Texas Historical Commission

May is Historic Preservation Month! Let’s check out the Texas Historical Commission.

Texas Historical Commission

Based out of Austin, the THC is an unparalleled resource for preserving the history of Texas. Their website has tons of resources available.

“The Texas Historical Commission (THC) is the state agency for historic preservation. We save the real places that tell the real stories of Texas. The Texas State Legislature established the agency in 1953 as the Texas State Historical Survey Committee to identify important historic sites across the state. The Texas Legislature changed the agency’s name to the Texas Historical Commission in 1973. Along with the name change came more protective powers, an expanded leadership role, and broader educational responsibilities.”

— Texas Historical Commission website (www.thc.texas.gov)


Preservation efforts

Their preservation efforts include archaeology, buildings, property, bridges, and cemeteries. They also provide educational tools, webinars, workshops, and travel resources.

Projects and Programs include:

  • Cemetery Preservation
  • Heritage Tourism
  • Historic Resources Survey
  • Historic Texas Highways
  • Military History
  • Museum Services
  • National Register of Historic Places
  • State Historical Markers
  • Texas Heritage Trails
  • Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation
  • Texas Main Street
  • THC State Historic Sites – all 31 of them
  • And so many more!

One of the most visible examples of their work is the Texas Historical Markers. The THC website says that there are 16,934 Official State Historical Markers in Texas! I knew there was a lot but had no idea there were that many!

Speaking of Historical Markers, be sure to check out their Texas Historical Sites Atlas. I use this site frequently for information about historical markers. You can search by name, county, keyword, and more.

Their website explains, “The Atlas features over 300,000 site records, including data on Official Texas Historical Markers and National Register of Historic Places properties in Texas. Also included are courthouses, museums, and cemeteries across the state. You can search by Historic Designation, Keyword, County, Historic Marker, or Site Name to get instant access to detailed textual descriptions, historic photographs, and interactive maps to help you discover what makes Texas and your areas of interest unique.”


Fast Facts

History is a big deal in Texas. Check out the THC Fast Facts page to get an idea of how big of a deal it is. Prepare to be amazed!

Highlights include:

  • Historic county courthouses in Texas – more than 240
  • Counties with Historic Texas Cemetery designations – 254 (every Texas county!)
  • Historic Texas Cemetery designations – 1,706
  • Local history museums in the state of Texas – over 900
  • Official State Historical Markers in Texas as of Jan. 1, 2020 – 16,934
  • Small businesses created in Texas Main Street districts – almost 11,000
  • Number of historical artifacts in the Historic Sites collection – 85,554

More information

The Texas Historical Commission is a tremendous resource for historical preservation. Check out their website and social media for more information!


Bonus

It’s always a good day when you get mail from the Texas Historical Commission! From their website, you can order brochures and travel guides. Yes, the information is also available online, but sometimes you need printed copies of stuff.

Texas Historical Commission – brochures

Post and photo by Jason S. Sullivan, 05-07-21

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