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Announcing the honorees of the first-ever Texas Historical Foundation Michael C. Duda Preservation Awards

Catch up with Texas Historical Foundation's Spring 2024 grantees! THF meets with Friends of the Tye Preston Library, Canyon Lake and Castro Colonies Heritage Association, Castroville.

An excerpt from David Preziosi's upcoming article in Authentic Texas magazine details the life and legacy of William Sidney Pittman, Texas' first Black architect. Pittman gained national acclaim for his architectural designs at a time when few Black architects practiced. Many of his buildings were demolished, but the Knights of Pythias building in Dallas stands today as one of his most important works.

The 1895 | 140 W. Cameron Ave, Rockdale | 10:30 a.m. March 29
A presentation of THF's grant to Vision Historic Preservation Foundation is planned for March 29, 2024. Grant supports the Rockdale Sesquicentennial event, 12 days of culture, heritage, and history celebrations in downtown Rockdale this July hosted by Vision Historic.

The Clay House is an important contributing structure in the Zion Hill Historic District in Nacogdoches and an excellent example of early-20th-century architecture. The African American Heritage Project is currently restoring the house into a community center and local history museum, and their progress is impressive.

The Tom Lea Institute's Executive Director Holly Packard Cobbs tells us about an exciting new immersive mobile tour that highlights iconic native Texan artist and author Tom Lea.

Two Houston groups receive Texas Historical Foundation funding for historic preservation projects.

Waco's Dr Pepper Museum receives Texas Historical Foundation grant in support of exhibition space updates.
Dr Pepper Museum┃300 S. 5th St., Waco┃December 18, 2023

Texas Historical Foundation may have “historical” in its title, but our work involves protecting all of Texas’ heritage – both historical and prehistorical.

Latinos in Heritage Conservation widen the circle of participants in historic preservation with Latinx Preservation Toolkit series.

THF to hold presentation of recent grant to the Daughters of the Republic of Texas November 6 in Washington, D.C. The grant supports DRT's efforts to erect a marker in the U.S. capitol honoring the diplomatic legation from the Republic of Texas.

Not far from St. James Palace in London, you can find a plaque on the side of 300-year old liquor store that pays tribute to the former location of the Texas Legation, established when the Republic of Texas was newly formed and installing delegations in Washington DC, Paris, and London. This history would be forgotten by most if not for the efforts of the Anglo-Texas Society to commemorate it in 1986.

Presentations of grants to the Texas Energy Museum, Doss Heritage & Culture Center, and Shumla Archaeological Research & Education Center.

Two Preservation Texas Summits were held in September, one in Tyler and one in San Marcos. The summits highlighted historic preservation efforts in their region and included a wide variety of fascinating topics.

San Antonio-based nonprofits with projects supported by Texas Historical Foundation grants; the Texas Heritage Project of American Indians in Texas at the Spanish Colonial Missions develops exhibits from their archive, while Mexican American Civil Rights Institute pursues National Register of Historic Places inclusion for a Corpus Christi home associated with landmark civil rights case.

Texans Take Flight: THF presents grants to Lone Star Flight Museum, Houston, and Braniff Airways Foundation, Dallas.

Update on the Dell Motley leather artwork restoration in progress at Nocona's Tales 'N' Trails Museum.

McFarland House | 3805 Red River St, Austin | August 22, 2023
Preservation Austin recognized with THF grant for restoration efforts at Austin's beloved McFarland House.

Thirteen preservation projects across Texas awarded Texas Historical Foundation grants in latest round of funding.

The northwestern Texas border once extended to the Rio Grande River in northern New Mexico and Colorado during the period that Texas was a sovereign state between 1836 and 1845. By 1850, the state took the familiar shape that we all know and love today.

Plano Masonic Lodge | 1414 J Ave, Plano | July 28, 2023
NTMHM&L receive grant in support of preservation work at one of Plano's oldest cemeteries.

Yturri-Edmunds House Museum | 128 Mission Rd, San Antonio | August 3, 2023
Texas Historical Foundation presents grant to San Antonio Conservation Society Foundation in support of their preservation efforts at the 1860 Yturri-Edmonds House.

Grant presented to the Orange Show Foundation in support of their efforts to restore and maintain Houston's The Orange Show-- plus, a history of how the beloved outsider art installation came to be.

In rural Royse City, a remarkable other-worldly structure called a Futuro House has been a beloved landmark for decades.

A photo-essay of our trip to four historic painted churches in the Texas hill country, plus a route guide for the history-curious traveler.

THF is excited to announce the first-ever Michael C. Duda Preservation Awards, honoring excellence in Texas historic preservation with a top prize of $100,000.

Presentations of Spring 2023 THF grants to the Architecture & Design Foundation, Dallas, and Archer County Museum & Arts Center, Archer City.

