JACKSONVILLE, Texas (KETK) – Dr. Deborah Burkett, a member of the Cherokee County Historical Commission, says the Jacksonville marker is in an important spot to the town.
“In 1872 the railroad donated this block for a public square or city park,” said Burkett.
At one time the railroad ran through Hazel Tilton Park, and was a gathering place for the town.
“This location is very important for the history of Texas, ” said Charles Sadnick, History Programs Division Director, Texas Historical Commission, Austin.
Burkett was the main researcher on the project, and took a trip down memory lane.
“The research went well, but I was most moved when I got to interview on a personal level some of the people in Jacksonville who had wonderful memories of the park and of the railroad,” said Dr. Burkett.
It isn’t easy to receive a historical marker, it takes a lot of time and research before you can get one.
“You need to work with your county historical commission, they are the ones that actually submit the applications, and you have to make an effort to explain the historical narrative, what happened, and explain the significance of the topic,” said Sadnick.
This isn’t the only thing the City of Jacksonville is doing to preserve history for their anniversary. A celebration will be held and a mural has been painted as well.
“There are plans to demolish the fire station later this year, and we are in talks with a firm out of the Dallas area to start planning this to become what it was before and again, the community gathering place,” Jacksonville City Manager, James Hubbard said.
All Burkett hopes is that everyone appreciates all the founders did to make Jacksonville what it is today.
“As Senator Nichols said in his wonderful talk today, we really owe so much to those founders, it wasn’t an easy time in the early days of Texas, but they persevered,” Burkett said.
And the town can continue to celebrate for years to come.