STAY CONNECTED TO TEXAS’ RICH HISTORY
During the month that honors Texas’ fight for independence and the year that marks the 175th anniversary of that event, utilize new technology available to learn more about the Lone Star State’s past. With the popularity of smartphones comes new applications that allow history buffs and heritage travelers to interact with history at every turn. One application that was recently launched is Historical iMarkers for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad users. Developed by Dzine Apps, LLC of Dripping Springs, Texas, Historical iMarkers offers access to more than 129,000 local, state, and national historical markers. In addition to providing users the opportunity to learn more about Texas history, a portion of the proceeds from iMarkers will be donated to historical organizations including the Friends of the Texas Historical Commission (THC) to assist with continued preservation efforts.
Products like iMarkers help shed new light on the more than 15,000 Official Texas Historical Markers placed throughout the state. Sites like Sweet Home Vocational and Agricultural High School in Seguin, a historic African American school, and the Harris County Courthouse, a symbol of Classical Revival architecture amidst skyscrapers in downtown Houston, are just a sampling of the diverse real stories highlighted and made accessible by new applications.
To learn more about Historical iMarkers visit www.dzineapps.com.
Texas Historical Commission’s
Annual Historic Preservation
Historians, archeologists, and preservation professionals descend upon Austin at the end of the month to participate in the Texas Historical Commission’s (THC) 2011 Annual Historic Preservation Conference. Sponsored in association with Preservation Texas, the conference will be held March 31–April 2 at the Sheraton Austin and features tours, workshops, and sessions that inspire individuals to help save the state’s real historic resources.
One conference highlight is this year’s keynote speaker Joseph McGill, Jr., a program director for the National Trust for Historic Preservation in Charleston, South Carolina. He is currently making his way around the Southeastern United States sleeping in historic slave quarters to bring attention to and honor the memory of those who lived in the structures. Prior to his appearance at the THC’s conference, McGill will be visiting two former plantations in Texas— The Egypt Plantation near Wharton and the Seward Plantation near Brenham. McGill’s visit to these two sites emphasizes the significance of preserving other endangered slave quarters that are real places telling the unique stories of Texas’ African American heritage. Along with his keynote address, McGill will conduct a conference session on April 1 entitled Sleeping in Slave Quarters. McGill will recount the details of his visits to both Texas plantations, as well as the numerous other sites he’s visited throughout his emotional journey.
March 15 is the early registration deadline for the conference and online registration is currently available at www.thc.state.tx.us. To learn more about the sessions featured this year, view the online conference brochure available on the THC’s website. Please contact the THC’s Marketing Communications
Division at 512.463.6255 for additional information.
Commission’s Rip Guardian
Program Recognized By The
The Texas Historical Commission’s (THC) RIP (Record, Investigate, Protect) Guardian program was recently recognized by First Lady Michelle Obama as a Preserve America Steward. This designation features programs that have demonstrated a successful use of volunteer time and commitment in order to help care for the nation’s historic heritage. The RIP Guardian program was one of only 21 groups throughout the country to receive this national acknowledgment.
The RIP Guardian statewide network of cemetery preservation volunteers is dedicated to protecting historic burial grounds in Texas. There are currently 73 RIP Guardian groups throughout the state. The first step toward becoming a RIP Guardian is to obtain the Historic Texas Cemetery (HTC) designation. Established in 1998, the HTC program addresses the problem of cemetery destruction by recording as many graveyards as possible. The program has enabled the official designation of more than 1,500 historic cemeteries in 254 counties. Together the HTC designation and RIP Guardian network help preserve and promote the real stories of Texas as part of the Cemetery Preservation Program offered by the THC.
To learn more about the RIP Guardians and the HTC designation, contact the THC’s History Programs Division at 512.463.5853. For more information on the Preserve America Stewards program, visit www.preserveamerica.gov.