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Northeast Times | November 30, 2021

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Texas Historical Commission News: Coastal views, $20M+ for courthouse restoration, and more

Texas Historical Commission News: Coastal views, $20M+ for courthouse restoration, and more

Bexar Battles: San Antonio in the Texas Revolution

San Antonio’s bustling urban environs belie its role in the Texas Revolution. Although it’s challenging to imagine the nation’s seventh-largest city as it appeared in the mid-1800s, pockets of independence-era vestiges remain scattered throughout downtown.

In the latest issue of The Medallion, go back in time to wander the streets of old San Antonio.

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View of the blue Laguna Madre from Port Isabel Lighthouse State Historic Site

There’s Nothing Like a Laguna Madre View

This one takes a climb up 75 spiraling stairs and three short ladders. Starting June 25, it will reopen to the public with some restrictions.

Port Isabel Lighthouse State Historic Site in Cameron County has stood watch over the Texas coast since 1852. Its original light was visible for 16 miles, helping sea captains navigate the shallow waters around the barrier islands.

During the Civil War, first Confederate and then Union troops used the lighthouse as an observation point. It served the same duty in both World Wars. In 2000, the Port Isabel Lighthouse was restored to its 1880s appearance.

Self-guided lighthouse tours will be available by appointment only. Visit the website for details and scheduling info:

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Brick facade of the Willacy County Courthouse

Willacy County Courthouse, Raymondville. Photo credit: Wayne Wendel

$20+ Million for Restoring Historic Courthouses

Nine counties are grant recipients for Round XI of the nationally recognized Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program. The grants were announced during the quarterly meeting of the Texas Historical Commission on June 16-18.

Callahan, Mason, and Taylor counties received construction grants for full restorations. Kimble, Washington, Wise, and Willacy counties received planning grants to be applied toward future applications for full restoration grants. Duval and Lee counties received emergency grants to address critical issues.

In addition to providing safe, functional buildings, restoration of historic courthouses benefits economies, reinvigorates historic downtowns, and promotes heritage tourism, a $7.3 billion industry in Texas.

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Map of Texas with cattle trail routes

Exploring Texas History at Home

As families prepare to stay entertained during the summer, the Texas Historical Commission is providing free instructive resources about Texas history, preservation, and heritage tourism as an alternative to visiting a historic site outside your region.

Our Texas History at Home page encourages families to explore activities including downloadable coloring sheets, educational video playlists on our YouTube channel, and mobile tours highlighting the Texas Revolution, Chisholm Trail, Texas military history, and more. Explore our state’s heritage and share #TXHistoryAtHome.

Kreische House, a long, narrow three-story building with porches, at the Kreische Brewery State Historic Site

Kreische Brewery State Historic Site, La Grange

Opening Our State Historic Sites Safely During COVID-19

Just as the THC works with communities to protect historic places, we are working together with you to protect public health as our state historic sites reopen.

Select state historic sites have reopened with limited capacity, with some sites closed due to construction and other improvement projects. Additionally, some sites are requiring pre-paid reservations over the phone. Please check with the site before you visit for the latest information.

Check our public health page for up-to-date policies: