Promoting the ‘Undertold’: ‘Undertold Marker’ applications available Sept. 1

HAYS COUNTY – More than 150 historical markers dot Hays County, including Major Edward Burleson Homestead on Lime Kiln Road, San Marcos, dedicated in 1962, the first year of the program. The latest, the William B. Travis League, awarded in July 2020, will be placed on FM 150 south of Driftwood.

The signs record the history of the county and are valuable aids for education and heritage tourism. The markers are the property of the Texas Historical Commission (THC), which began the program in 1962.

Four historical markers in Hays County are what THC calls “undertold markers” and according to J. Marie Bassett, Hays County Historical Commission Historical Marker chair, are intended to address historical gaps, promote diversity of topics and proactively document significant underrepresented subjects or untold stories.

Hays County has four such markers: Jacob’s Well in Wimberley, the Alba Ranch in Dripping Springs, Eddie Durham in San Marcos and Antioch Colony in Buda. Bassett said most markers are paid for by sponsors, but THC annually grants about 15 free Undertold Markers throughout Texas. They are paid for by non-refundable application fees on other markers.

Beginning Sept. 1, THC is accepting new applications for Undertold Markers. Unlike regular marker applications, these do not require full documentation at first and may be sent directly to THC or submitted through the Hays County Historical Commission (HCHC).

“If there is a place in Hays County you feel deserves an undertold marker, now is your chance to petition the THC,” Bassett said.

The application form will be available online at thc.texas.gov and should be submitted between Nov. 1 and Dec. 15.

Bassett added that the next application window for the regular THC marker program will occur in the spring of 2021. Those applications should be submitted to the Hays County Historical Commission. There are three kinds of regular markers:

1. Recorded Texas Historical Landmarks (RTHL) – these are awarded to buildings and structures, over 50 years old, that are judged to be historically and architecturally significant. They help with the preservation of such buildings.

2. Subject Markers – Subject markers deal with people and events rather than structures.  Most topics must date back 50 years, but historic events may be marked after 30 years. Individuals may be mentioned 10 years after their deaths.

3. Historic Texas Cemetery Markers – In order to apply for a cemetery marker, a cemetery must first be designated as a Historic Texas Cemetery. The HCHC Cemetery Committee assists with the paperwork. Such markers are helpful in preserving small family cemeteries dotted around the county.

Full details, including costs, can be found at thc.texas.gov. For anyone wishing to apply, now is a good time to begin collecting the necessary documentation.

For more information, please visit thc.texas.gov or contact the Hays County Historical Commission, hayshistoricalcommission@gmail.com or visit http://www.hayshistoricalcommission.com/.

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