The Alamo

The Alamo and the history behind it easily belong among the most iconic historical pieces of Texas and San Antonio history.  The Battle of the Alamo in 1836 proved a decisive battle in the Texas Revolution. Though the Battle itself ended in a Mexican victory, word of Mexican general Santa Anna’s cruelness reached Texan settlers and encouraged them to take arms against the army. Following the 13-day battle, the Mexican Army was defeated at San Jacinto a month later on April 21, 1836.

Public History in the Wild – Manuel Musquiz Ranch Home

The author standing outside the ruins of the house, across the highway stands the plaque dedicated to the home.

These are the ruins of a ranch home built by Manuel Musquiz who was a pioneer who settled down in between Fort Davis and Alpine, TX in 1854. Due to the frequency of Native American raids during that period Mr. Musquiz eventually abandoned his home and moved elsewhere. From 1880 to 1882, the Texas Rangers used it as a Ranger station while they were clearing out Native Americans and marauding bandits in the surrounding area. After the Rangers abandoned it, the home eventually fell into disarray until it became as it is today.

Public History in the Wild – Jeff Davis County Jail

The author outside the entrance to the jail

The Jeff Davis County Jail, located in Fort Davis, TX, was constructed at the start of the 1910’s to replace an older jail that was deemed inefficient due to its adobe construction. The jail took on a castle like appearance because it was what was popular for most jails in the 19th century. The jail remained open until 1978 where new inmates were transported to Marfa, TX. The jail was funny to observe as it is seated next to the intricate Jeff Davis County Courthouse and the remainder of the small town is mostly brick and mortar buildings.

Public History in the Wild – Terlingua Cemetery

This is a plaque inside the Terlingua Cemetery which is located by the US-Mexican border in Terlingua, TX. Terlingua was once a mining town at the end of the 19th century into the early parts of the 20th century but is now a ghost town with a small population that consists of local artists. The cemetery mostly holds the remains of older residents of the town but there are also graves from as recently as 2018. It was amazing to see how some of these plots had withstood the test of time and continue showing the local traditions.The Author by a plaque inside Terlingua Cemetery

Shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe: The Oblate Grotto

The Oblate Grotto is a massive and Catholic place of worship that can be found in San Antonio, Texas.  Regulars and passerbys can both on the dense spiritual presence felt at this place of worship. Unlike orthodox churches, the Oblate Grotto is a church that holds all of its events and services outside rather than behind closed doors. Attendees notice that this change can bring a huge wave of comfort and spiritual attachment to the site which only furthers the religious experience that the Grotto was meant to give.

The Grotto encompasses an area of five acres and in this space, there are two reconstructions of paramount religious events. The first is a recreation of Tepeyac Hill in Mexico and where Our Lady appeared before Saint Juan Diego as Our Lady of Guadalupe. During this meeting, Our Lady asked that a shrine be built in her name and there, Juan Diego received the beautiful image of Guadalupe to convince the bishop to construct the site.

The other religious location is the resemblance to Lourdes in France where San Bernadette had her Marian Spirits apparitions. Having this spiritual connection to a woman who saw in person the religious spirits only adds to the experience and allows for a deeper understanding of the faith.

The Oblate Grotto is a famous worship site where thousands visit yearly to receive an experience that cannot be felt on a daily basis. Many people have had their lives and point of view changed as a direct result of the events held here and there will be many, many more in the years to come.

Works Cited

https://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=1757

San Antonio, Texas: The Oblate Grotto and Shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe

 

Vulcan Materials Quarry

Vulcan Materials is a mining quarry focused in San Antonio Texas and is the United States’ largest producer of construction aggregates.  From humble beginnings as a family company in 1909, Vulcan has since become a massive powerhouse of building materials spanning several continents on the globe. The huge increase of available building materials made consistent construction accessible to both the common man and the large company. Vulcan is among the few quarries that receive near perfect safety checks on all machines, programs, and procedures year-round. Another bonus to Vulcan is that this quarry leads the push on more environmentally friendly mining practices while still maximizing gains.

