New publication tells the real stories of  Texas Historic County Courthouses

AUSTIN, Texas––The historic county courthouses of Texas, deemed a national treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, are the focus of a new publication available this month from the Texas Historical Commission (THC). Courthouse Cornerstones is an update of the THC’s award-winning Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program, and highlights the success and potential of the nearly 15-year-old initiative.

Since 1999, the Texas Legislature has invested $247 million in courthouse preservation through the Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program, and the activity has generated nearly 10,000 jobs, $259 million in income, and more than $367 million in gross state product. More than 50 historic courthouses have been fully restored, generating more than $21 million in local taxes, and an additional $22 million in taxes to the state. Eight additional courthouse restorations will take place in 2013-14. Leading off the New Year are courthouse rededications in Comal (Jan. 22) and La Salle (Jan. 26) counties. However, at least 75 additional historic Texas courthouses continue to need assistance for repairs and restoration work, which led the National Trust to include historic Texas courthouses on its America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places list this year, for the second time.

Announced in June 1999, the Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program provides partial matching grants to Texas counties for the restoration of their historic county courthouses. For more information on the Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program, visit A copy of the new Courthouse Cornerstones issue will be available later this month online. To request a copy, contact the THC Architecture Division at 512.463.6094.


Award recognizes historic Texas businesses

AUSTIN, Texas––The Texas Historical Commission (THC) encourages Texans to nominate a historic business in their community for special recognition. The Texas Treasures Business Award pays tribute to Texas’ well-established companies that are more than 50 years old. The award recognizes their exceptional historical contributions toward economic growth and prosperity to the state. To be eligible, business must be involved in the same type of business as when originally founded, and have a continuous record of employee or corporate community service involvement. Examples include the Tip Top Café in San Antonio, the New Braunfels Smokehouse, Adams Extract & Spice in Gonzales, and the Mills County State Bank in Goldthwaite.

Created in 2005 through legislation authored by Sen. Leticia Van de Putte (D-San Antonio) and sponsored by Rep. Charles “Doc” Anderson (R-Waco), the program recognizes well-established Texas companies. The Texas Historical Commission is expanding on the program, offering special recognition through a public display decal identifying the business as a Texas Treasure. Consumers will know when they spot the familiar Texas Treasures business icon that they are doing business with a well-established, Texas-owned-and-operated business that has long contributed to job growth.

New recipients will be honored at a special ceremony at the State Capitol on Jan. 23, after which new applications will be accepted. Visit the THC website at to download a nomination form. For more information, call 512.463.6092.


New year, new website for the friends of the Texas Historical Commission

AUSTIN, Texas––The Friends of the Texas Historical Commission (THC) invites you to visit its new website, where you will find features and images designed to inspire and educate about the value and importance of historic preservation in Texas.

Detailed information on donors and projects being sponsored is offered on the new site, and visitors can make a donation or register online.

The Friends was incorporated in 1996 by the State of Texas to help meet the THC’s need for private charitable dollars designated to protect, preserve, promote, and educate citizens about the state’s rich heritage. Support allows the Friends to offer resources for worthy projects not provided for in the state budget, such as the conservation of artifact collections, needed renovations to historic sites, and archeological investigations. It also provides a means for Texans to get personally involved with preserving Texas’ historic places and stories.

Visit the new Friends website at to see how your gift can help make a difference.


Revisit the Battle Of Galveston During the sesquicentennial anniversary

GALVESTON, Texas––The 150th anniversary of the Civil War Battle of Galveston will be commemorated in that city Jan. 11-13 with re-enactments, lectures, living history encampments, and special tours. The Battle of Galveston took place during the early morning hours of Jan. 1, 1863, and is widely acknowledged as the most important military event in Galveston’s history. Taking place on both land and sea over the course of several months, the Battle of Galveston ended with Confederate forces driving out the Union ships that had held Galveston Harbor since October 1862. The port remained under Confederate control for the rest of the war.

On Jan. 11, experience the story of the USS Hatteras, the only U.S. warship sunk in combat in the Gulf of Mexico during the Civil War, as the Galveston Historical Foundation in partnership with the Texas Historical Commission, Texas A&M University-Galveston, Ocean Gate Foundation, and the NOAA Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary host a variety of activities at the Texas Seaport Museum. Discover how modern-day archeologists learn the story the shipwreck holds, and experience some of the techniques used to locate, map, and document underwater archeological sites.

For more information, visit, or call the Galveston Historical Foundation at 409.765.7834.