This morning I went to Laguna Gloria. Today holders of Bank of America VISA cards could tour the Driscoll Villa free of charge, so I decided that this would be a good day to visit. I saw a couple of peacocks, probably AWOL from the next-door Mayfield Park and Preserve.
The original home of the Art Museum of Austin (AMOA), Laguna Gloria is a beautiful, peaceful place on the east bank of Lake Austin. It has been declared a national treasure and is on city, state and national registries of historic places. The Driscoll Villa is the centerpiece of the twelve-acre site. Its historic gardens were inspired by Clara Driscoll’s travels in Italy, as well as her love for gardening and her native state. The grounds of Laguna Gloria have been revived to her landscape plan of 1916. The formal upper terrace surrounding the villa allows for a dramatic view of the lake and hills. The Garden of the Four Seasons features the original statues that Driscoll acquired in Venice. The informal lower gardens include an amphitheater and a natural oak ridge with native oak and cedar trees and a wide variety of plants.
Clara Driscoll (1881- 1945) was the second child of a wealthy Irish ranching family and was instilled with an intense pride in Texas. Her two grandfathers fought for Texas’ independence in the Battle of San Jacinto. She became one of the most influential women in Texas history. In 1904 she purchased the Alamo in order to preserve this important Texas shrine. In 1906 the State of Texas reimbursed her and named the Daughters of the Republic of Texas (DRT) as the Alamo’s official custodians. She became known as the “savior of the Alamo” but she always acknowledged the leadership of the DRT.
In 1906 she married Henry Hulme Sevier at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. They purchased Laguna Gloria and the Villa was completed in 1916. They often hosted international dignitaries and politicians. In 1943, she donated Laguna Gloria to the Texas Fine Arts Association. Her portrait hangs in both the Alamo and the Texas Senate chambers.
This afternoon I backed up one of my external drives, My Passport, which took almost eight hours. The drive often makes a clicking sound, so I’m assuming that it probably will croak soon. I want to make sure that I can recover my files if it does. I already save my documents and photos to other devices. If I err, I want to err on the side of caution. I know what it’s like to try to reconstruct my records after a hard drive crash. Not fun!!