Heritage, Volume 18, Number 2, Spring 2000 Page: 35
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National Trust Award
In addition to being honored by THF,
the Galveston Historical Foundation was
also recognized with the Trustees' Award
for Organizational Excellence by the National
Trust for Historic Preservation. That
award recognizes the organization for its
efforts to transform the city of Galveston
into a dynamic and historically rich community.
For most of its 128-year history,
Galveston Historical Foundation's primary
goal was to preserve the papers and documents
associated with the development of
the city. However, during the past 45 years,
the organization has taken a decidedly
more active role in the preservation of
Galveston's architectural and cultural heritage.
The GHF is the driving force in local
preservation and actively works with area
developers and business people to create
an environment that fosters historic preservation
and responsible community
growth. Through innovative partnerships
and programs, the group has been instrumental
in the preservation and redevelopment
of more than 40 commercial buildings
and 1,500 private residences. Since
1980, GHF's Paint Partnership has provided
free paint and primer to low-to-moderate
income owners of nearly 1,000 historic
Additionally, Galveston Historical
Foundation has taken a leadership role in
preserving the city's sea-going heritage and
development of its waterfront as a tourist
destination. GHF's restoration of the National
Historic Landmark 1877 tall ship
Elissa opened Galveston's waterfront to
An archive such as the baptismal record
above of a Polish woman who immigrated
to Texas is just part of the information that
is included in a book documenting Polish
immigration to Texas in the 1850s. The research
and printing of the hardback book
was made possible in part by a grant from
the Texas Historical Foundation's Jeanne
R. Blocker Memorial Fund, promoting preservation
of rural communities.
"Silesian Profiles" began as a research
project sponsored by the Panna Maria Historical
Society of Karnes County. The
project documented the original Silesian
families who immigrated from Upper Silesia
(present-day southwestern Poland) to Texas
in the mid-19th century and their influence
on Texas history and culture.
Political oppression in Poland was the
impetus to seek political freedom and economic
advancement in America. Like so
many other immigrants, the Polish families
retained many aspects of their Old
World culture while adapting to new traditions
in their new home. Coming from agricultural
communities in Silesia, these
immigrants embraced as well as contributed
to a farming and ranching lifestyle in South
Texas. Many settled in Karnes, Atascosa,
Bandera, Bexar, DeWitt, Goliad, Victoria,
and Wilson counties.
The research effort took place on two
continents. In addition to soliciting family
histories from individuals in Texas, information
was also gleaned from courthouses,
churches, libraries, and cemeteries.
In Poland, the primary sources were village
churches and national archives.
It is believed that the information included
in "Silesian Profiles" represents the
most comprehensive accumulation of
Silesian-Texan family histories to date.
While previously published materials mention
many of the early families by name,
this diligent research has documented families
not included in prior histories.
THF administers several preservation
grants; applications are available in the
HERITAGE * 35 * SPRING 2000
Baptism Record of Maria Burda
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Have your next meeting at the Ant Street Inn
The greatest little historic hotel halfway between Austin and Houston!
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www. antstreetinn. comI
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 18, Number 2, Spring 2000, periodical, Spring 2000; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45390/m1/35/: accessed October 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.