Business history is local history.
While civic buildings, forts, battlefields, and cemeteries are all important sites that provide us with invaluable historical insight, commercial businesses can also serve as a connection to our more immediate and local past. What's more, these places often figure so significantly in our own personal memories that they become synonymous with home itself. Have you ever gone back home only to find that your favorite local spot had unexpectedly closed? When we lose these places, a piece of home is lost with them.
That's why historic preservation shouldn't only happen in hindsight. In fact, the past as we know it depends on what we preserve today. By acknowledging local businesses while they are still in operation, we honor them as places of living history and are able to record their stories and ensure their legacy for generations to come.
Pictured above: 2009 Texas Treasure Business Awardee New Braunfels Smokehouse circa 1961
About the Texas Treasure Business Award
The Texas Treasure Business Award (TTBA) program is an initiative of the Community Heritage Division. Created in 2005 by Senate Bill 920, authored by Sen. Leticia Van de Putte of San Antonio and sponsored by Rep. Charles "Doc” Anderson of Waco, the program pays tribute to the state’s well-established businesses and their exceptional historical contributions to communities across Texas.
Since 2005, over 500 Texas businesses have been honored for their historic significance, from well-known establishments like H.E.B. and Bill Miller BBQ to small town bakeries, florists, general stores, and many more.
Oldest business awarded: Gibbs Brothers and Co., Huntsville
Program Changes in 2022
Important program updates coming in 2022. Find out what will look different in the new year.
Reasons You Should Nominate Your Historic Business
Document your remarkable story with the Texas Historical Commission and create a permanent record of your business' place in Texas history.
Receive a window decal and an official award certificate signed by your elected state officials that acknowledges your business as a historic institution.
Plug into the Texas Historical Commission network and gain access to resources and partners.
Gain exposure in our regular statewide promotion of historic destinations and keep small business thriving in Texas!
Help raise the profile of your community as a historic destination for heritage travelers.
Pictured: 2007 Texas Treasure Business Awardee Roberts Jewelry in Harlingen, Texas. Date Unknown.
Click on any image to view the photo gallery.