Brushyland's 30th Birthday
Nov. 1978 - Nov. 2008

On November 21, 1978 my father bought roughly 230 acres of hilly, wooded land in East Texas that has become known as "Brushy Land". Dad was but 39 at the time and I was a young pup of 12 years. Not long after buying the property, Dad and our friends began building stuff. Really cool stuff. And we began riding dirt bikes there. And watching sunsets. And having more fun than folks should be allowed to have. Thanks for 30 years of joy, Dad. Click here to read an essay I wrote about Brushy Land's 30th birthday. I read that essay at Thanksgiving 2008. There are plenty of pictures of Brushy Land on my site - but very few from those early days. So to commemorate the wonderful decision my dad made 30 years ago to buy the land, here are a few pictures from early on.

Brad, Dan & Jason - December 1978
Building the main entrance.

Brad & Jason - December 1978
Jason and I could only work so long before finding a way to play.

Dan Stone - Fall 1979
At the original front entrance.

Don Hale & Dan Stone - Fall 1979
Building "The Kitchen" - the first of many structures.

Don Hale, T.J. Stone & Rosemary Sullivan - Fall 1979
Notice the unfinished "Kitchen" in the background.

Dan Stone - Fall 1979
Dad is admiring the nearly completed Kitchen. A few months later we built "The Lodge" next to the Kitchen.

"The Group" at Brushyland - May 1979.

Thanksgiving 1979
Thanksgiving at Brushyland has become quite the annual tradition. But that first one was cold (39 degrees) and windy. It's amazing the tradition didn't end right there. At that time we had only built The Kitchen, which couldn't hold everyone, so we did not have a roof over our heads as we ate. By the end of the meal, sleet was pelting our Thanksgiving dinner. Good times!

Mema & Chuck Mandernach - Thanksgiving 1979

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