Friday, May 27, 2011

Heritage Brazos May 2011 Newsletter

25th Anniversary of the Historic District’s 4th of July Celebration

Plan to attend the 25th Anniversary of the Historic District’s 4th of July celebration at Heritage Park at the corner of East 30th Street and Hutchins in Bryan, Texas, on Monday, July 4, 2011, from 9:30 AM to 12:00 PM.

This event, sponsored by the Brazos Heritage Society, will feature patriotic activities for adults and children of all ages, including live music, a children’s parade, patriotic flag raising, and classic car display.

In addition, there will be a number of booths to visit and a silent auction.

Schedule of Events

9:30 AM Patriotic Music by Proud Country

9:45 AM Flag Raising, Pledge of Allegiance, and Toast to the Flag

10:15 AM Special Presentations

10:30 AM Music by Proud Country Continues

10:30 AM Children’s Parade

11:00 AM Silent Auction Closes

Come join us for an old-fashioned Independence Day celebration.

President’s Message

This past February active members of the Brazos Heritage Society received a letter from the outgoing President Jonathan Smith, expressing concern for the continuation of the Society, as the membership had dwindled to a handful, and it had been very difficult to get volunteers to help with fundraising events. In addition, he indicated he did not want to serve a fourth term as President and hoped someone would step up at the February 26th meeting. If there was insufficient interest, he proposed dissolving the corporation and giving remaining funds to help in the restoration of the historic Queen Theatre on Main Street. This was not what he wanted to do but, at the time, it seemed to be the only alternative.

I am pleased to advise that several members did step up to take responsibility for the Society. Since the election we have held several meetings and there is considerable energy and enthusiasm.

Our current aim is to restore the membership of the Society in order to fulfill our Mission as stated in our Bylaws:

Brazos Heritage Society is dedicated to preserving the cultural heritage of Brazos County, specifically to: (1) identify, document and preserve the architecture and historical context of Brazos County, (2) promote the community’s appreciation of its history through advocacy and educational programs, and (3) combat the deterioration of older parts of our community through education, advocacy, and special projects.

We have chosen as our special project for this year, obtaining and placing a historic marker on the Boonville Community site. We will also continue to work on upgrading the Master Plan for Heritage Park.

Our new fiscal year began on March 1, 2011. Found in this newsletter is a membership form. For those of you who have not done so, please fill it out, indicating type of membership you prefer, areas of interest and willingness to serve, and return it to us so we can start rebuilding our Society.

On a closing note, on behalf of the new officers, I want to thank Jonathan for his three years of service as the Society’s President.

We look forward to seeing you all at the Independence Day festivities at Heritage Park on July 4, 2011.

Nat Hilliard


Heritage Park’s First Independence Day Celebration

Tom and Caroline McDonald and their sons, Scott and Don, moved to 611 South Haswell in Bryan, Texas, on April 15, 1986. That year they organized the first 4th of July celebration in the Historic District.

Scott and Don, ages 11 and 9 at the time, delivered circulars throughout the Historic District and adjacent areas. In preparation for the event, Tom and his sons installed a flagpole in their yard at the corner of Haswell and 31st Street.

Approximately 100 people attended this first old fashioned Independence Day celebration, which included Scott and Don posting the flag, the Pledge of Allegiance, an invocation by the Reverend Romily Timmins of Bryan’s historic St. Andrews Episcopal Church, and the singing of The Star Spangled Banner, led by the beautiful baritone voice of the now departed Pete Adams.

Following the ceremony there was a children’s parade, with bikes and wagons decorated in red, white, and blue streamers and balloons, and attended by adults dressed in patriotic attire.

This procession circled the block to Heritage Park, where everyone visited and listened to patriotic music on a portable “jam box.”

Tom McDonald

Treasurer’s Report

Hello from the desk of the Treasurer. At the beginning of the fiscal year on March 1, 2011, the Brazos Heritage Society had two certificates of deposit valued at $14,002.62. In addition, the Society’s checking account had a beginning balance of $7,877.98. Since the beginning of the fiscal year the Society has received $785.00 and disbursed $263.27, resulting in an ending checking account balance of $8,399.71 as of April 30, 2011.

For more detailed information, please do not hesitate to contact me at

Beverly Myers


Website Update

While it is our plan to publish a newsletter on a quarterly basis, all too frequently events may occur that warrant immediate distribution to the Brazos Heritage Society membership. Special news items and features will be posted on our website, which is being regularly updated.

Please visit our website at to receive the latest information about the activities of the Society.

Please feel free to comment on how our website may be improved. Please send your suggestions to

Brazos Heritage Society Membership

The Brazos Heritage Society is “dedicated to preserving the cultural heritage of Brazos County” through efforts to: Identify, document, and preserve the architecture and historical context of Brazos County; Promote the community’s appreciation of its history through advocacy and educational programs; and Combat the deterioration of older parts of our community through education, advocacy, and special projects.

Type of Annual Membership

Membership dues and charitable contributions are tax deductible. The Society’s fiscal year begins on March 1. There are four types of membership: Student/Individual - $10.00; Family - $15.00; Business - $75.00; and Heritage - $100.00.

Volunteering Opportunities

The strength of the Society is through the volunteer efforts of its members. The Society is always looking for individuals who are willing to use their talents to further the mission of the organization.

Service may come in many forms, including: serve as an officer; publicity; work with archives; address envelopes; assist with high tea; research restoration projects; membership development; July 4th celebration activities; assist with children’s tea; docent for Historical Homes Tour; ticket sales; host a social event in your home; volunteer home for custom tour; prepare refreshments for custom tour; make presentations on Brazos County history; fundraising activities; assist with special events.

Membership Information

Please list your name as you want it to appear on the membership roll and on correspondence.


Address: __________________________________________

City/State/Zip: ______________________________________

Phone: (Work) ________________ (Home) ________________


Please mail the completed form and your check to:

Brazos Heritage Society

P. O. Box 1776

Bryan, Texas 77806

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Guide to Historic Brazos County

A Guide to Historic Brazos County, a heritage tourism brochure published by the Brazos Heritage Society in 2003, is available as a free PDF download.  This publication contains a number of photographs of historic sites in Brazos County.  

Persons wanting a quick history of Brazos County may access this informative publication at: