(Minutes of) Milam County Historical Commission
Milam County Museum - Cameron
December 10, 2012
Minutes not available
(Minutes of) Milam County Historical Commission
Minerva Community Center
October 15, 2012
The Milam County Historical Commission met at 10:00 a.m. in the Minerva Community
Center with chairperson Geri Burnett presiding. Serving as hostess and providing
refreshments was Jackie Thornton. Geri opened the meeting and introduced visitor Pam
Troutman, noting that she has visited MCHC and the museum and is interested in historic
Minutes of the previous meeting were mailed to members for their review. Upon motion by
Willyne Stanislaw, second by Jackie Thornton, the minutes were approved as printed.
Treasurer Mary Ann Eanes distributed and discussed a printed Treasurers Report. The
report showed a balance on hand on July 21, 2012 of $22,356.82. The ending balance on
October 30, 2012 was $28,593.11.
Geri announced that the next meeting of the MCHC will be at the Milam County Historical
Museum in Cameron on December 10, 2012. Judge Barkemeyer and the Commissioners are
invited to attend this meeting.
Geri noted that the Texas Historical Commission is again under fire. She said that we
should be very involved in letting our legislators know of the assistance that we
receive from this Commission.
Lucile Estell discussed the October 8 dedication of the signs marking El Camino Real de
los Tejas National Historic Trail in Milam County. She expressed appreciation for the
assistance from the Milam County Historical Commission and said that the signs will be
appearing soon on Milam County roads. She reminded the group that $4000 of the funding
came from the Milam County Historical Commission Preservation Trust Fund.
Geri discussed the proposed memorial for Carter Collins. A bench will be placed in the
vicinity of the Sneed Cabin. Jackie and Willyne will be making a recommendation
regarding the bench to be installed here.
Jerry Caywood will be honored at the December meeting for his outstanding work on the
MCHC website. The site is very popular and very helpful in spreading the word about
activities of the Milam County Historical Commission. He will be presented one of the
special pens crafted by Milam County resident Jamie Larson.
Under new business, Geri recommended that two members retiring from the Commission be
granted the honor of Members Emeritus. This is in agreement with the by-laws of MCHC.
The two members are Owen Rachel Graves and Adeline Kohutek. Upon motion by Lucile
Estell, second by Darlene Anglen, the recommendation was approved. They will be
recognized and awards will be presented by Judge Barkemeyer at the December meeting.
The Nominating Committee chaired by Joan Ratliff reported that they are unable to secure
officers for MCHC for 2013. There was an extended conversation regarding possible
actions, but no formal recommendation was made for president and the search will
continue. A report and, hopefully, recommendations will be presented in December. The
committee recommended Geri Burnett as vice-chair, Joan Ratliff as secretary and Darleen
Tucker as treasurer. These will be presented for approval in December.
The meeting concluded with committee reports. Jackie Thornton said that an application
was sent for an RTHL for the Kay Theater. There is a possibility that one will be sent
for Papa Johns and Ledbetter Park.
Willyne Stanislaw reported on activities for archeology month, noting a different venue
for this year. Visits were made to the museums in Cameron instead of the usual
activities in schools.
The Heritage Tourism Calendar has been kept current by Darleen Tucker.
Upon motion by Jackie Thornton, second by Willlyne Stanislaw, the meeting was adjourned.
(Minutes of) Milam County Historical Commission
August 13, 2012
1. The Milam County Historical Commission met at the Salty Community Church Annex on
Monday, August 13, 2012, at 10:00 a.m. The meeting was called to order at 10:20 a.m. by
Chairman Geri Burnett.
2. Geri Burnett read the minutes of the June 11, 2012, meeting held at the Sharp
Presbyterian Church. The minutes were approved as presented with a correction to change
’My 31’ to ‘May 31’ on a motion by Darleen Tucker, seconded by Dolores Mode. The roll
was taken by Dolores Sonntag with eleven members present and one guest, Pam Troutman of
3. The treasurer’s report was presented by Geri Burnett in the absence of Mary Ann
Eanes. The Milam County Historical Commission report indicated a beginning balance of
$18,020.73 and an ending balance of $22,356.82 which includes a Rosenwald School deposit
of $10,000.00 and Redirected Funds of $1,747.70. The MCHC Preservation Fund indicated a
beginning balance of $9,355.57 and an ending balance of $9,375.07 as of July 31, 2012.
4. Old Business:
•October Meeting: The October meeting will be held in Minerva at the Community Center
on Monday, October 8, 2012, at 10:00 a.m.
