Dr. T. Lindsay Baker, W.K. Gordon endowed chair in History at Tarleton, and several of his students addressed the city council Tuesday regarding the Stephenville Downtown Historic Resources Survey.
Baker’s students have been conducting an inventory of historic commercial buildings in downtown Stephenville.
The city has partnered with the university in the effort to identify and document historic commercial properties within the 25-square-block historic district that centers on the Erath County Courthouse.
“This is an ideal example of collaboration between ‘town and gown,’” said Baker. “This is experiential learning in which history students both earn academic credit and get their hands dirty in studying the past.”
Graduate and undergrad students receive academic credit in the historic preservation course offered by the Tarleton Department of Social Sciences, supervised by Baker, who has long-term practical experience in historic preservation.
Together they have been preparing standard inventory forms approved by the Texas Historical Commission, along with photographic documentation of the exteriors of buildings at least 50 years old. Copies of the completed inventory with photographs will be deposited with the Texas Historical Commission, in Special Collections at the Tarleton libraries, and with the city of Stephenville.
In addition to the buildings within the historic district, students will document an additional 30 identified historic structures. Many of these places within the city limits already are designated as Recorded Texas Historic Landmarks.