So just what are those big gray granite markers you see on the highway, country roads, and in cemeteries around Texas? Those slabs that stand around 5-1/2 feet tall and weigh up to 2,000 pounds, what do they signify? Here’s what you need to know about Texas Centennial markers.
Texas Centennial Markers: What You Need to Know
Here’s a brief history of what happened back in 1936. Texas threw itself a party to kick off a different type of tourism known as heritage tourism which celebrates the culture of a particular area. The party was so big that President Franklin D. Roosevelt himself made a special trip to the Lone Star State. The Texas-sized commemoration celebration marked our most important milestone—the 100-year anniversary of our independence from Mexico.
Festivities and events took place across the state in cities large and small, but the most outstanding occurred in Dallas. A multi-million dollar, fifty building expo was constructed on the grounds of Fair Park where President Roosevelt made a speech in the Cotton Bowl to a crowd of over 52,000.
Texas companies and artisans worked together to erect over 1,100 monuments, museums, statues, and plaques, including the 980 historical markers that were placed throughout the state that recanted stories of fascinating moments in Texas history.
Why were they placed in such odd locations you may ask? Over the generations since these prideful centennial markers were erected, many have been barricaded or encased in fencing, knocked down, and even buried by the current landowner. The location of some markers has changed, ending up in undignified or threatened locations, placed in storage, lost or covered during road construction, or moved to a location without any historical significance.
Sadly our markers have been washed away or hoisted off using a winch truck, only to pop up miles away in someone’s backyard. You can read about a marker in Fayette County that was removed, reworded, and reinstalled in Colorado County at texasescapes.com.
These markers commemorating the Centenary of Texas Independence have suffered greatly at the hands of vandals and thieves. Wreaths, stars, and plaques have been pried off; the granite, painted, chiselled, hammered, or shot.