The Folk Songs of Texas in Historic Nacogdoches
The General Merchandise and Old Time String Shop, located at 216 Pilar St. on the square in downtown Nacogdoches, is a meeting place for musicians on pleasant Saturday afternoons and festival summer days where you can hear some of the folk songs of Texas being worked out in spontaneous, informal get-togethers. This site was the location of the original home of John S. Roberts (1796-1871), a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence and a participant in the Fredonian Rebellion of 1826 and the Battle of Nacogdoches 1832. In 1833 Roberts built an elegant frame home here at the corner of South Fredonia and Pilar Streets. He and his wife Harriet Fenley entertained some of the most prominent men in early Texas history including Sam Houston, Thomas J. Rusk and J. Pinckney Henderson.¹ In the 1930's the current brick building operated as Stone's Cafe which has been associated with the legend of Bonnie and Clyde. In the 1970's Steve Hartz, a collector, preservationist, and composer of East Texas traditional music---old fiddle tunes and songs of the 1830 to 1900's era---opened the the Old Time String Shop in the Roberts Building which has become a meeting place for enthusiasts of the Texas Folk Song.
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