The cornerstone of the former shul sits in the courtyard of
Agudas Achim. The congregation first met in rented quarters, then
purchased and remodeled a former Presbyterian church before moving
to their present building in 1957. While Beth
El was organized from the beginning as a Reform congregation,
Agudas Achim was rigorously (and later not so rigorously) Orthodox.
Although only a handfull of families remain, a full-time rabbi
is still employed.
The covered and uncovered model shows the textbook simplicity of this Modernist design. Entry is through the enclosed courts and into a bridging element which connects the sanctuary/social hall block and the classroom/office block.
Irvin, Dean and his dog, Annie, superintend the gravedigging
in Corsicana's large and well-kept Jewish cemetery. The grave
of the person known only as the "rope walker" is the
terminus of a famous local story of the turn of the century. An
itinerant tightrope walker was performing a stunt on a rope stretched
between two downtown buildings when he fell. As he lay near death
on the street, a local minister kneeled down beside him to administer
last rites only to hear his last words, "I'm Jewish."