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2015 Annual 4th of July in Heritage Park

Written by Brazos Heritage President on . Posted in Events

SATURDAY, July 4, 2015

9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Corner of East 30th Street and Hutchins in Bryan (see map below)

Come join us for a FREE community event hosted by the Brazos Heritage Society with a flag raising, patriotic music, a children’s parade, and refreshments at “old-fashioned” prices.

We also offer face painting, children’s games, and a number of local, non-profit exhibitors. Browse booths devoted to gardening, quilting, spinning and weaving, and historical societies.

For the big “kid” in all of us, come enjoy antique automobiles presented by a local car club.

For those who have served our country, past and present – or for those who support our soldiers and veterans and are interested in all things military – we will host exhibitors from veterans’ support associations, military museums, and our local Army Reserve unit.

2015 Annual 4th of July in Heritage Park

Written by Brazos Heritage President on . Posted in Blog

It’s that time of year again when we start planning to host the annual Old-Fashioned 4th of July in Heritage Park! This free community event will be held on Saturday, July 4 from 9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

One thing that makes our 4th of July event a continuing success each year is the participation of local individuals, businesses, and organizations. In the past we have been blessed with everything from monetary donations to support KORA doing a live broadcast to the free watermelons we serve to the guests. Many of our donors also provide items for our silent auction. Additionally, each year we have a wonderful group of exhibitors who set up booths and share their organization’s unique message/function with our attendees.

Based on prior years, I estimate that the 4th of July will cost between $2,200 and $2,500 for us to host. These are draft numbers; I will not have finalized numbers until May or June. The past few years we’ve been able to about break even or come out a little ahead solely due to the generosity of our sponsors and donors.

While last year’s event was very successful, we are always looking to improve and make this an even better community experience. We would like to call on all our supporters to help expand our list of sponsors/donors/exhibitors for the 2015 4th of July event.

First of all, if you know an individual or organization who might be wiling to sponsor some aspect of the event, or donate to the event or the silent auction, please contact them. We can provide you with a fundraising request letter as well as an electronic version of the IRS 501(c)(3) letter, our EIN letter, and our bylaws if your contact needs or requests any of these supporting documents. If you are not comfortable contacting them, we would at least appreciate an introduction so that we don’t have to “cold call” on anyone.

Second, if you know any non-profit organizations in Brazos County who might like to be an exhibitor, please extend them an invitation. Inviting non-profit exhibitors highlights the wonderful and varied services provided by these organizations in our community. For-profit groups are welcome as long as their purpose is to provide some type of free activity or educational message to the community, rather than advertising or selling their products (e.g., Home Depot’s craft activity booth). Interested exhibitors are welcome to contact me with any questions.

Below is a list of last year’s donors and exhibitors to give you an idea of who has supported our event in years past. Any sponsors/donors or exhibitors will be acknowledged in our program, on social media, on our 2015 4th of July webpage, and with a written thank you letter acknowledging their contribution for tax purposes. The Brazos Heritage Society is a 501(c)3 organization for purposes of donations.

Sponsors/donors and exhibitors from last year:

BSA Troop 383 (St. Joseph Catholic Church)
Dent Magic
Saint-Gobain NorPro
The Downtown Bryan Assn.
The Farm Patch

Sheila Fields
John and Keith Halsell
Catherine Herrin
Dan and Nat Hilliard
Fran Hooks
Henry Mayo
Tom and Caroline McDonald
Homer and Beverly Myers
Bookman and Florence Peters
Mervin and Annette Peters

Baylor Athletic Department
Benjamin Knox
Brazos Glassworks
Brazos Valley Bombers
Brazos Valley Museum of Natural History
Dallas Stars (Hockey)
Disneyland California
FC Dallas (Soccer)
Gene and Jerry Jones Family Charities (Dallas Cowboys)
Lady Camo
Steve Miller
Beverly Myers
Southern Grace
Texas Rose Boutique
The Chocolate Factory
Helen Wise

A & M Garden Club
American Red Cross
Bluebonnet Streetrodders
Brazos Spinners and Weavers Guild
Brazos Valley Veterans
Daughters of the American Revolution
Habitat for Humanity
Home Depot
Museum of the American GI
The American Legion Earl Graham Post #159 Auxiliary
The Brazos Bluebonnet Quilt Guild
The Brazos Valley Museum of Natural History
The James C. Taylor Assn.

Gerald Garcia

National Sojourners
Proud Country

FINALLY, we cannot truly put on a good community event without the help of volunteers. This is a labor-intensive project and we can use help in the following areas:

Setup (active position in the sun)

Children’s Games (active position in the sun)

Face painting (sitting under canopy)

Ticket Sales (sitting under canopy)

Silent Auction (sitting under canopy)

BHS Booth (sitting under canopy)

Concessions – 2 booths (active under canopy)
Clean up (active position in the sun)

Thanks for your help!

