Tybee and Kurt
Vault in downtown Malakoff, Texas at Cedar Creek Lake is the newest addition to the downtown Boom. Many people have asked how Vault came to be and why Malakoff, Texas? Never in 1 million years did we think we would be opening a business when we bought our weekend home. But here we are! Upon our first weekend at Cedar Creek, we realized that there is a desperate need for shopping and retail.
Not being afraid of a challenge, we put our entrepreneurial spirit and business sense to the test and Vault was created. Tybee has been in the medical spa industry in Dallas for almost 20 years and Kurt in software sales for the same amount of time. The two combined forces in love, life and now business and are on the path to success.
Like many Texas towns, Malakoff actually started out under two different names. Caney Creek, just north of town and Mitcham Chapel. In 1854, the town applied for a post office under the name Mitcham or Purdon, however both of the names were already in use by other communities. According to the Handbook of Texas, it was postal authorities in Washington that suggested Malakoff.
The British capture of the towered Russian fort at Malakoff in the Crimean War had been in the news about the time the application was submitted, and the suggested name was submitted and accepted.
Coal, Clay & Brick ~ In the 1930s, three crudely carved stone heads were unearthed in the region. Collectively they became known as "Malakoff Man." Extensive excavations around the site did not yield additional artifacts and their origin remains a mystery to this day.
But the soil around Malakoff had been revealing other things for years. Lignite coal had been discovered in 1912 and mining soon became the dominant industry in Henderson County. Texas Power & Light built a generating station close to the source and as many as 600 miners worked the veins of coal. The mines closed in 1945 but there has been a Miner's Reunion held every five years since.
Clay provided the material for the county's other main industry: brick production. Ironically, most of downtown Malakoff was built prior to the brick plant's construction but two huge kilns remain today and production continues under the name of Acme. Bricks found around the state marked MALAKOFF are usually light-colored.
In 1904 Mr. Thomas Anthony Bartlett of Malakoff devised a way of coloring brick, touching off a new age of architectural elegance. He took his discovery to the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair and won a Blue Ribbon for his white brick.
Murals ~ Malakoff has several exceptional murals. Artist Charlie Bullock maintains a gallery in nearby Athens and teaches art classes in a private school there. Brad Smith's mural faces Malakoff's Cornbread Square. Individuals in the mural are painted from actual townspeople.
Malakoff Event ~ The Square is where Malakoff's Cornbread Festival is held every year. Malakoff serves pinto beans with their cornbread.