Saturday, January 21, 2012

President’s Message, January 2012

It is hard for me to believe that almost a year has passed since becoming President of the Brazos Heritage Society; but it has, and what a busy and successful year it has been.  I was blessed to have an Executive Committee that was committed to revitalizing the Society!  Our membership, which was one of our main focuses, has grown threefold this year and we hope to see the same trend in the coming year.

Dan Beto, our Publications Chair, developed a blog ( this past May and it has kept the membership and the public timely informed of our activities.  If you haven’t had an opportunity to review this electronic newsletter, please do so; it contains not only information about the Brazos Heritage Society but also provides a number of helpful links.

Our 25th Anniversary Fourth of July Celebration in Heritage Park was wonderful; the kids of all ages had a great time.  And the September membership meeting held at the Park’s Matthew Winsper Knobel Memorial Gazebo, concluded with a social hour, was both informative and enjoyable. 

The Victorian Tea of Thanksgiving, held in The Clary House, was really successful, both financially and as a social event.  Many of the ladies, attending the tea, expressed gratitude at seeing the Brazos Heritage Society once again having the teas in one of our Historic Homes.  We had ladies and gentlemen dressed in Victorian costume coming from as far away as Dallas to attend.  Our blog contains great accounts with lots of pictures about all of these events.

Heritage Park was decorated beautifully for our Christmas Stroll on December 10th and the lights continued to sparkle until the New Year.  We received so many compliments from the neighborhood and visitors to the park.  Beverly and Homer Myers, Linda Roberts, and Phil and Harriet Smith had their homes open.  Justin and Jenny Bulhof and my husband and I served Wassail and cookies on our front porches.  Hidden Oasis provided horse drawn carriage rides in the neighborhood and St. Michael’s Choir sang Christmas carols in the park.

We were successful in getting the Master Plan for Heritage Park approved by the Parks and Recreation Board in December.  Now there is a plan in place to keep the integrity of the park as was intended when deeded to the City.

We have also been successful in getting several of the Astin clothes restored so they will be available for showcasing.  We still have several garments left to be restored and will be deciding which ones to have done this year.

We will also continue to work on securing a new Boonville marker until that task is completed.  Some things take longer than others.

We now have a New Year to look forward to and plan for.  We are very fortunate to have Fran Lamb join the Executive Committee as our Events Chair and she has great ideas for additional fund raising events for the Society, ideas we will bring to the membership’s attention as plans firm up.

I hope to see each of you at our annual membership meeting on February 26, 2012, at the Brazos Valley Museum of Natural History.  Thank you for your support and involvement in the Society. 

                                                                                                Nat Hilliard

Annual Membership Meeting Scheduled

According to the Bylaws of the Brazos Heritage Society, an annual meeting shall be held each February for the election of officers, the hearing of reports, and for conducting other such business of the Society.  The 2012 annual meeting has been scheduled as follows:

Date:              Sunday, February 26, 2012
Time:             2:00 PM
Location:       Brazos Valley Museum of Natural History
                       Brazos Center
                       3232 Briarcrest Drive, Bryan, Texas

Please plan to attend this annual business meeting.  Your participation and involvement in the affairs of the Society are welcomed and encouraged.  Refreshments will be served.

Treasurer’s Report, January 2012

Greetings from the desk of the Treasurer.  The following is an overview of our financial condition at yearend 2011.

Wells Fargo Bank Certificate of Deposit                          $    5,704.78
Prosperity Bank Certificate of Deposit                             $    8,349.97
Prosperity Bank Checking Account Balance                   $    1,526.02

Total                                                                                   $  15,580.77

For more detailed information about the Society’s financial condition, please do not hesitate to contact me at 979-229-9414 or by email at

If you have not done so, please send in your annual membership fee for 2012.  You may also renew your membership at the annual membership meeting on February 26, 2012.

Beverly Myers

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

2012 Exploring History Lunch Lecture Series

The College Station Historic Preservation Committee and the Senior Advisory Committee have developed an outstanding Exploring History Lunch Lecture Series for 2012.  

Each month speakers are invited to share their knowledge of local history during a light lunch.  Each program is taped and broadcasts weekly on CSTV-19.

