Preserve the Past for the Future Heritage Village of Scurry County Texas
Students were asked to answer the question, “What history in your community is worth saving?”
By: 2018 Save Texas History Essay Contest Winner Cooper Caswell, Ira, Texas
I would like to tell you about the historical value of the Heritage Village of Scurry County located in Snyder, Texas. This village was created by a group of volunteers beginning in 1980 by relocating buildings from across the area. These buildings were either abandoned or were threatened to be demolished. Volunteers moved these buildings onto donated land given by the Scurry County Commissioners Court to create the Heritage Village. These buildings include a two-room school, post office, church, stable, a wonderful home called the Cornelius-Dodson House, as well as many others.
The Cornelius-Dodson house was the first building to be relocated onto the donated land. It was the oldest home in Snyder and was built in 1883.
One of my favorite things is the large Train Engine №5 the last steam locomotive belonging to the Roscoe, Snyder, and Pacific Railroad. The Engine was once in operation between these cities helping with developing communities.
The village shows in the rich history of development in our area through farming, ranching, transportation, oil field, and windmills. The village gets no tax funding and depends on donations and fundraisers to raise money to maintain and upkeep on the buildings. I have been helping through my 4-H community service project with their Christmas program for several years. This is their main fundraiser every year. This old-fashioned Christmas celebration offers visits with Santa, Christmas caroling and many other fun activities. The funds raised this year are going to be used for repairs on the Cornelius-Dodson House. If I win this contest the money would go forward helping pay for these repairs.
The Village has had some very dedicated volunteers, but many of them are getting older and this has started to take a toll on the preservation of the village. As the buildings get older, even more maintenance is required and without funding will not be able to last. The village has been a part of my childhood and I have learned about old schools, churches and stores while visiting the village on school field trips. I have also participated in events the Heritage Village offers like old activities and games from that time period.
Saving Texas History is very important to me but especially Scurry County history because I have been here all my life. If we don’t step in to help, the village may fall. It is sad to think that place where some of my fondest childhood memories were made is being threatened. This village should be saved for future generations and become a well-known area. This village could be a place for future generations to appreciate the hard work of the founders of Scurry County.
I would like to help the Heritage Village because of the people who gave their time and money to preserve the past for the future and recognize the volunteers effort put into this village. Because of the determination and hard work of the volunteers we now have this village to enjoy and learn from. For future generations to enjoy this village, people must stand up to raise money and maintain the village.
Scurry County has three communities Snyder, Ira, and Hermleigh. All of the schools in this area get to visit and benefit from the programs offered by Heritage Village. The Heritage Village is open to the public as well as school field trips and the main goal is to educate citizens and students about Scurry County history. Volunteers also offer hours during the year for tours and visits from the public. This village may inspire kids to be the next generation’s historians. If future generations keep the village in a good condition it may last for many years to come.
Furthermore the Heritage Village should be saved because of the effort of the volunteers and how hard they have worked. I would hate for all the hard work of the volunteers to go to waste and deny future generations of this amazing opportunity. The learning opportunities are immense and should be saved for future generations to use for years to come. Future historians may be inspired by Heritage Village and put some information to use later in life. The games and activities with school field trips are a fun way to learn and mix it up.
Please help me save this great resource that our community has to offer our citizens.
Cooper Caswell is the 7th Grade Winner of the 2018 Save Texas History Essay Contest. He resides in Ira Texas and attends Ira ISD.
The 2018 Save Texas History Essay Contest was sponsored by: Chris Cantu of Edward Jones Investments and Bob Eskridge of Just in Time Staffing, both from Round Rock, the Rotary Club of Austin and the Sons of the Republic of Texas — Moses Austin Chapter.