The Public History program has had numerous opportunities to work with area preservationists and resource managers organizations on projects such as historic resource surveys, heritage tourism, and historic preservation projects. This section presents the work of individual students and class's project(s) as they pertaining to the respective fields and partner organizations.
San Augustine, Texas (Fall 2008)
Mission Dolores Laboratory Interior; Pictured (left to right) Josh Johnson, Al Broden (director), Matt Mooneyham, Cody Raeth, Zac Selden, Chris Elzen, Ryan Gullett, Linda Reynolds, Kimberly McDonnell, Sara Baker
- Historic San Augustine County Jail
Town Square Former Hospital; Pictured left to right (back row) Sara Baker, Kimberly McDonnell, Ryan Gullett, Linda Reynolds, Chris Elzen, Cody Raeth, Matt Mooneyham (front row) Josh Johnson, Zac Selden
Town Square Back Wall of Former Theater; Pictured: Cody Raeth
San Augustine East Market Street
San Augustine East Market Street
San Augustine Former Theater
San Augustine Courthouse Square Former Hospital
San Augustine Courthouse Square Former Hospital
Town Square Courthouse Entrance
Cane River Creole Area Plantations, Louisiana (Fall 2008)
Oakland Plantation Main House: Pictured (left to right) Chris Elzen, Jennifer Elzen, Cody Raeth, bus driver, Kimberly McDonell
Oakland Plantation Plantation Grounds Entrance
Oakland Plantation Corn Cribs
Oakland Plantation Out Building
- Oakland Plantation Store
- Oakland Plantation Dovecote
Oakland Plantation Mule Barn: Pictured (left to right) Josh Johnson, Linda Reynolds, Kimberly McDonnell, Zac Selden, Jennifer Elzen, Sara Baker, Cody Raeth, Chris Elzen
Oakland Plantation Main House Dining Room: Pictured (left to right) Zac Selden, bus driver, Linda Reynolds, ?, Kayla Renolds, ?, Sara Baker, Jennifer Elzen, lecturer, Josh Johnson
Oakland Plantation Main House Dining Room: Pictured (left to right) lecturer, Linda Reynolds, Jennifer Elzen, Chris Elzen, Kimberly McDonnell
Magnolia Plantation slave quarters
Zion Hill Baptist Church, Nacogdoches (HIS535 & HIS308 Spring 2008)
1 The baptistery
3 Second story balcony seating.
4 Local activist Jeff Abt explains the community's efforts to preserve the church
5 Great example of Diedrich Rulf's use of Gothic elements to decorate the main entrance porch.
7 City of Nacogdoches Historic Sites Manager Brian Bray explains the restoration process.
- 2016 is the 300th anniversary of the City of Nacogdoches. The Friends of Historic Nacogdoches, the local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, in Spring 2016 Dr. Beisel and G.A. Katherine Jackson worked together to host cleaning workshops for the public at Oak Grove Cemetery. All graduate students and students in Dr. Beisel's 2016 courses can take part in this community event. Public History students Conor Herterich and Jennifer Kellum had cemetery cleaning training in Summer 2016 and helped supervise Dr. Beisel's HIS134 class cleaning gravestones on August 5, 2016. Here is a pdf with photographs from the event. September 16, 2016 was our third cemetery cleaning - it was hot but successful. Many thanks to Jennifer Kellum and Kris Moffett who served as the official graduate assistants but Allie Grimes and Lea Clark who also came out to help.
- In November 2015 eight students in Dr. Beisel's HIS133 - US History Survey courses took advantage of an opportunity to complete a service learning project by volunteering at the Smyrna Cemeteries (3) in Etoile, Texas. We had a beautiful day in the midst of an unusually rainy fall and were very productive. Students cleaned about twenty gravestones, completed documentation forms for 150, and photographed each stone. Video 1 Video 2 Video 3 Video 4 Video 5
- City of Nacogdoches Preserve America Grant (Fall 2009-Spring 2013) - This grant, managed by SFA faculty, provided assistantships to Public History students, hands-on documentation, publicity and communication management, and workshop opportunities for many graduate students. The grant included five counties along the El Camino Real (from east to west) Sabine, San Augustine, Nacogdoches, Cherokee, and Houston and focused on identifying cemeteries that needed assistance with interpretation and preservation as a way to encourage heritage tourism along the historic route. A series of mini-grants provided funding for cemetery clearing, fence construction, and tombstone repair. Dr. Beisel and Dr. Avery (an archaeologist in Social & Cultural Analysis) organized several hands-on workshops open to graduate students on stone identification, best practices for cleaning, and documentation. In Spring 2010 several graduate students conducted research on the individuals buried at the Zion Hill and Oak Grove Cemeteries in Nacogdoches which will be included in a database linked by GIS to maps of each cemetery. Dr. Perky Beisel and Dr. George Avery edited Deep East Texas Grave Markers Tyles, Styles, and Motifs written by Nancy Adgent and published in October 2010 by the SFA Press on behalf of the grant. As a result of this work, they were awarded an Oakley Award from the Association of Gravestone Studies at its annual conference in June 2011.
