Bass Reeves started his life as a slave and went on to become one of the most influential lawmen in American history. In the upcoming Yellowstone prequel, 1883: The Bass Reeves Story, Taylor Sheridan will bring his story to life over the course of eight episodes. As usual, Sheridan and the rest of the team are striving to be as true-to-life as possible with the new spinoff. For instance, they’re looking at historic filming locations where Reeves once stood and conducted business. One of those locations is the Ellis County courthouse in Waxahachie, Texas.
Earlier this week, Ellis County Commissioners voted unanimously to allow the team behind 1883: The Bass Reeves Story to film in the historic location. Additionally, the results of their January 24th meeting revealed a few interesting facts about the show’s production. Filming in Waxahachie will take place on February 13th and 14th at both the historic courthouse and the Rogers Hotel, according to the Waxahachie Sun.
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County Commissioners Talk About 1883: The Bass Reeves Story Production
The team behind 1883: The Bass Reeves Story has been hoping to film in the Ellis County courthouse for months. County public information strategist Corey Rogan took assistant location manager Roger Sterling on a tour of the building last year. Sterling decided that the courtroom that currently houses Precinct 3’s Justice of the Peace would be perfect for the show.
Rogan believes that having production take place in the courthouse is a win for everyone involved. “I think this is an unprecedented, really unique opportunity to promote our community, our historic architecture, and our heritage before an international audience,” he said. Additionally, he believes it will boost the community’s sense of civic pride. “I think it’s a really exciting opportunity to help with the film industry in Ellis County,” Rogan added.
Details About the Production
Scenes for the Bass Reeves 1883 spinoff will take place in the Justice of the Peace courtroom, a county judge’s office, and a clerk’s office. The show’s team will have to make minor changes to the rooms to make them period-accurate for the series.
For instance, they plan to paint the judge’s office green, replace modern lighting fixtures with period-accurate fixtures, and more. After filming wraps at the location, the team will undo all of the changes they make.
According to The Waxahachie Sun, the production of 1883: The Bass Reeves Story will not interfere with official county business. Justice of the Peace Dan Cox will most likely use the commissioners’ courtroom while filming takes place.
Speaking to Roger Sterling, Commissioner Paul Perry showed gratitude for what the show plans to do. “[Bass Reeves] is an important figure, and more people need to know about him. I thank you for working with us. We have both statutory and constitutional obligations to operate, and that’s got to be our primary concern. At the same time, it’s a great opportunity for Waxahachie, Ellis County, everybody for y’all to be here.”
If 1883: The Bass Reeves Story is filming in February, we may get to see the finished product before the end of the year. We’ll just have to wait and see.