Stephen F. Austin State University

Zion Hill

The Zion Hill Historic Overlay District is an excellent example of vernacular architecture in general and the shotgun house in particular. This community was established in the mid-nineteenth century as an African-American neighborhood for families who worked in downtown businesses or for the white households in the Washington Square area. Zion Hill represents the perseverance and success of African-American families who established a vibrant community in the face of nineteenth and twentieth century segregation. The district includes the architecturally significant Zion Hill Baptist Church, designed in a Gothic Revival style by local architect Diedrich Rulfs. The community's cemetery, the Zion Hill Cemetery or Park Street Cemetery, is zoned historic individually.

Please note, there are several properties in this Historic Overlay District that were included in the 1986 survey under other addresses, but were not zoned historic when this project commenced in 2011. These properties do not have an entry on the website because they are non-zoned lots: 815, 821, 901, 903, 904, 905, and 906 Gene; 806, 808, 814, and 907 Ola; 316, 414, 416, 500, 510, 511, 518, 523, and 525 Richardson.

You can view the map for this district here. This file is large and may take a while to load completely. The 1992 Nomination includes individual survey forms for a handful of the properties, but most were not individually assessed.

In December 2009, SFA undergraduate Cassandra Bennett completed a course in historical geography. As part of her honors project, she utilized GIS software to merge a 2005 map, the 1929 Sanborn map of Nacogdoches, and data from the 1930 US Census. The following pdfs are from that project and provide information about the changes that have taken place in the last 90 years and those who once lived in the area.

Zion Hill District Map

View Zion Hill District in a larger map (Note: the Google basemap has Gene listed as Ola Street and the center street which is Gene is unlabeled)

Bois d'Arc




Mast Alley