- July and August 2012 - All students in Dr. Beisel's undergraduate-level Introduction to Public History (HIS308) cleaned tombstones at Oak Grove Cemetery. After having received permission from the McKinney family, we practiced the proper way to clean: lots of water, lots of scrubbing with soft brushes, Orvus to start and D2 to finish. At the end of the course some students took the opportunity to volunteer during a workday at the Shady Grove Cemetery in Houston County. This historic three acre cemetery was severely overgrown - hard to tell the difference from the neighboring pine plantations! - and the tombstones were in poor condition. Graduate student Misty Hurley instructed local activists in tombstone cleaning best practices while Dr. Beisel and the undergraduates helped haul away trees and debris. (See photographs below.)
- March 31, 2012 - Students in Dr. Beisel's freshman-level US History to 1877 course worked on cleaning the previously undocumented Teutsch cemetery east of Nacogdoches along Highway 21 in the Sand Hill area. At the present time there are two known markers, but community members recall seeing several more during their childhoods. The area was very overgrown but we made significant progress. (See photographs below.)
- October 1-2, 2010 - Grave Marker Types, Styles, and Motifs by Nancy Adgent and edited by Dr. Beisel and Dr. George Avery was released in conjunction with a workshop in San Augustine at the Theater (9:00-11:30 am) and in Rusk at the Heritage Center of Cherokee County (10:30-noon) each workshop had a brief lecture and then a tour of a local cemetery led by Nancy Adgent. Within a year we gave away over two hundred copies of the guide.
- June 18, 2010 Friday - A gravestone identification (stone geology) workshop led by Dr. Beisel and Dr. George Avery (after consultation by geologist Dr. Kevin Stafford) was a great success. We left the Forestry Building at SFASU at 10:00 am, stopped at the Selman-Roarke Cemetery alongside Highway 21 5 miles east of Alto in Cherokee County, continued on to Glenwood Cemetery in Crockett, had lunch on the square and returned to Nacogdoches via Enon Cemetery 3 miles south of Highway 7 in Houston County. We had 17 people in addition to the local TV station, KTRE, at the first stop and and additional five people joined us in Crockett. For a few weeks you will be able to watch the segment on the evening news.
- On April 30, 2010 the Preserve America grant hosted a Friday workshop with Jason Church of the National Center for Preservation Training and Technology in Sabine County. There was a morning lecture at 11:00 a.m. at the Huffman Public Library in Hemphill. After a lunch break, there was a tombstone cleaning session at the Gatsby New Zion Cemetery in Geneva, a Historic Texas Cemetery and partner cemetery of the Preserve America grant. View the flyer. Public history MA student Kaitlin Wieseman got some hands-on practice cleaning a tombstone - check out our "results" flyer.
- In May 2009 there was a two-week series of workshops sponsored by the History Department, the Center for Regional Heritage Research, and Humanities Texas and organized by Dr. Perky Beisel. The following materials demonstrate activities of public history students and other members of the community as part of these workshops. The presentations were by staff of the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (Church and Smith), the Texas Historical Commission (Hite), and an independent scholar who is a board member of the Association for Gravestone Studies.
- Postcard for Week 1
- Video: Stone Cleaning at Oak Grove Cemetery with Jason Church
- Powerpoint: Cemetery Monument Conservation by Jason Church
- Video: Vegetation at Oak Grove Cemetery with Debbie Smith
- Powerpoint: Cemetery Vegetation by Debbie Smith
- Postcard for Week 2
- Video: Documentation at Oak Grove Cemetery with Gerron Hite
- Video: Identifying Tombstones at Oak Grove Cemetery with Nancy Adgent
Oak Grove Cemetery Cleaning July 2016History Department Graduate Assistants (both Public History) Jennifer Kellum and Conor Herterich have been helping cleaning gravestones at the historic Oak Grove Cemetery in Nacogdoches. These stones were not cleaning in the spring due to size, deterioration, etc. However with lots of patience, care, elbow grease, and WATER along with some Orvus and D2, the gravestones are much improved and Kellum and Herterich have a new line on their CV. They will help supervise Dr. Beisel's freshman US history course in early August 2016 as it cleans in the cemetery.
- Russell Gravestone before cleaning 7-15-16
- Kellum & Herterich before cleaning 7-25-16
- Russell Gravestones after cleaning 7-22-16
- Russell Gravestones at beginning of cleaning 7-22-16 The smallest gravestone was cleaned 7-15 the others were cleaned 7-22.