Aldredge House | 5500 Swiss Ave, Dallas | May 5, 2023
A presentation of the THF grant to Friends of Aldredge House in support of their Living History production of The Writer and the Rancher play will take place at the historic Aldredge House in Dallas.

Two Galveston-area THF grant presentations to take place May 5, 2023.

The exact location of the Battle of Medina site has been a mystery for years. American Veterans Archaeological Recovery (AVAR) found compelling new evidence that points to the actual location of the battlefield during their 2022 fieldwork season.

Bartlett Activities Center | 300 W. Bell Street, Bartlett | April 22, 2023
Recent grant supports restoration of the 1909 Bartlett Grammar School building.

Grant recipients announced for Spring 2023!

Texas Historical Foundation grants presented to the Council for Texas Archeologists, Texas State Historical Association, and Preservation Texas.

The Wise County Heritage Museum was destroyed in a devastating early-morning fire on Saturday, March 18, 2023. We provide a short history of the museum, and extend our deepest sympathies to the museum staff and Commission for this enormous loss of Texas history.

A look at the history of the Longini-Herrmann House and San Antonio's Hemisfair neighborhood. Hemisfair Conservancy will be presented with their Spring 2023 grant on March 4, 2023 at the Longini-Herrman.

Tom Lea Institute, El Paso, to be presented with Spring 2023 grant from the Texas Historical Foundation to pursue further work on the Tom Lea Trail's mobile website and app.

It’s easy to lose oneself for hours in the Texas Historical Commission’s Texas Time Travel website. The site is part of THC’s Texas Heritage Trails Program, an initiative that was created in 1998 to highlight historic places across Texas and to promote education about our state history through travel.

Urban Farmstead Museum | 1316 W. 6th Street, Austin | February 7, 2023

Eleven grant recipients named for Texas Historical Foundation's Winter 2023 funding cycle. Winners include The Orange Show Foundation, Houston, Texas Dance Hall Preservation, Austin, and Tom Lea Institute, El Paso.

Presentations scheduled for THF grant recipients Los Amigos de la Loma, Del Rio, and Friends of the Texas Historical Commission, Austin.

The 1856 Neill-Cochran House in Austin is remarkable for many reasons. Its architectural significance is obvious, but it is also significant for a history that has not been widely told and that Neill-Cochran House Museum Executive Director Rowena Dasch and her staff have been working since 2016 to uncover.

Rockport Railroad Depot | 105 S. Magnolia Street, Rockport | January 20, 2023
Members of the Texas Historical Foundation will present the group's Fall 2022 grant to RCAD in support of restoration of the historic San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railroad Depot.

Lone Star Flight Museum | 11511 Aerospace Ave, Houston | January 11, 2023
A presentation of THF's Spring 2022 grant to the Lone Star Flight Museum to take place Wednesday, January 11 on site at the museum.

The future is looking bright for Bolivar Point Lighthouse in Galveston Bay, built in 1872. The structure is in dire need of repairs before the iconic cupola falls and the structure is lost forever. Thankfully, the lighthouse has passionate advocates who are tirelessly working to ensure this never happens and that it is preserved for many generations to come.

1895 City Hall | 140 W Cameron Ave, Rockdale | December 14, 2022
Texas Historical Foundation Director Judy Davis will host a presentation of the organization’s January 2022 grant to Vision Historic Preservation Foundation, Rockdale.

Kathlyn Joy Gilliam Museum | 3817 Wendelkin Street, Dallas | December 10, 2022
Join Texas Historical Foundation staff and board for a presentation of the organization's recent grant to the Kathlyn Joy Gilliam Museum in Dallas.

Neill-Cochran House Museum | 2310 San Gabriel St, Austin| December 7, 2022
THF Vice President Debbie Cartwright has organized a presentation for recent grant recipients Neill-Cochran House Museum on Wednesday Dec. 7th at 2 PM.

Rosenberg Railroad Museum | 1921 Avenue F, Rosenberg | December 7, 2022
Grant presentation scheduled for Fall 2022 THF grant recipients Rosenberg Railroad Museum; funds were awarded to support ongoing maintenance of the Museum's collection of antique rail artifacts and the upgrade of their archive.

The Brenham Heritage Museum's grand opening in a decommissioned Classical Revival style post office built in 1915 is set for Thursday, November 17 at 1:00 pm. Earlier this month, Texas HERITAGE Editor Gene Krane toured the museum with BHM Executive Director Mike Vance.

Eleven Texas projects secure funding in the most recent round of Texas Historical Foundation grants.

Nuevo Santander Gallery | 717 N. Main St, McAllen | Nov. 18, 10 a.m.
Presentation date announced for Lipan Apache Tribe of Texas for their grant to fund interpretative signage at Cementerio del Barrio de los Lipanes.

