Stephen F. Austin State University

Historic Preservation & CRM

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.

Architecture and Historic Preservation Tours

When funding is available, we take trips around the region to check out architectural treasures and historic preservation in practice.

As part of Introduction to Public History for undergraduates (and any other student registered in a history course at SFASU) on Saturday, April 8, 2017 we took SFASU students enrolled in any history course to the Southern Forest Heritage Museum in Long Leaf, Louisiana. This former company sawmill town is largely intact and has numerous interpretive materials and lots of artifacts and buildings to explore.

2016 World Architecture and Historic Preservation Tours
San Augustine, Texas (Fall 2008)
Cane River Creole Area Plantations, Louisiana (Fall 2008)
Zion Hill Baptist Church, Nacogdoches (HIS535 & HIS308 Spring 2008)


Oak Grove Cemetery Cleanings May & November 2017
Oak Grove Cemetery Cleaning February 2017
Smyrna Cemeteries Cleaning November 2016
Oak Grove Cemetery Cleanings Sept & Oct 2016
As part of the Nacogdoches Tri-Centennial Celebration, SFASU students, undergraduates in Dr. Beisel's US History Surveys and public history graduate students, joined volunteers from the public to help clean gravestones in the historic Oak Grove Cemetery.
Oak Grove Cemetery Cleaning July 2016
History 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.
The Oakley Certificate of Merit, Association for Gravestone Studies
Cemetery Cleanups 2012
Cedar Hill Cemetery, Rusk, TX THC Marker Dedication Sept. 19, 2015

City of Nacogdoches & Nacogdoches County Historic Resource Surveys

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.

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.

Cultural Resources Management

Read the full story

HIS583 Summer 2012 - Hurley

Friends of Historic Nacogdoches, Inc.

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.

FoHNI Statue Posters February 2010

Heritage Tourism

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.

Houston County Historical Commission

Houston County (summer 2009) - The goal was to identify historic sites, buildings, structures, and objects associated with events or people significant at the local and/or state levels and resources that embody distinctive characteristics in order to assist in future planning, to renew local pride, to answer historical questions, and to develop heritage tourism. SFA students traveled 90% of the county's known cemeteries and 60% of the county's known THC markers. At each cemetery, students used GPS to map the perimeter, internal structures, and notable objects; recorded data about the cemetery's physical location, condition, markers, and individuals buried in the site using the Texas Historical Commission's Historic Texas Cemetery Designation Form and 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).

Millard's Crossing Historic Village, Inc. - Historic Preservation

Millard's Crossing Historic Village, Inc. has almost twenty historic and reconstructed buildings its uses to interpret the late-19th and early-20th centuries of East Texas. Almost all of the structures in the museum have been moved to the site and they all are in need of restoration. In Fall 2008's HIS581 Historic Preservation course, each student conducted a thorough examination of a structure and prepared a historic structure report which included the current condition and prioritized future work. Special thanks to the students in the course whose work is still of use to the board and staff: Chris Elzen, Cody Raeth, Greg Garcia, Zac Selden, Sara Baker, Ryan Gullett, Linda Reynolds, and Matt Mooneyham.