- Hardeman Gravestone during cleaning 7-15-16
- Hardeman Gravestone after cleaning 7-15-16 (taken 7-22-16)
- Hardeman Gravestone before cleaning 7-15-16
- Kellum & Herterich after cleaning 7-15-16
The Oakley Certificate of Merit, Association for Gravestone Studies
- Awarded June 2011 to Dr. Avery and Dr. Beisel (shown) by the Oakleys at the annual conference in Colby, Maine
Cemetery Cleanups 2012
- August 2012 - Shady Grove Cemetery 2
- August 2012 - Shady Grove Cemetery 1 Her ancestor's tombstone is much cleaner after her hard work!
- March 31, 2012 - Teutsch Cemetery 4
- March 31, 2012 - Teutsch Cemetery 3
- March 31, 2012 - Teutsch Cemetery 2
- March 31, 2012 - Teutsch Cemetery 1
Cedar Hill Cemetery, Rusk, TX THC Marker Dedication Sept. 19, 2015
- Singing during the dedication ceremony 9-17-15
- Perky Beisel & Deborah Burkett - CHHC Chair - with the newly unveiled THC marker 9-17-15
The City of Nacogdoches's Historic Sites Department, Planning & Zoning Department, and the Nacogdoches Historic Landmarks Peservation Committee are three important elements of historic preservation in town. As such, there have been several opportunities for collaboration between the Public History program and the City. From August 2010-December 2012 the Public History program worked with the City of Nacogdoches to resurvey its five historic zoning districts and independent structures utilizing GIS technology in order to update the former 1986 survey as well as make the research available online. We are continuing to update the survey.
- Undergraduate students in the Spring 2015 Introduction to Public History course resurveyed selected structures in the downtown area and conducted new surveys in the proposed Pecan Orchard area north of campus.
- Jake McAdams worked on surveying skipped sites during Fall 2012 as part of his HIS535 coursework.
- In Summer 2011 (HIS582 Internship in Public History) - This course provided hands-on training in public history. the students took part in the larger, multi-year project to identify, record, and map the historic resources of Nacogdoches utilizing historical, architectural, and geographical knowledge, skills, and abilities. We updated and expanded the 1986 survey of the Washington Square, Zion Hill, Sterne-Hoya, Downtown, Virginia Avenue, and independent Historic Districts by using survey forms, NPS survey guidelines, photography, and GPS units. This project was supported by the City of Nacogdoches and the Center for Regional Heritage Research, as well as the History Department, and received a 2010-2011 Service Learning Grant.
- In March 2011 the Center for Regional Heritage Research web designer developed a website with "clickable" maps based on this research and previous documentation.
- In Spring 2011 students in HIS535 Introduction to Public History conducted historic resource surveys of the Zion Hill Historic Overlay District which was part of the larger 2011-2012 City of Nacogdoches Historic Sites Survey. Students worked in two groups to produce comprehensive architectural reports and photographic documentation.
- The students in the Fall 2010 undergraduate American Architecture course, HIS414, surveyed the entire Downtown Historic District using paper survey forms, Juno Trimble units, and cameras.
- In Spring 2008 students in a joint HIS535 and HIS308 Introduction to Public History course toured Zion Hill Baptist Church and learned about restoration efforts of the Nacogdoches County Historical Foundation (a local nonprofit whose annual event, the Nacogdoches Heritage Festival, raises money for preservation efforts) and the City's Historic Sites Department which manages the structure.
- In Fall 2006 students in HIS535 Introduction to Public History prepared a survey, requested by city officials and residents, of historic structures in the Pecan Orchard area of Nacogdoches (just north of SFA's campus) in hopes of preparing a historic zoning district. Although there was not enough local support for designation, the research remains an important part of documenting the city's resources: Plat Map, Block Overview by Group, and Pecan Orchard District Report B.
Nacogdoches County - The goal of a 2007 summer course was to develop a sense of the built environment in the immediate outskirts of the City of Nacogdoches. This was conducted as part of the research for the City of Nacogdoches Visionaries in Preservation Program. The students recorded 503 resources using a form developed from the Texas Historical Commission's survey form after previous use in Fall 2006 by students in Introduction to Public History. The project resulted in cataloging the following structures: 34 agricultural, 4 cemeteries, 6 cisterns/tanks/wells, 7 commercial, 58 domestic, 8 religious, 3 transportation. The following students participated: Angela Henderson, Laura Williams, Curtis Odom, Paul Maleski, Chay Runnels. Here is the project's survey form and examples of the resources we documented.
- Sample Survey Form; Christian Cemetery; Log barn; Modern house; Barn; ; Bridge; and Lilly Grove Baptist Church
- We also have a video made by the students to document the project and its process which was presented at the ETHA Fall conference in September 2007. See the current and alumni students page for photographs of the conference.