Stephanie Hilliard, President and Randy Hilliard, Events Chair

Report on a meeting with the Director for the Central Texas Historical Association

Written by Brazos Heritage President on . Posted in Blog

One of my goals as President of the Brazos Heritage Society has been networking with other historical groups in the area. In particular, I hoped to make some connections with the Blinn and Texas A&M history departments.

Yesterday, I had a meeting with Dr. Kenneth Howell, a history professor at Blinn and the recently hired Director for the new Central Texas Historical Association. This is a non-profit organization that will cover the central part of our great State, joining the already extant Western, Eastern, and Southern Historical Associations.

We discussed at some length ways in which CTHA and BHS might be able to collaborate in the future, including cross-advertising for each others’ events and even gaining access to potential speakers for future talks. We also talked about CTHA utilizing the wonderful historical resources (our people!) that can be found in Brazos County. We have multiple folks who are a treasure trove of local historical information.

While it may be a bit before we see any active collaborations, given that CTHA is just getting started, I wanted to let everyone know that I am making good on my goal to network and start connecting BHS into the larger historical community in order to further our ability to pursue historical preservation and education.

On a side note, Dr. Howell is heading up the Webb Society, a school-based historical student group that was recently re-instituted at Blinn. One of their projects is capturing oral histories. This is something originally suggested by my VP, Isabel, and it would be a fantastic resource for visitors to the BHS website. It would be even better if we can provide a link to a video archive rather than having to do this work ourselves. I will try to keep up with the progress of this project.

With the help of Stephanie Snyder who joined BHS in the past year, we are also working on taking the newsletter to a quarterly publication schedule and including what I hope will be informative articles/information on a number of topics.

Last but not least, I hope to post some photos in the near future that Randy took of the work in progress on the Turner-Peters Dogtrot Cabin.

Until next time.

Stephanie Hilliard


2015 Annual Meeting Report

Written by Brazos Heritage President on . Posted in Blog

Brazos Heritage Society met on Saturday, February 21 from 3-6 p.m. at the Brazos Center in Bryan for our 2015 Annual Meeting.

Here are the highlights of that meeting:

We had approximately 10 members and several guests form the community join us for the meeting.

Mr. Casey Eichhorn, Education Director for the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum gave an excellent, and very well-received, talk on the history of the Rangers. In fact, the talk ran long because everyone was so engrossed in the topic and asked a lot of questions. We were very glad to have Mr. Eichhorn join us. He enjoyed his visit with us (he’s an Aggie!) and expressed an interest in future collaborations with BHS.

After Mr. Eichhorn’s talk, Mr. Randy Haynes presented on the history and current status (as much as known) of the Cavitt House. With the uncertain state of the house’s future, this was a timely and appreciated talk.

After Mr. Haynes’ presentation, I gave a short update on the Turner-Peters Dogtrot Cabin project and Temple Freda.

I then led a short discussion about doing a future symposium on buying and preserving historic homes. This idea was proposed by Mrs. Mary Wells of College Station. I believe this is an excellent idea and this will be one of the ventures we’ll be working on this year.

We then held a short business meeting. I read the report from our Treasurer, Mrs. Beverly Myers, who could not attend. The organization currently has just over $7000 in funds available, including an $800 donation from Hochhein Prairie Branch #219. I can provide you with an exact dollar amount if you would like the numbers.

While our bylaws do not require us to maintain a written budget in order to operate, I believe that this is a good idea and I will be working on pulling one together over the next couple months. Several times in the past we have had one, so I will build off the information I’ve received from Mrs. Nat Hilliard and Mrs. Colleen Batchelor to develop what I hope will be a permanent working document. While a budget makes good business sense, it is also crucial if we want to pursue any outside grant funding.

I also read the report from our Events Chair regarding the outcomes of last year’s 4th of July in Heritage Park, Boonville Days, and our Liendo Plantation day trip. This coming year, we will not be doing any day trips due to low attendance, but we are already gearing up for 4th of July. We also plan to participate again in Boonville Days as this is a good public relations event for us. Our other proposed event will be the symposium that I mentioned earlier.

Finally, we held our yearly elections. Our nomination committee met and the current slate of officers agreed to serve for another year. We opened up the floor for nominations at the meeting. Not receiving any further nominations, Mr. Randy Haynes moved that the slate of officers be approved. This motion was seconded and passed with no dissent.

After the meeting, many of us stayed around and chatted while enjoying a nice variety of finger foods and punch.

I want to personally thank everyone who was able to make the meeting. For those who could not, we missed you. I hope to see you at other events through the year.

As always, if you have any questions, concerns or ideas please feel free to contact me. I value hearing from our membership in order to best represent your interests in how we pursue historic preservation and education in Brazos County.


Stephanie Hilliard


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