The luncheon is $5.00 per person and begins at 11:30 AM in the College Station Conference Center located at 1300 George Bush Drive.  There is a new shuttle that you can reserve a spot that will leave from the Southwood Community Center, located at 1520 Rock Prairie Road, at 11:00 AM.

Reservations are required and must be made by the Monday before each lecture with Kelly Kelbly at or by calling 979-764-6351.

The 2012 lecture schedule, listed below, features a number of interesting topics and speakers:

January 18: The Magic and Mystery of Millican
By: Col. John Vilas
Sponsor: Waldenbrook Estates

February 15: How to Steal a Moon Rock
By: Dr. Everett Gibson, Senior Scientist, Johnson Space Center
Sponsor: Scott & White Health Plans

March 21: Edge of Freedom: Battle of Goliad
By: John Willingham, author
Sponsor: Comfort Keepers

April 18: Rudder: From Leader to Legend
By: Dr. Tom Hatfield, Senior Research Fellow, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History at The University of Texas and Director of the Center’s Military History Institute
Sponsor: Watercrest at Bryan

May 16: Save the Queen
By: Ben Hardeman
Sponsor: Physicians Home Medical Equipment

June 20: Reliving Texas History: Muskets, Cannons and Knives
By: Dr. Lou Hodges, Associate Professor, Department of Recreation, Parks, & Tourism Sciences, Texas A&M University
Sponsor: Lighthouse Hospice

July 18: Brazos River History and a Levee
By: Dr. Wendy Patzewitsch, Lecturer of Geography, Texas A&M University
Sponsor: Medi-Care Equipment Specialties

August: No Program

September 19: Texas A&M Corps of Cadets History
By: Dr. John Adams
Sponsor: Waldenbrook Estates

October 17: Hidden Treasures of Cushing Library
By: Dr. Mary Manning, Texas A&M University Libraries
Sponsor: City of College Station Senior Services

November 14: Second Thoughts: Presidential Regrets with their Supreme Court Nominations
By: William T. Harper, author
Sponsor: The Isle at Watercrest

December: No Program

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happenings at the Brazos Valley African American Museum

An excellent resource regarding the history of Brazos County is the Brazos Valley African American Museum.  The Brazos Valley African American Museum, operated by the African American National Heritage Society, is located at 500 East Pruitt Street in Bryan, Texas.  The museum is open from 1:00 to 4:00 PM, Tuesdays through Fridays, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Saturdays, and from 2:00 to 5:00 PM on Sundays.  For additional information, call 775-3961.

New Exhibit

Found in last week’s Bryan-College Station Eagle was an article about a new exhibit at the Brazos Valley African American Museum dealing with the path to politics African Americans took locally and across Texas.  According to the article, the exhibit – “Ain’t It Good to Always be the Beginning: The Power of Politics” – will showcase the stories of a number of African Americans elected to office across Texas. 

This new exhibit, part of which is on loan from the Texas Institute for the Preservation of History and Culture, will run from January 7 to April 22, 2012. 

11th Annual Appreciation Banquet

In addition to this new exhibit, the Museum will hold its 11th Annual Appreciation Banquet on Saturday, January 28, 2012, at the College Station Hilton, commencing at 6:30 PM.  This event honors and publicly recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the Brazos Valley African American Museum and to the community.  The theme of this year’s banquet is “Call to Action: Preserving our History, Schools, and Community.”  Ronnie Jackson, the Youth Services Manager for the City of Bryan, will be the featured speaker. 

Individual tickets for this event are $50.  To sponsor a table of ten, the cost is $500.  To reserve a table or purchase individuals tickets, contact Willie Pruitt at the museum or call him at 822-0469.

International Interest in Electronic Newsletter

Heritage Brazos, the electronic newsletter of the Brazos Heritage Society, had its inception in May 2011.  Since that time, the Society’s newsletter has had 1,085 online visits.  While the vast majority of those visits were from within the United States, the newsletter’s website was also viewed by people in the following countries (listed in alphabetical order): Bangladesh, Canada, France, Germany, Ghana, Japan, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

The Society’s online newsletter contains all the information as the one mailed to members, and more.