•Texas Historical Commission Update: Geri Burnett urged members to be proactive in
contacting their legislators regarding funding for THC. Members should also contact
members of the State Budget Committee regarding funding the THC. The best way to
contact is by letter. She urged members to check out the Preservation Texas website.
•Area Meeting at Apache Pass: The Area Meeting was attended by eight counties and
included approximately 40 people. Reports indicated the meeting was a positive means of
sharing information and ideas on ways to encourage preservation. The next meeting will
be in Williamson County in 2013.
•Distinguished Service Award: Geri Burnett reported that the MCHC accepted this award
at the Commissioner’s Court meeting on June 25. She noted there were nice articles and
photos in the county newspapers. She also appreciated the support of the MCHC members
at the presentation.
5. New Business:
•Memorials for Carter Collins: A discussion was held regarding several options for a
memorial for Carter Collins. Placing a stone at the courthouse was suggested.
Donations received in memory of Carter will be used for a separate memorial. Options
discussed were a bench at the Sneed Cabin in Cameron and a kiosk denoting markers on
the El Camino Real trail. Members are to think about the best way to honor Carter and
the decision will be made at the October meeting.
•Sneed Cabin: Sandra O’Donnell mentioned that volunteers are needed at the Sneed Cabin.
6.Report on El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail: Geri Burnett reported
that Lucile Estell wants all areas of the county to work together on the trail. Senator
Kay Bailey Hutchison has been invited to attend the unveiling of the sign at Apache Pass
and dedication of the trail. She also asked that all members of MCHC support this
7. Committee Reports:
•Research and Marker - Jackie Thornton: Absent. Geri Burnett reported there is a new
proposal process that has to be approved before an application can be considered.
Applications in progress are for Papa John’s by Lucile Estell, Kay Theater by Geri
Burnett, Ledbetter Park by Jackie Thornton, Beal Cemetery by Jackie Thornton, and
Rainbow Courts by Joan Ratliff.
•Archaeology – Willyne Stanislaw: Absent. Geri Burnett reported on the archaeology
event planned for October in Cameron. Sandra O’Donnell asked about displaying the MCHC
trunk at the museum in Cameron. It was determined to be a good idea to display the
•Heritage Tourism – Darleen Tucker: Darleen noted that she had emailed the updated
MCHC August Events Calendar to all members.
•Publicity – Lucile Estell: Absent.
•Oral History – Darleen Tucker: Sandra O’Donnell reported she is interviewing Martha
Black, daughter of Sheriff Carl Black. It was agreed that Darleen Tucker would buy
another tape recorder and that one would be kept in the museum in Cameron for check out
purposes for members.
•CLG – Joy Graham: Absent. Geri Burnett noted that the mission markers have been
moved to the mission sites.
•Strategic Planning – Joan Ratliff: Absent.
•Preservation Grant – Joan Ratliff: Absent. Geri Burnett noted that Judge Barkemeyer
is very supportive of the MCHC. Burnett stated that she received notice that Rockdale
budgeted a $5000 donation to the preservation grant fund. Cameron has declined.
Darleen Tucker will check on Thorndale. Gause is donating $200 and Geri Burnett will
check with Buckholts.
•Nomination Committee – Joan Ratliff: Absent. Geri Burnett noted that new officers
will be voted on in the October meeting. James Bradford, Elaine Baumann, Dolores Mode,
and Sandra O’Donnell are on the nominating committee along with Joan Ratliff.
8.The meeting was adjourned on a motion by Owen Rachel Graves, seconded by Mary Neely.
Darleen Tucker, Acting Secretary
Minutes of Milam County Historical Commission
Sharp Presbyterian Church – Sharp Community
June 11, 2012
The Milam County Historical Commission met on Monday, June 11, 2012, at Sharp
Presbyterian Church located in the Sharp Community. The meeting was called to order at
10:00 a.m. by chair Geri Burnett. The roll was called. No visitors were present.
Minutes of the previous meeting were discussed. Apparently all members did not receive
copies of the minutes. Geri will resend these. Upon motion by Carole Simank, second by
Willyne Stanislaw the minutes were approved as printed.
The Treasurer’s Report showed a balance on hand of $18,109.13 on March 31, 2012. The
balance on hand on My 31, 2012, was $18,020.70. Upon motion by Dolores Sonntag, second
by James Bradford, the Treasurer’s Report will be filed as printed.