Cultural Resources Management
- In Summer 2013 Misty Hurley completed a practicum under the direction of Dr. George Avery, archaeologist and manager of the SFASU Archaeology Laboratory. Together they conducted excavations on the SFASU campus prior to new construction in the SFA Gardens.
HIS583 Summer 2012 - Hurley
- Hurley, Archaeology Lab 7 Tucker House shovel test inventory
- Hurley, Archaeology Lab 6 Tucker House shovel test (Misty Hurley and Whitney Rains)
- Hurley, Archaeology Lab 5 Preparing Caddo Conference papers for archive
- Hurley, Archaeology Lab 4 PastPerfect
- Hurley, Archaeology Lab 3 Labeling artifacts
- Hurley, Archaeology Lab 2 Ground penetrating radar
- Hurley, Archaeology Lab 1 Cleaning and sorting shovel test finds
FoHNIis a 501(c)3 organization whose mission is to support and promote the historic resources of Nacogdoches, Texas. As such it has engaged the Timber Frames Guild of America to build a gazebo in a downtown park, published educational pamphlets and videos for schoolchildren and tourists, written a historic homes cookbook, provided an annual Christmas Tour of Homes, and raised funds to construct commissioned bronze sculptures of notable Nacogdoches personages.
- On the behalf of FoHNI, at the beginning of the spring 2010 semester, the History Department's Graduate Assistants researched and designed poster displays for the four proposed bronze statues to be added to the downtown Heritage Walk in Nacogdoches. The 2'x3' George Crocket, Karle Wilson Baker, Country Doctor, and Diedrich Rulfs posters, assembled by G.A. Stephen Delear, were printed by the Columbia Geospatial Center and presented at the FoHNI gala on February 11, 2010.
- In Fall 2009 students in HIS535 Introduction to Public History created brochures for FoHNI concerning raising a statue of George Crocket (other planned statues that year included Karle Wilson Baker, Diedrich Rulfs, and the country doctor). Among many other notable things, Crocket served as a member of the history department at SFA in the 1930s and penned one of the first and most well-known histories of East Texas (Two Centuries in East Texas). The students created four brochures for the Crocket Statue: #1, #2, #3, and #4.
FoHNI Statue Posters February 2010
At the Gala 04 Karle Wilson Baker Table - Photograph by Hardy Meredith, SFASU Photographer
At the Gala 03 The Country Doctor table - Photograph by Hardy Meredith, SFASU Photographer
At the Gala 02 Rulfs Table - Photograph by Hardy Meredith, SFASU Photographer
At the Gala 01 Crocket Table - Photograph by Hardy Meredith, SFASU Photographer
- Crocket Poster All of the historic images used in this poster were located by the graduate assistants. Design by GA Stephen Delear, printing by the Columbia Regional Geospatial Center.
- Rulfs Poster All of the historic images used in this poster were located by the graduate assistants. Design by GA Stephen Delear, printing by the Columbia Regional Geospatial Center.
- Country Doctor Poster All of the historic images used in this poster were located by the graduate assistants. Design by GA Stephen Delear, printing by the Columbia Regional Geospatial Center.
Baker Poster All of the historic images used in this poster were located by the graduate assistants. Design by GA Stephen Delear, printing by the Columbia Regional Geospatial Center.
Friends of Historic Nacogdoches, Inc. Statue Posters 2-11-10 Stephen Delear with the four FoHNI posters
- Friends of Historic Nacogdoches, Inc. Statue Posters 2-11-10
- Friends of Historic Nacogdoches, Inc. Statue Posters 2-11-10
On June 26, 2010, the public history program supported the Long Black Line Conference at SFASU. This symposium focused on the African-American School Movement of 1920-1950 and featured several speakers and a round table discussion. Admission to the sessions was be free, but there will a ticketed catered lunch. The East Texas Historical Association coordinated the logistics. The speakers included independent researchers and university professors. We updated the progress of this workshop with a presentation at the October 2010 National Trust for Historic Preservation conference in Austin. The picture below shows Herman Wright, founder of the Long Black Line, and Dr. Beisel during the session.
instructions; recorded detailed information about each marker in every cemetery with twenty or fewer marked burials using the Texas Historical Commission's Individual Marker Form; and photographed the cemetery as a whole, its entrance, internal structures and objects, and notable burial markers. Students completed a departmental survey form, GPSed the location, and photographed the resource for each THC marker, historic structure, or other resource. Pictures from the Fall 2009 East Texas Historical Association meeting where we presented the results of the summer's work can be viewed in the "Presentations" section at the current and alumni students page. The students involved included Public History MA candidates Chris Elzen, Lisa Bentley, and Pamela Ringle. The undergraduates included history major Cassandra Bennett, geography major Joyce Preston, and fine arts major Brenna Kelley. In addition, Brenna Kelley produced a video highlighting the summer's work. Here is the presentation made to Houston County Historical Commission (PowerPoint).