What are County Historical Commissions?

The Texas Legislature authorized counties to establish County Historical Commissions (CHC) to assist county commissioners courts and the Texas Historical Commission (THC) in the preservation of our historic and cultural resources. The mission of each CHC is to preserve, protect, and promote these resources.

Texas Local Government Code, Chapter 318, establishes work that CHCs may pursue. The statute is fairly broad, leaving latitude for CHCs to manage activities appropriate to county size and resources. Appointees consult with county officials and preservation partners to determine the CHC's body of work.

As a political subdivision, CHCs serve as primary points of contact for individuals who need more information about particular aspects of history and historic sites in Texas. Contact information for CHC chairs is located below. Please note that CHC activity levels vary from county to county. 

Active CHCs provide a broad range of services to individuals and organizations within the county. Some CHC appointees provide help with research and applications related to historical designations. More active appointees provide public presentations and events that educate and celebrate local history.

Use the contact information provided below to contact the CHC chair for your county to learn more. Find out if the CHC is active and, if so, what services and programs are in place. 

Photos: Top, Cherokee CHC appointees receive a Distinguished Service Award at the county courthouse. Middle, Tarrant CHC hosts tours of the historic county courthouse. Bottom, Wheeler CHC chair, Ada Lou Lester, plays the part of a Fort Elliott laundress during the "Wild and Free on 83" event, celebrating the history of Highway 83 that runs from Canada to Mexico. 

Fun Facts about CHCs

Contact Information for CHCs

CHC Contact Information frequently changes, so CHC Outreach staff updates our CHC chair list periodically. This list is provided on the link below, so that you have access to the most recent contact information for these local preservationists.

CHC Chair Contact Information UPDATED September 13, 2021

FYI--CHC Chair contact information is based on reports/rosters from county/CHC to the Texas Historical Commission. If a county is missing from the list, contact the county judges offices to gather more current contact information. 

CHC Outreach staff also assembles a list of THC staff contacts for programs that are frequently used by CHCs; staff names, program affiliations, and telephone numbers are provided on the link below. A complete list of THC staff can be found on the "ABOUT US" tab at the top of this webpage. 

THC Staff Short-List UPDATED January 2021

THC Recommendations for CHCs

CHC statute directs CHCs to follow recommendations given by the Texas Historical Commission (THC). For this reason, the CHC Outreach Program provides CHC Orientation Material online, free of charge. CHC Outreach also works with THC staff to provide program recommendations that are most beneficial to the short- and long-term success of local preservation efforts. 

The right side of this webpage provides weblinks to more information about the role of a CHC appointee and the organizational structure of a CHC. We hope this web material helps CHCs contribute to preservation efforts on the local, regional, and state levels. 

Photo at right features former THC Commissioner, Donna Carter, and THC staffer, Caroline Wright, as they discuss the importance of appropriate stewardship of historic properties. 

CHCs that Thrive Using THC Programs

CHCs across the state participate in a number of THC programs that help educate and edify those who are familiar or unfamiliar with local and state history. Below, THC staff highlight just a few of the CHCs that excel in particular THC program or discipline. 

Historical Marker Program

  • Collin CHC hosts cemetery workshop.Harris CHC
  • Liberty CHC
  • Nueces CHC

Cemetery Preservation Program

  • Austin CHC
  • Collin CHC
  • Hays CHC

National Register of Historic Places

  • Lubbock CHC
  • Milam CHC

Lavaca CHC host preservation workshops. Certified Local Government

  • Comal CHC
  • Tarrant CHC
  • Travis CHC

Archeology

  • Harrison CHC
  • Lavaca CHC
  • Nacogdoches CHC

Photos above feature Collin CHC and Lavaca CHC,
two CHCs that organize and host history- and preservation-related workshops each year.


Learn more about the role of a CHC appointee here

Learn more about CHC Game Changers here. These CHCs work to diversify projects, partners, and outreach methods.