|San Jacinto News-Times - Local News
Copyright 2011 - Polk County Publishing Company
County’s Centennial Markers located as part of state’s restoration project
San Jacinto News- Times
COLDSPRING – The State of Texas celebrated its 175th birthday in March and as part of that event a move is on to locate more than 1,100 granite and bronze monuments, markers, statues and plaques the state placed throughout Texas’ 254 counties to commemorate Texas history for posterity during its 100th Centennial celebration. Because the 1936 effort coincided with the depths of the Great Depression, the project combined nostalgia for the state’s romantic past with a desire to address a hopeful future. Activities were designed to bring visitors to the state and to educate and inspire Texans about their own rich history and that is what members of the San Jacinto County Historical Commission hopes to do for the county’s 140th anniversary celebration planned Aug. 13, the day the county was founded in 1870. When the Texas Legislature created the Texas Historical Commission (THC) in 1953, the new agency was given responsibility for the state’s 1936 Centennial markers, some of which had been damaged or lost after only 17 years. The THC has coordinated repair, restoration and promotion of Centennial markers for their esthetics as much as for their historical value. Four Centennial markers are located throughout San Jacinto County, according to Bob Brinkman, coordinator, Historical Markers Program, Texas Historical Commission. “Our records show a Centennial marker at Council Hill, located four miles southeast of Coldspring; one at San Jacinto County 0.5 miles southeast of Coldspring on Hwy. 150; one at Raven Hill, four miles southeast east of Oakhurst and one at Governor George Woods’s home near Pointblank,” Brinkman. A few weeks ago well known Texas photographer Barclay Gibson came to Coldspring to meet with San Jacinto County Historical Commission Chairman Betty Magee. “Gibson has traveled Texas and found and photographed dozens, if not hundreds, of Centennial Markers for THC as a volunteer,” Brinkman said. Gibson’s marker expeditions provide an invaluable resource for Texans. Many will learn about the Centennial celebration’s historical marker program and view local markers and monuments as heritage treasures, ideally including them in educational and tourism outreach promotions,” according to Brinkman. Gibson and Magee’s goal was to locate the county’s four Centennial markers to photograph them for THC and to determine what kind of condition they are in. “We were able to find and visit all four of San Jacinto County’s Centennial markers as well as finding time to introduce him to one of our local residents, Bill West, whose home was designated by THC as a State Archeological site this past January,” Magee said. “My only concern is I hope Mr. Gibson did not discover that he is allergic to poison ivy, since we had to walk through an area to reach one of our markers,” Magee added. Looking to the future, THC hopes to have its historical markers repaired and restored for its bicentennial celebration in 2036. The location of some markers has changed significantly in the past 75 years and many are now in threatened or inaccessible locations, placed in storage or moved to a site with no historical relevance, according to Brinkman. The Friends of the Texas Historical Commission seeks to raise $25,000 to fund the cost of materials to repair the markers to celebrate Texas’ 175th anniversary and ensure that our 1936 Centennial markers survive to the Texas Bicentennial and beyond. To learn more or make a donation, visit www. thc.state.tx.us/frineds/remarkerfund. shtml. More about San Jacinto County’s historical markers will be coming up in preparation for its 140th anniversary on August 14.