March 13, 2015 - The Texas Bucket List will air a St. Patrick's Day special this weekend which will feature the historic Shelby County Courthouse.
Colleen Doggett, Chairperson of the Shelby County Historical Commission, was contacted by Leigh Porterfield with the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce saying The Texas Bucket List would be contacting her concerning the courthouse. Doggett said to her surprise, "[Shane McAuliffe] did indeed call me and make an appointment to meet me" and to tour the heart of Shelby County - its historic courthouse.
"I love our Courthouse and they were just blown away with the beauty of it. They loved the story which I hope airs on the TV about the judge's escape hatch" explained Doggett.
With McAuliffe she spoke about the stories told in articles and history books concerning the escape hatch under the judges bench but she preferred the version told by Joe Lewis Jones, long time caretaker and historian of the courthouse.
Doggett relayed his version saying, "The story Joe Lewis Jones told me when he and I were talking was that in that day, when the courthouse was built it was in 1885 and it was only 40 or 35 years after the close of the Regulator-Moderator war, and so there had been numerous incidents of people coming into court with their guns and people being shot coming out of a church meeting during that war." With the mind set of troubled times in people's memory, the escape hatch was designed to be a quick get-a-way for the judge.
Now why was the historic courthouse selected to be a part of The Texas Bucket List? According to The Texas Bucket List Facebook page, its because of the courthouse's Irish style. Their Facebook post posted Thursday, March 12th along with a photo of the courthouse was - This weekend on The Texas Bucket List St. Patrick's Day special, we head to Center, Texas to visit the Shelby County Courthouse. This amazing structure was built in 1885 by an Irishman from Dublin!
The architect, J. J. E. Gibson of Ireland, designed the courthouse which is now the only remaining Irish castle style courthouse in the United States.
If you are able to watch The Texas Bucket List to see Shelby County's Historic Courthouse and Colleen Doggett giving McAuliffe and Texas a tour of it, click here to see a Texas TV Stations list of show schedule. For those unable to see, we will just have to wait and hope it will be a video available online after the show airs.