As the earth warms and climate change affects the planet in ways humankind is still discovering, natural disasters have become increasingly frequent and unpredictable. Devastating hurricanes, destructive droughts, and raging wildfires threaten lives and landscapes, creating what some have called a new normal. While saving people and homes is always a priority in these situations, precious historical and cultural resources are often also in harm’s way.

El Paso Museum of History | 510 N. Santa Fe St., El Paso | October 13, 2022
Upcoming grant presentation for Summer 2022 THF grant recipients El Paso Museum of History Foundation to be held Thursday, October 13 in El Paso.

Bassett Farms Visitor Center | 103 N. Narcissus Street, Kosse | October 25, 10 a.m.
Presentation for THF grant recipients Preservation Texas scheduled for October 25 in downtown Kosse, TX.

Hugh Edmondson’s family are ranchers in Ballinger, outside of San Angelo. A simple discovery began a journey by Edmondson that would eventually lead him to assemble what is now a collection of spurs that includes examples covering a span of 120 years. There are collectors who simply want to own artifacts, and there are others who seek to know about the history of the items they have assembled. Edmondson falls into the latter category.

Seven preservation groups in Texas are winners of the latest round of grants from the Texas Historical Foundation. Learn more about the Summer 2022 recipients.

Even though her career as a news reporter and producer required Olive Talley to stay on top of major news in Texas and the Southwest, she had never heard of the Gault archeological site—located only 160 miles from her Dallas home—when she traveled to Antarctica on a 2017 National Geographic expedition. Talley discovered that as archeologists were uncovering artifacts from the Central Texas site, they were also exposing new theories about the settlement of the New World...

THF names as its new Executive Director, David Preziosi, a 25-year veteran in the field of historic preservation. Preziosi joins THF from Preservation Dallas, where during his tenure as Executive Director he was responsible for preservation, education, and outreach in service of protecting Dallas' historic landmarks.

In recognition of his outstanding four decades-long leadership and service to Texas history organizations, Marshall J. Doke, Jr., a retired Dallas attorney, was named this year’s winner of the Ruth Lester Lifetime Achievement Award by the Texas Historical Commission.

Austin’s Treaty Oak is a tree, but it’s also a story. It’s the kind of tale that’s recounted in children’s plays, like Austin’s version of the first Thanksgiving.

The latest issue of the Texas Historical Foundation’s award-winning Texas HERITAGE magazine featured stories from the state’s borderlands, including articles about Petra Vela Kenedy and another on the return of an ancestral burial place in Presidio to members of the Lipan ApacheTribe. For those interested in the Texas borderlands, here’s another resource to explore. 

While La Villita is often described as San Antonio’s first neighborhood, it is more appropriately described as San Antonio’s first suburb.

A dozen preservation groups in Texas are winners of the latest round of grants from the Texas Historical Foundation.

For many years, San Antonio has been known for its casual blending of cultures. Writers in the 19th century often mentioned the mixture of languages and skin colors when describing the people of San Antonio, an unexpectedly quirky place on the western frontier. But the city did not always have a blended character.

Though known for his building designs, Henry Trost was also an inventor. One of his more interesting ideas—the outside/inside bed—was touted in Southern Architect and Building News April 1922 issue as a “unique and one of the most remarkable achievements.”

The Texas Historical Foundation board awarded four grants at its fall meeting for projects in the areas of architectural rehabilitation, archeology, and rural preservation.

North American colonial ranchers first observed the effects of southern cattle fever, a tick-borne disease, as early as the mid-eighteenth century. Symptoms included “high fever, swollen spleen, engorged liver, thick bile, and bloody urine.” Although the disease originated outside of Texas, it became increasingly prevalent among Texas longhorns.

Director and producer Olive Talley introduces the newest component of the story of the Gault Archaeological Site in Central Texas: the Gault Film. Talley gives us a sneak peek into the the life of eminent Texas lithic archaeologist Mike Collins and his 30 year journey to preserve this remarkable site and its wealth of knowledge.

Jessica Lee Hamlin, executive director of the Shumla Archaeological Research & Education Center (SHUMLA), an organization investigating the prehistoric rock art murals of the Lower Pecos Canyonlands, discusses the merits and complications of digital preservation.

A father-and-son duo join forces to talk about history education at The Landmark Inn, a historic lodging-turned-museum in Castroville. David is the director at the historic site, and his 12-year-old son leads visitors through the site’s Alsatian-style buildings on his unique 'Kid Tours'.

Congratulations to the nine grant recipients who have been awarded THF grants this quarter for historic preservation projects!

Commerce in Austin's Colony, a free multi-media Texas history video for 7th Grade educators is now available to the public. Helped made possible by the Texas Historical Foundation

By mid 1836, Mark Epperson had built a ferry at the crossing of Trammel’s Trace and Sulphur Fork in present-day Bowie County. The treadwheel boat transported animals, cargo, and mail, and a small settlement built up around the crossing—before roads and railroads ushered in a new era of transportation.

Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, when federal troops arrived in Texas and declared slaves free. General Order No. 3 by Union Army General Gordon Granger showed that the U. S. Army was in the state and committed to emancipation—more than two years after Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.

Born in a small Texas town, James Earl Rudder was an educator before he was called to active duty and participated in the D-Day Invasion of Worl War II.

The Newton Boys were the most successful bank and train robbers in United States history. This is a brief account of their criminal escapades.

Texas Historical Foundation Director, William Jack Sibley, tells us about bumping into the author of BIG WONDERFUL THING, Stephen Harrigan, at a San Antonio market and about his amazing four-pound book about Texas.

Legendary Texas Ranger, Frank Hamer, became the archetypal lawman responsible for the capture of Bonnie and Klyde.

Kay Hindes, Texas Historical Foundation Director, talks about her start in historic preservation and why history is worth saving.

We sit down for a conversation with Sylvia Tillotson, Texas Historical Foundation Vice President - Dallas, about her work in historic preservation, her position with THF and why historic preservation is vital to understanding our future.

Gene Krane, Texas Historical Foundation Executive Director, shares how she unexpectedly entered the historic preservation field and encourages others to find their own historic interests.

Blog writer and historic preservationist, Bernie Sargent from El Paso, shares the story of Marcelino Serna from Mexico before the Mexican Revolution to the front line in France during World War I, to having a US Customs and Border Protection Port of Entry named after him.

Have you ever wondered what it's like to fail in life? Well, Gail Borden, a Texas inventor, didn't have to wonder. His life was filled with failure. In fact, Borden’s list of misses is fairly long. The amphibious boat and the meat biscuit take top honors. But there's one thing that separated him from everyone else: his ability to not give up. He always pushed forward and never looked back. 

History is layered. Through our research, we learn about history through letters, diaries, archival records and edicts. There are volumes and volumes of books filled with them. But what we never consider are the personal stories weaved between the lines.

The Texas coastline, all 367 miles, is tattered with shipwrecks, cargo entry-ways cargo and tourist attractions.  It also is where some of the oldest U.S. and Texas history can be found.

Mexican holidays have been celebrated in Texas since at least the 1750s, when it became popular to commemorate the feast of the Virgen de Guadalupe (December 12) with religious processions, dances, and bull fights.

Are you familiar with or do you know the name of Texas patriot José Antonio Navarro? As far back as I can remember, I knew my family was related to this famous Texas hero.

Galveston, Texas, the third-richest city in the United States in 1900, was one of the fastest booming places in the country. It was a prosperous port city full of grandeur, opulence, grace, and charm and had the potential of becoming the greatest city in the South–in other words, the New York of the Gulf. But all Galveston’s hopes and dreams were shattered in one day.

Hye, Texas, is not much of a place in terms of being a bustling burg. It has a post office—and a zip code—but never has been an incorporated town, per se. Hiram “Hye” Brown and his folks settled in this little patch of Blanco County in 1872...

Juneteenth, also known as Emancipation Day, Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, and Cel-Liberation Day, is an American holiday celebrated on June 19th. It memorializes June 19, 1865, when Union general Gordon Granger read orders in Galveston, Texas, that the Civil War had come to an end, and all previously enslaved people in Texas were free.

What "rites of passage" or sharing have you passed on to the next generation of Texans or to welcome new Texans?

Uncovering the "plots" and "twists and turns" of Texas history can be a compelling read. Thank you to our new friends in Castroville who shared their unique historical story with THF diretors.

Thoughts behind "greatness" and "fame" between Texas historical leaders and everyday Texans. Upcoming Texas HERITAGE magazine features articles on historic Fort Worth. THF mourns the loss of Michael Duda, former director,

Consider how historical events of today are uncovered and revealed with the introduction of 24 hour news cycles, social media and "alternate news" coverage compared with how historical events were unfolded 20 and 200 years ago. Consider traveling to Del Rio and Laughlin Air Force base's museum where you can see U2 photos of Russian military installations.

Enjoy the friendly back roads of Texas. Texas Historical Foundation celebrates 65 years of preserving Texas history. THF mourns the loss of two directors, Missi Thomas, Cuero, and Beverly Hanson, Huntsville.

"What kind of Texan will you be?" is the question Marcus Luttrell (former Navy SEAL and subject of the book and movie "Lone Survivor") was asked by his 7th grade Texas history teacher. Marcus shared this story at the military ceremony as seven cannons from the Alamo, after being restored and preserved, were returned.

Ancestral research is on the rise and helping family uncover their own histories. When visiting Austin, be sure to stop at the General Land Office's Archives. There are over 35 million documents and 45,000 maps to help you uncover more Texas history.