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Day Trips

Humor abounds in this Parisian town

By Gerald E. McLeod, Fri., Oct. 5, 2012

Day Trips
Photo by Gerald E. Mcleod

The Eiffel Tower in Paris (Texas) might be mistaken for an oil derrick if it were not for the red cowboy hat at the top and the fact that it is in one of the three counties in Texas where oil has not been found.

At one time the northeast Texas town claimed to have the second-tallest Eiffel Tower. That brag came to an undisputed end when a new tower was built in Las Vegas. Now it claims only to be the second-largest Paris in the world.

The residents have a history of having a sense of humor. In the 1830s, the area had two frontier stores. One was called, with tongue firmly planted in cheek, Paris. The town grew up around that store instead of the one named Pinhook.

Paris never attained the culture of its namesake, but it did produce Jerry Bywaters, a noted Texas artist. In the town square is a plaza with a Grecian fountain. And a local banker, William J. McDonald, bequeathed his fortune to West Texas for the McDonald Observatory.

In Paris' Evergreen Cemetery, Willet Babcock's grave is marked with a statue of Jesus. Visible below his robes, Jesus is wearing cowboy boots. Those crazy Parisians have quite a sense of humor.

The 65-foot-tall Eiffel Tower is at the corner of Jefferson Rd. and South Collegiate Drive, next to the Love Civic Center.


1,105th in a series. Collect them all. Day Trips, Vol. 2, a book of "Day Trips," is available for $8.95, plus $3.05 for shipping, handling, and tax. Mail to: Day Trips, PO Box 33284, South Austin, TX 78704.

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