The window to submit a historical marker application to the Texas Historical Commission (THC) is fast approaching. Between March 1 and May 15, individuals or groups can apply for a historical marker.
“These markers are visible reminders of the rich history of the State of Texas,” said J. Marie Bassett, Historical Marker Chair with the Hays County Historical Commission (HCHC). “They serve as a valuable aid for education and heritage tourism.”
If approved, the markers are the property of the Texas Historical Commission (THC), which began the program began in 1962. Hays County currently has about 150 markers.
“Applications must be submitted through the HCHC,” Bassett said. “If there is a place, person, or event that you feel deserves a marker, now is your chance to petition the THC.”
She added that this year’s application forms are available on the state’s website: thc.texas.gov and said the website has all needed information about the process, including the cost. In addition to the marker fee, all submissions must include $100 to help fund the Undertold-Story Marker Program (see below for details).
Although the application window runs from March 1 to May 15, 2021, Bassett recommends contacting the HCHC as soon as possible and preferably before the end of April.
“By contacting us earlier than later, the Historical Marker Committee can help with the process and assure that the application is in order and has the best chance of success,” she said.
She added that there are three types of marker applications available online:
- Recorded Texas Historical Landmarks (RTHL) – These are awarded to buildings and structures over 50 years old that are judged to be historically and architecturally significant. They help with the preservation of such buildings.
- Subject Markers – these deal with people and events. Most topics must date back 50 years, but historic events may be marked after 30 years. Individuals may be mentioned 10 years after their deaths.
- Historic Texas Cemetery Markers – To apply for a cemetery marker (basically a subject marker), a cemetery must first be designated as a Historic Texas Cemetery. The HCHC Cemetery Committee assists with this. Such markers are helpful in preserving small family cemeteries dotted around the county.
In addition to the cost of a historical marker, there is a non-refundable application fee of $100 used to fund the Undertold-Story Marker Program. Each year the THC grants about 15 of these markers. The next application window for Undertold Story Markers will open in the fall of 2021.
Unlike regular marker applications, Undertold Story Markers do not require full documentation at first and may be sent directly to THC or be submitted through the Hays County Historical Commission (HCHC). These markers are intended to address historical gaps, promote diversity of topics, and proactively document significantly underrepresented subjects or untold stories.
For more information about Texas’s historical marker program, please visit thc.texas.gov or contact the Hays County Historical Commission via email email@example.com or phone 512-393-2277.
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