History

Everything You Wanted to Know About Centennial Markers Around Texas

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Though many of the centennial markers scattered around the state now lie in a neglected state, some still remain intact. If you’ve ever come across one, you might naturally think it a gravestone, but it’s a historical marker. Today, few of these remain standing, though efforts of preservationists hope to change this. If you find a centennial marker, consider yourself lucky for spotting a piece of Texas history that has lasted for almost a hundred years in the elements.

Centennial of What?

One of over a thousand centennial markers across the state. This is to commemorate the first shot of the Texas Revolution.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The centennial markers commemorate the 100th anniversary of Texas independence. In 1936, Texas found itself in the depths of the Great Depression, but that did not quell the patriotic spirit of those in the state. In 1935, the state legislature ruled for the creation of the Commission of Control for Texas Centennial Celebrations. This triggered preparations for the upcoming centennial. In all, the state commissioned 1100 markers for the anniversary, which were placed in 1936.

What the Markers Indicate

Frelsburg Centennial Marker

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Not all the stones mark important places in the Texas Revolution. Many of them served as the predecessors to today’s historic plaques. Each marker gives a short snippet of information about the location it sits on, prompting visitors to search for more information on their own. When these were erected, in the days before the Internet, this often meant a trip to the local library or plying the memories of old-timers.

Preserving the Past

Deaf Smith Centennial Marker

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Once markers to commemorate the past, these centennial markers now have become historic in their own right. Today, the Texas Historical Commission (THC) works to preserve the stones through a team of diligent volunteers. These volunteers include individuals and historic preservation societies, such as the Friends of the THC, who task themselves with maintaining the markers. THC coordinates part replacement or marker relocation, as each individual case warrants. If you want to help, the Friends of the THC accept donations to help preserve and restore these markers.