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Stephen F. Austin State University

Corrigan Community Heritage Collection

Corrigan Community History Day a Success!

The Center for Regional Heritage Research at SFA and the residents of Corrigan celebrated the inaugural Community History Day on Saturday, May 26. A series of events focused on the history and heritage of the area all drew enthusiastic crowds.

The Daughters of the Republic of Texas kicked off the day with the dedication of a monument to longtime resident Elisha Wood Cockrell at the Union springs Cemetery. Later, a Community History Data Collection Center was formally opened at the Mickey Reily Public Library. The Data Center will be used by residents of the area to record their memories as well as digitize documents and photographs for incorporation into a community history web site.

The remainder of the day featured multiple displays from a number of private collections, including the Eden-Birch Sirman Collection, the Waller Collection of Corrigan events occurring in the 1940s, and the Cockrell Collection. Dr. George Avery, the Cultural Heritage Research Coordinator from SFA, taught attendees how to date glass bottles, and Dr. Darrel McDonald from the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis at Stephen F. Austin State University explained the GIS methodology used to map the Union Springs cemetery in Corrigan.

A light lunch was provided by the Corrigan Community Service League and attendees were encouraged at the lunch tables to look through old albums to help identify their ancestors or past members of the community.

That the Community History Day was a great success can be attributed to the help of Eva Cockrell Perry, Kelly Smith Shadix, Thelma "Tutti" Stanford, Barbara Pope Page, Sherry Sprayberry Hughes, Debbie Durham, and Deidre Bryan Cornelius.
Corrigan Community History Day

Corrigan Heritage Center Project

The City of Corrigan and the Center for Regional Heritage Research conducted a joint processing day on Thursday Sept 8 in the city hall annex in Corrigan. Prior to our arrival, Kelly Shadix and other local leaders organized the city's historical materials according to donator. Upon arrival the team conducted a quick analysis of the materials with particular attention given to creator, date, type and condition. Following standard collectors management practices, the team then made item or folder-level descriptions of each collection. Once this preliminary finding aid was completed, the list was added to an Excel spreadsheet and each collection was assigned a box number. By the end of the day we had successfully assessed the City's historic holdings which included items such as a doctor's kit, a 1913 adding machine, World War II ration books, turn-of-the century school photographs and sports trophies. All of these items, the majority of which were in good stable condition were re-housed in fresh boxes. We will now begin to digitize some of the materials to provide access while the city progresses in the process of rehabilitating a former 1910s grocery store to function as a community archive and museum.

Built in 1935, this venerable, historic building is located at what was once the very center of community life in Corrigan. Surrounded by a myriad of other downtown businesses, this store building houses a once thriving retail grocery business. It was here that folks not only bought their week's provisions for the family, but in the unhurried pace of the day took time to socialize, talk to other neighbors, and catch up on the latest happenings in Corrigan and the surrounding communities.

The Corrigan Heritage Center will be the catalyst for social and community activity in Corrigan. Besides housing exhibits of historical and cultural significance for display, the Center will attract contributions of artifacts and collection for archival, restoration, and study purposes. Genealogical and other historic data will be preserved and catalogued for future reference and safekeeping. This Center will eventually become a treasure trove of great value to families, school children, and anyone interested in the rich history of Corrigan, Polk County and deep East Texas.

In addition to its role as a repository of all things historic, the Corrigan Heritage Center will be a vibrant active hub for a variety of social opportunities... reunions, receptions, meetings, and celebration of every description.

For more information on the project, click here

Artist's Representation of the Corrigan Heritage Center

Corrigan Project