for a hero of the Battle of San Jacinto, Lt. John C. Hale. And, according to Wikipedia, Plainview was named for the unobstructed view of the surrounding South Plains.
In the 2010 census, Plainview population was 22,194. That makes it the next largest city in our area. And, it turns out that a taste of Hollywood graced Plainview in the past. Steve Martin did a 1992 film called Leap of Faith in and around Plainview. Up to 2016, east of downtown was a water tower with the name and mascot, Rustwater Bengals, of the fictional town from the movie.
Plainview has other claims to fame: James H. Clark who founded Netscape (remember before Google?); Jimmy Dean the singer, actor, entrepreneur, and hosted The Jimmy Dean Show; Michael Egnew who is a former player for the Miami Dolphins; Bob Dorough the bebop and cool jazz pianist.
And, you just can’t miss all the painted cows seen throughout Plainview. The Plainview Cattle Drive and Stampede public art projects ushered in 48 painted fiberglass cows in the year 2000. The number of painted cows has fluctuated over the years due to damage and vandalism, but they still remain an icon attracting tourists and picture-takers.
Just incase you wonder who paints these cows, research shows that the city keeps artists and body shops on-hand to paint reclaimed cows. The city is confident that there are “retired” cows in storage around Plainview. So, they ask that if anyone has a cow in storage that they bring them to the city for “repatriation”.
Plainview has eight main antique shops located not far from downtown and the Hale County courthouse. Antiques range from quirky to posh with Aladdin teapots to stuffed animals. I’ve personally been in most of the antique shops over the years. There are some beautiful finds in Plainview. It’s worth checking out the antiques for an afternoon of fun.
One of the more popular antique shops is Old World Gifts. This shop has a national following, and antique hunters from all over the country come to buy their antiques. The shop owners opened one of the first regional shops in Plainview, in 1974. They soon began hunting for unique antiques during trips to Europe. Thus, a lot of their shop pieces can’t be found anywhere else. The Old World shop opened before the advent of internet connections, so their national popularity was all spread through word-of-mouth.