The Texas Archive War

The Texas Archive war began in March of 1842 when a division of the Mexican army arrived at San Antonio ad demanded the surrender of the town. At the time, the town was not able to resist and reluctantly gave the town.  On the 10th of March, President of Texas, Sam Houston declared an emergency session in fear of the army moving to Austin.  In his fear, he made plans to make Houston the capital of Texas by creating a small band of soldiers to march to Austin and remove the archives. The citizens of Austin, however, were not about to give up their rightful capital and made plans themselves to resist.

Gov. Sam Houston
President of Texas, Sam Houston

The people were taken off guard by the ensemble sent by the President and were forced to surrender their precious Austin archives. As the soldiers were leaving, Austin heroine: Mrs. Angelina B. Eberly, fired a cannon at them. The ensemble was caught off guards and reluctantly gave up the papers to avoid bloodshed.

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Mrs. Angelina B. Eberly Firing a Cannon
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Statue of Austin Heroine

Later, in 1889, President Mirabeau B. Lamar replaced Sam Houston and solidified the choice of maintaining Austin as Texas’s sole capitol.

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President of Texas, Mirabeau B. Lamar

St. Mary’s School of Law

St. Mary’s School of Law is located in San Antonio, Texas and is one of nine law schools in Texas accredited by the American Bar Association. Established in 1927 as the only private Catholic law school in Texas. St. Mary’s School of Law equips aspiring AttorneySt. Mary's University, Law School entrance, San Antonio, Texas‘s with the tools and knowledge needed to succeed in the court room. The St. Mary’s school of Law provides a number of academic programs including, clinical programs, study abroad, the largest legal information center in San Antonio, and regional and national moot court and mock trial competitions.

Ye Kendall Inn: The Confederacy’s Secret Hideout

Ye Kendall Inn began when the Reed family bought the Greek Revival style

Historic inn
Ye Kendall Inn today | Courtesy of Nicole Johnson

house for 200$ in 1859. In Texas’ early days, there were few regular hotels, so it was common for homeowners to rent spaces to stagecoach travelers. It is said that Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee would congregate here enroute to battle. It is not common for historic sites of the defeated to become pilgrimage sites, but this seems to be common in Boerne, Texas. Two houses have historical markers that commemorate their efforts to provide shelter to icons of the confederacy. Confederate monuments have become the source of contention recently; yet these remnants seem to be sites of praise for the Hill Country Community.

Historic Inn
Historic Picture of Ye Kendall Inn | Courtesy of Dietert Historical Archives

The Crossroads: Texas’ First LGBTQ Historical Marker

During the 1900s, being anything other than heterosexual was illegal in Dallas, Texas. Members of the LGBTQ community were ghettoized in an area called

Buildings in intersection
Dallas’ Historic Gayborhood | Courtesy of Dallas News

Oaklawn – otherwise known as Dallas’ Gayborhood. In the 1930s gays would meet in secrecy between the Magnolia Petroleum building and Commerce and Arkard streets, what was better known as “Maggie’s Corner.” The area was lined with bars that required a gestured code to enter – and it faced continued prejudice. In 1964, hundreds were arrested and deemed “perverts.”

Although there were years of perpetual social isolation for gays across Texas, along with many areas of the United States, their march towards justice persisted. Today, the gay bars have now been replaced with restaurants and apartments that are occupied by heterosexuals and LGBTQ members alike. This a representation of today’s progressive millennial climate and their desire to achieve a more diverse society.

Historical marker draped with scarves.
Texas’ first LGBTQ historical marker draped with colorful scarves before its initiation |Courtesy of the Dallas Way.

In October of 2018, the roots of Texas’ gay community were granted a marker to recognize their struggles towards societal inclusion in the South. It is fair to say that Texas has not yet reached equal historical representation for the LGBTQ community – considering that there are over 27,000,000 million LGBTQ+ members and one historical marker – but I think this will alert Texans of the need to urge local and state historical commissions to share LGBTQ history and other less-known stories.

Texas has often been reluctant to incorporate different perspectives into its history, so this marker not only serves as justice for the Texas LGBTQ community, but also as a triumphant symbol for Texas History.