By Bob Brinkman, Historical Markers Program Coordinator, and Sarah McCleskey, Historical Markers Program Historian
Every spring and summer, we begin preparations for marker workshop season. This is the time of year that we travel the state assisting County Historical Commissions (CHCs), historic property owners, and the public with the Official Texas Historical Markers process, which includes conducting research, documenting history, and reviewing application procedures. Since 2007, we have presented free workshops in 40 counties including Hidalgo, Scurry, Victoria, Presidio, Collin, and Val Verde.
In 2007, we presented a workshop in Fort Stockton, training CHCs and individuals in research and application procedures for historical markers. One of the attendees was from Terrell County, which had not applied for a marker in more than 40 years. Not only did the Terrell CHC successfully submit a marker application in the next cycle for World War II-era airfield “Dryden Intermediate Field Site 29,” but for good measure they submitted another application two years later for “Baxter’s Curve Train Robbery” of 1912. Since converting to an all-electronic marker application submission format in 2006, we have had the pleasure of working with 20 counties we had not heard from in at least 10 years.
Because Texas is so far-flung, last year we started offering webinars for those who would prefer to learn the same material from the comfort of their home or office, or who haven’t been able to join us on the road. While we enjoy the modern technology and convenience of a webinar, there is something to be said for driving around the state seeing the real places and hearing the stories that we recognize from historical markers.
Each workshop is an opportunity to visit these sites we spend so much time documenting. In addition, workshops provide a chance to meet folks that we work with on a daily basis and put a face to a name or email. They also are a great time for workshop participants to network with fellow CHCs and preservation-minded people. Very often, attendees learn from each other, not just THC staff.
We encourage you to sign up today for one of the remaining free 2013 marker workshops, either in person or by webinar:
- July 17—webinar
- July 30—Abilene
Abilene Convention and Visitors Bureau/Cultural Affairs Council
- August 8—webinar
For more information, or to register, please contact 512.463.5853 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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