Lucile Estell reported on the sign project being implemented on the National Historic
Trail, El Camino Real de los Tejas. Milam County will be the first county signed;
Victoria County will be the second county signed. A dedication will be scheduled in the
fall, probably in September or October. No action was necessary on this item.
Several items were discussed under Old Business. It was announced that the August 13
meeting will be at Salty Church. Joy Graham will provide directions for those who need
Geri Burnett and Lucile Estell attended the Texas State Courthouse Preservation Workshop
on May 24 and 25. The meeting was held in Austin with Stan Graves from the Texas
Historical Commission in charge. It was an excellent program. Geri and Lucile will
develop a preservation plan for the Milam County Courthouse.
Chairperson Burnett announced that everyone’s help is needed at the workshop for County
Historical Commissions scheduled at Apache Pass on June 21. Five counties have
registered so far. She encouraged all members to attend. Mary Ann Eanes and Dolores
Mode, and Carole Simank will have cookies ready for participants. Amy Hammons from the
Texas Historical Commission will be present.
Chairperson Burnett thanked Darlene Tucker, Dolores Sonntag and Joan Ratliff for their
work at the Milam County Nature Festival.
Chairperson Burnett announced that the Trunk, books, microphone and other items
belonging to the Milam County Historical Commission will be stored in the museum.
Committee reports were next.
Jackie Thornton sent a report indicating that a dedication will be done soon at Locklin
Cemetery. Willyne Stanislaw discussed plans for Archeology Month. This year’s events
will include a scavenger hunt. Randy Billingsley will also take part in events during
this month. Darleen Tucker discussed the spread sheet which she distributes to members
to make them informed of events happening in the County.
Also under Committee reports, Joan Ratliff reported on the Strategic Plan and on plans
for Preservation Grants for 2013.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.
Minutes of the Milam County Historical Commission
Monday, April 9, 2012
Chairperson Geri Burnett called the meeting to order and thanked the ladies of Gause for
providing refreshments. Eleven members were present: Geri Burnett, Jackie Thornton,
Mary Ann Eanes, Sandra O’Donnell, Darlene Tucker, Dolores Mode, Mary Neely, Darlene
Anglen, Joan Ratliff, Elaine Baumann, and Dolores Sonntag. Joy Graham, chairperson of
the Milam County Certified Local Government, was also present.
Geri Burnett asked for additions or corrections to the minutes of the February 13, 2012
meeting, which she had e-mailed to everyone, then called for a motion to accept the
minutes. The motion was made by Jackie Thornton and seconded by Sandra O’Donnell.
The vote for acceptance was unanimous.
Mary Ann Eanes then gave the treasurer’s report. Ending balance as of March 31, 2012 is
$18,109.13. he March 31, 2012 ending balance for the MCHC Preservation Fund is
$9,335.08. Darlene Tucker made a motion that the treasurer’s report be accepted, and
Mary Neely seconded it. The vote for acceptance was unanimous.
Geri Burnett read a report from Lucile Estell on the El Camino Real de los Tejas
National Trail. According to Lucile’s report, the major issue at this time is the
placing of the crossing signs along roadways. Authorities are ready to place the signs
along county roads, but TXDOT is balking at putting signs on state highways, citing
possible distractions for motorists as the reason for the delay. The Texas Historical
Commission has plans to meet with TXDOT in the near future to iron out differences.
Geri also reported that the TejasTrail executive committee will meet on April 26-27, in
Austin in conjunction with the Oregon-California Trail Association. There will be a
symposium and a field trip to visit sites in San Antonio.
Joy Graham reported on the recent relocation of the Mission Candelaria marker to the
exact location of the mission on CR432, located on the property of Milton Fry, directly
across the road from the San Andres-Lebanon Cemetery.
Geri reminded everyone that the June meeting will take place in the historic Sharp
Presbyterian Church. Member Owen Rachel Graves arranged for the Commission to meet
there. August’s meeting will be held at the Salty Church. Geri will be sending out
information about how to get to these sites.
Geri reported that she, Lucile and Joy Graham attended the Preservation Summit in Austin
on March 22-23 and that the information they received was very practical and useful.
Geri reported that THC is under attack again by the legislative representatives. She
urged members to contact elected officials to voice our concerns and emphasize the
importance of the THC.
Dolores Sonntag reported that the Milam County Retired Teachers will host a "meet the
candidates" forum on April 11, at 10 a.m. in the Thorndale ISD Board Room. Darlene
Tucker reported that the Thorndale Chamber of Commerce will host a "meet the candidates"
forum on May 7 at 7 p.m.
