April is National County Government Month, and we're expressing our appreciation for county officials and their staff with a blog series and other social media posts that highlight county participation in our programs. The Texas Historical Commission (THC) works with counties on countless projects, from County Historical Commissions and historic courthouse restorations to downtown revitalization and historic site development. Thanks to all 254 Texas counties for their support of historic preservation in the Lone Star State!
In this Q&A, Pecos County Historical Commission (CHC) member Nancy Hayter shares how Pecos County officials support preservation efforts in their county.
Nancy, describe your CHC’s relationship with county government.
Pecos CHC has close ties with Pecos County government. Members are appointed by the county commissioners court, and the county furnishes our operating funds, provides us with meeting and office space, and pays the salary for a hostess at our old Pecos County Jail in Fort Stockton. Precinct 2 provides yard service and watering for the grounds at our historic buildings. Our budget also allows us to have a Texas history poster contest and field trip to our historic buildings.
Can you provide an example of how the county helped you to prepare and respond to a preservation need?
Due to the support of Pecos County, we have been able to begin repair of our historic buildings. The roofs of the old jail and Rollins-Sibley House in Fort Stockton have seen repairs. Rain damage to the interior ceilings and walls of the Rollins-Sibley House was repaired. The doors of the Hovey School were replaced, and cracks in the plaster of the interior adobe walls of the Rollins-Sibley House were repaired. In addition, Convention and Visitors Bureau funds allowed these buildings to receive exterior repairs and a new coat of paint. These repairs are of utmost importance to the preservation of our historic buildings for the public to enjoy.
How does the public benefit as a result of this cooperation with county government?
Our relationship with the county commissioners court allows Pecos CHC to show and tell our county history. We have a hostess to keep the historic old jail open Wednesday through Friday afternoons for the public and school tours. We also host a Texas history poster contest and field day for 7th grade Texas history students. The county provides poster paper for the 7th graders to depict a character or event in Texas history and show how they or it affected our history. We use the students’ artwork for our Pecos CHC calendar. Pecos CHC hosts a field trip to the historic buildings where 12 poster winners are rewarded with prizes. Then, all students are given guided tours of the Rollins-Sibley House, Hovey School, Fort Guard House, and Native Garden with CHC members presenting programs on the buildings, ground, and local history.
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