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The Land

Location

Alchemy’s Alcove is on the east side of County Road 176 approximately two miles outside the southeastern City limits of Cisco, Texas and one mile south of Interstate Highway 20.

The land is a ½ mile long rectangle, encompassing 42 ½ acres, running east to west with approximately ¼ acre of frontage along CR 176. The entrance gate is at the southwest end of the rectangle off of CR 176.

Detailed Directions

The front ten acres of overgrown pastureland fenced off for livestock grazing was previously also used for growing feed for cattle. About ½ of the way onto the land, under a canopy of post oak trees are the Homestead and Alcove camping areas.  
 

Beyond a second cross fence, two earthen ponds of approximately five acres are separated by an earth dam with a walking trial leading to the Back20 acres consisting mainly of native rangeland with mesquite, post oak, prickly ash & wild plum trees, prickly pear, barrel, jumping, horse crippler and other various types of cacti, native grasses, and wildflowers some suitable for herbal remedies.
There is a widespread population of wildlife including deer, wild hogs, quail and dove, raccoons, opossum, armadillo, skunk, and rabbits. 

The property itself is considered rolling to gently rolling – relatively flat, except at the east end where it dips down for the intermittent creek which crosses from North to South before climbing back up to the east boundary line.
Nestled in a valley a few miles north of the Leon River, the Alcove is Not in a Hazardous Flood Plain Area although during heavy rainstorms CR 176 may become impassable for short periods of time due to high water where intermittent creeks cross the road in several places.
The only exit is from County Road 176.
The elevation is 560′ to 1550′.  

︎Rocks & Minerals  

We have identified the following on property: jasper, agate, sugar quartz, red hematite, yellow common opal, flint, chert, petrified wood and arrowheads. There are conglomerate rocks as well.  Conglomerate is a clastic sedimentary rock that is composed of a substantial fraction of rounded to subangular gravel-size clasts. A conglomerate typically contains a matrix of finer-grained sediments, such as sand, silt, or clay, which fills the interstices between the clasts. The clasts and matrix are typically cemented by calcium carbonate, iron oxide, silica, or hardened clay. 

 

Trees & Plants 

We have identified the following on property: mesquite, post oak, prickly ash & wild plum trees, prickly pear cactus, barrel & horse crippler cactus and a variety of herbal plants including yarrow and mistletoe. 

 

Wildlife, Fish & Fowl 

We have identified the following on property: deer, wild hog, jack rabbit, turtle, racoon, opossum, armadillo, snake, hummingbird, white egret, blue heron, wild duck, wild geese, frogs, catfish, bass, perch, scorpion, spiders 
 

History

 

The original 85 acres was purchased by Alchemy’s grandparents in 1958 for approximately $500.  After his retirement as a general contractor, they raised Angus cattle, farmed the front 15 acres, and  grew all kinds of vegetables and blackberries for family & friends selling the extra to the public from their home on West 12th Street in Cisco.  

Alchemy and her parents moved from Juneau Alaska to Cisco in 1969, when her father retired as CWO4, a WWII Veteran with 31 years of service in the U.S. Army.   

As a child, Alchemy spent a lot of time at the ‘farm’ with her family tending to the cattle and gardens – when not exploring the creek and playing in the trees. Over the next twenty years, Alchemy continued to bring her family & friends out for weekend and holiday camping adventures whenever not living/working in Alaska, Washington & Hawaii. 

Clearing for the homestead and camping areas began in 2004 during weekend trips from Denton, living in tents for the most of a year until sleeping cabins could be constructed for the second winter.  The property was divided in half in 2005 with a fence being put down the middle going west to east. Alchemy kept the south 42-1/2 acres. A new road on the south end of the property was established for access to ‘The Alcove’. 

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Hawkwood House History

The original center section of the main house 16’x24’x19’2” was built in 2002 just outside of Denton, TX 2002 along a stretch of Corp of Engineers Greenbelt area (Trees!) before being moved in 2006 to the Alcove.  It was built on the No Debt Housing Plan with help from our family & friends, 70% materials used were salvaged/recycled with several buildings donated by vendors from the now defunct Hawkwood Medieval Fantasy Faire (1996-2001), with the rest being new materials under $10,000 cash.  

The labor was done with a lot of sweat, blood, tears and laughter. Many hearts and Many memories lay within the very fiber of this home. Grateful and Thankful does not even begin to describe our feelings for all the time, energy and love given to us by Mary/NanaMom, Heather/George, Charles & Murphy – as without them, none of this would have been possible. Most definitely blessed when our paths first mingled in 1993. *Murphy in 2000…  

 

GoGo Chaz joined us during weekends at the Alcove in 2010, although we all first met while working at Hawkwood Medieval Fantasy Faire in 1996. The first thing Chaz built was the Sweat Lodge in Meditation Grove at the north end of the property. The first addition built on the house was the GreenHouse w/Shower on the south side of the house the end of 2012. Alchemy’s new downstairs bedroom with a walk-in closet and a guest bedroom was built on the north side of the house in 2018. A year later during the winter of 2019 a new bathroom for the main house and an exterior access bathroom for Alcove Stewards and Guests was built on the southwest side of the house along with a small storage building for fueled yard equipment.  

The property has only thrived and prospered under Chaz's care as Land Manager. More areas have been cleared and opened up for camping/gatherings while new and upgrading building projects have been completed, some in progress and even more planned for future.  Together, we created the 15 minutes of motivation routine which has now become a regular practice at the Alcove.  
 

"I'm more than Grateful for the many Alcove Stewards and various groups who have passed through our Gates over the last couple of decades. Many have traveled on down the road following their own journey, others have left & returned while a few have just never gone away. Thank you all."  ~Alchemy♡ 
 

15 Minutes of Motivation in 2010 

“Today I am reminded of a request at a camp out that has changed how I look at sitting around. Alchemy had asked for everyone to take 15 minutes out of their day to just go and do something motivating. It didn't matter if it was pick up trash or grab some firewood. It wasn't about something you “had” to do anyway. It was just do something that motivated you. Everyone has a thought about what if. Everyone can say that I want to see if it’s possible. Until you take the time to truly start at least 15 minutes’ worth then it will not happen. I found out that when I choose to at least start those 15 minutes it turned into completion. Yesterday my 15 minutes turned into a 17-hour process that I just wanted to see how far I could get it. If you want to see something done just start, even if no one comes to help - you are moving forward on a thought.  Thank you, Alchemy, for 15 minutes of motivation, it has given me a chance to see how far I am willing to go just to act on an idea.” -GoGo Chaz 

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms.”  ~Henry David Thoreau~ 

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