The Rockdale Tejas Art and Book Festival was held on March 2-3. MCHC had a booth in the
Rockdale Library, thanks to Mary Ann Eanes, Joyce Dalley, and Dee Dee Green. Sales were
low, but representatives were able to talk to the public and get out the word about
The Milam County Nature Festival will be held April 14 at Fair Park in Rockdale, from 9
a.m. to 3 p.m. Joan Ratliff, Darlene Tucker, Dolores Sonntag and Geri Burnett have
volunteered to help with the MCHC project.
MCHC will sponsor an Area County Historical Commissions meeting on June 21 at Apache
Pass. So far, the following county commissions have accepted Geri’s invitation: Bell,
Brazos, Falls, Robertson, and Williamson. Amy Hammons from the THC will attend.
10:30-11:30: tour of Apache Pass and surroundings
11:30-12:30 Lunch: fajitas catered by Kit Worley at the Apache Pass Restaurant -
Cost of meal: $8.75
12:30 -4:30 Meeting: discussion of initiatives, activities, challenges, sharing,
community collaboration and a break.
Volunteers are needed to meet, greet, serve, attend.
Geri and Jackie Thornton reported on the Moss-Ragsdale Cemetery Dedication on Saturday,
March 31. The cemetery is located on CR 412B on property owned by Steve Young. The
Youngs did a wonderful job of cleaning and restoring the old cemetery. Burials in the
cemetery included one War of 1812 veteran and several veterans of the U.S. Civil War.
The dedication ceremony included a bagpiper, speeches by representatives from the DAR
and other historical organizations, a three musket salute and cannon salute. Both Geri
and Jackie spoke as representatives of the Milam County Historical Commission.
Geri announced several upcoming THC Marker workshops, including 2 online workshops
coming up on June 20 and 27. RSVP by going to the following website:
Geri reported on the purchase of a new speaker system, which the MCHC needs for
functions such as cemetery dedications. Jackie found one for $150 and reported to the
Executive Committee, who voted to purchase the system. It now belongs to the MCHC and
may be used for any historical presentation. The members discussed a possible storage
place for the speaker system. The Milam County Museum was suggested.
Geri reported that our 5 year goal expires in 2013. Joan Ratliff will work on changes
this year so that the next SP chairperson will have an easier job coming into the
position. Joan has a plan for the Preservation Strategic Plan (see Strategic Plan report
Research and Marker
Jackie Thornton reported that she is working on a designation and marker for the Beal
Cemetery at Jones Prairie. Significance: the first sheriff of Milam County is buried
Also, Joy Graham reported that 3 sites in Milam County are now eligible for the the
National Register: Apache Pass, Sugar Loaf Mountain, and the Presidio.
Joan Ratliff reported that the MCHC has a “mystery friend” who has been anonymously
sending clues and documents from a site he/she has discovered and has requested that the
commission “play along” by posting information on the MCHC website in order to receive
more clues. Joan stated that she will continue to correspond with the unknown person in
order to receive more fascinating documents.
Chairperson Willyne Stanislaw was not present, but Geri reported that she is still
looking into activities for Archeology Month in October. Sandra O’Donnell reported that
she and Willyne were considering creating a historic treasure hunt involving the Milam
County Museum. Geri said we might be able to involve Randy Billingsley, in costume, in a
Chairperson Darlene Tucker reported on the Thorndale Quilt Show held in March. MCHC
member Sandra O’Donnell won best of show.
Milam County Farm Bureau will sponsor Youth Citizenship Day on July 24.
Darlene will e-mail other upcoming activities to members.
Send any information to Chairperson Lucile Estell.
Chairperson Joy Graham reported that she has turned in the yearly reports to THC and to
the National Parks Service. She also reported that THC received 1.3 million dollars
from the NPS, most of which goes into the Cultural Heritage division.
Two MCHC members, Geri Burnett and Lucile Estell, have been certified as Preservation
Joy stated that she continues to contact the cities of Rockdale and Cameron on a monthly
basis about establishing city CLG’s. The county CLG can do nothing except survey within
the city limits.
Joy reported on a visit to Rockdale and San Gabriel by Robert Lee Cummings, a 97-year-
old Georgetown resident who put the petrified stone on the Rockdale Chamber of Commerce
“rock house”. He was also the stone mason for the San Gabriel School. Mike Brown’s
interview of Mr. Cummings will appear in the April 11 edition of The Rockdale Reporter.
J.C. Payne, owner of the school site, has agreed to work with Joy on records of the San
In other business, Jackie Thornton reported on a proposed speaker series to be held at
the Milam County Museum. The first speaker will be Gene Mitchan on Tuesday, April 24.
The topic will be “A Night in Old Santa Fe Town (Dutch Town). Other speakers and topics
are planned throughout the year.
Chairperson Joan Ratliff provided members with copies of the new statewide Historic
Preservation Plan. She encouraged members to visit the preservationconnection.com
website listed in the material she handed out.
Joan then outlined her plan for putting together the new MCHC Strategic Plan.
Today, members will work together on writing a Vision and Mission Statement.
May, at a special called meeting, members will discuss SWOT: strengths, weaknesses,
opportunities, and threats.
June, copies of the SWOT will be distributed to members.
July, Committee Chairs will work on the Strategic Plan.
August, Strategic Plan draft will be distributed to members, and committee breakout
meetings will be held to review and finalize draft.
October, Final plan will be distributed to MCHC members.
Led by Joan, members spent the remainder of the meeting working on the Milam County
Preservation Vision and Mission statements. Joan will e-mail revisions to members for
There being no further business, Geri Burnett called for a motion to adjourn the
meeting. Sandra O’Donnell made the motion, and Darlene Tucker seconded it.
Minutes of Milam County Historical Commission
February 13, 2012
The Milam County Historical Commission met on Monday, February 13, 2012 at the Rockdale
General Store. The meeting was called to order by chairperson Geri Burnett.
Members present for this meeting were Darlene Anglen, Dolores Sonntag, Dolores Mode,
Willyne Stanislaw, Jackie Thornton, James Bradford, Carter Collins, Joan Ratliff, Lucile
Estell, Dolores Sonntag, Carol Simank, Dee Dee Green and Darleen Tucker. Joyce Dalley
was present representing Milam County Museum. CLG Chair Joy Graham was also present.
Minutes of the December meeting were reviewed by Geri Burnett. Upon motion by Elaine
Baumann, second by Joan Ratliff, the minutes were approved as printed.
Treasurer Mary Ann Eanes presented the Treasurers’s Report, indicating the ending
balance as of January 31, 2012 as:$18,177.67. Upon motion by Carter Collins, second by
James Bradford, the report was accepted as printed.
Under the heading of Old Business, Chairman Burnett reviewed the meeting dates for
2012. The next scheduled meeting will be in Gause on April 9, 2012. Also, under old
business, she discussed the MCHC web page, noting that it is continually increasing in
popularity, a fact indicated by the increasing number of hits. Jerry Caywood will be
honored for his development and continuous support of this web site at our December
meeting. Under Old Business, Burnett encouraged members to keep a record of volunteer
hours. She said that the Milam County Historical Commission recorded a total of 1,914
hours in 2011.
Geri Burnett reported that the Area CHC meeting for historical commissions has been set
for June 21, 2012, at Apache Pass. The meeting will include a tour of Apache Pass and a
catered lunch ($8.75) for those interested. Details of the program will be announced
later. The participation of MCHC members will be extremely important.
Joy Graham reported on progress in signing the El Camino Real National Trial in Milam
County. She said that progress is being made. A dedication ceremony will be held,
probably in September or October, to advertise the opening of the Trail..
Geri Burnett announced that there will be no annual meeting sponsored by THC this year.
Instead, they will partner with Preservation Texas to host a Preservation Summit in
Austin on March 22-23.
The Sixth Annual Tejas Festival is scheduled for March 2-3 in Rockdale. MCHC will have a
table as will the Museum.
On April 14, there will be a Master Naturalist Festival in Rockdale. Volunteers are
being sought to help with this.
Geri Burnett reported that she has made an annual report to the Commissioner’s Court.
Committee Reports were made to the Commission. Jackie Thornton reported that two markers
were approved: Sugar Loaf Mountain and the Apache Pass River Crossing. Plans for the
installation of these markers will be made at a later date. Also, a marker will be
sought for Papa Johns located in Dutchtown in Cameron. The dedication for Moss-Ragsdale
Cemetery is set for March 31.
Willyne Stanislaw said that her committee is working on plans for Archeology Month which
is October. They will continue to work with all county schools.
Darlene Tucker reported on Heritage Tourism events. She will continue to make these
dates available for Commission Members and the web site.
Joan Ratliff reported on Strategic Planning and the Preservation Trust Fund.
With no further business the meeting was adjourned.