Heritage, Volume 12, Number 4, Fall 1994 Page: 26
The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
THF Grant Genesis for Continuing Success
of East Texas Sawmill Data Base Project
A grant by Texas Historical Foundation
permitted Texas Forestry Museum's awardwinning
East Texas Sawmill Data Base
Project (ETSMDB) to get off the ground in
ETSMDB, dedicated to the preservation
of East Texas' forest products history,
created a computer data base program for
researching and recording the region's
sawmilling past. Carol Riggs, the museum's
director, and Jonathon Gerland, the
project's first principal researcher, designed
the data base format and guided the project
through its initial stage.
The project completed its pilot program
in December of 1993. It gathered and input
material and social data on 900 sawmill
sites in 12 East Texas counties. ETSMDB
was expanded to 38 counties in the 1994
project and added a data base on steam
logging roads essential to the logging and
lumber-milling industries. Technological
and demographic information about more
than 4,300 sawmill sites and 200 tram roads
is now included in the data base.
Mel Johnson, the project's current
principal researcher, stated that he has
only recently started researching primary
sources north of Tyler, Longview, Kilgore,
and Marshall. He believes that by the end
of the year the data bases will identify and
Pictured above is an H.K. Porter 17-ton steam engine owned by Thompson & Tucker Lumber Company and
used to haul lumber in Willard, Texas, in Trinity County. Courtesy of Texas Forestry Museum.
include important information on more than
5,500 sawmill sites, their towns, and about
350 tram roads.
In April 1994 the ETSMDB received the
Texas Historical Commission's "Award of
Excellence in Preserving History". The data
base has been used by local academicians
and popular writers as well as historians
from Minnesota, Oklahoma, North Carolina,
and Illinois. W.T. Block, whose first
volume of "East Texas Mill Towns and
Ghost Towns" has just been released, has
contributed significantly to the data base
and received critical assistance for his research
Texas Forestry Museum and the
ETSMDB will shortly begin a new threephase
project with the Tucker Center, the
Center for East Texas Studies, the College
of Forestry, and the Department of History,
all of Stephen F. Austin State University of
Nacogdoches. The project will result in a
computer-generated sawmill town and
railroad landscape. The landscape will reveal
the unique material and social culture
of East Texas from 1819 to the modern era.
Riggs believes a future audiovisual instructional
program for elementary and secondary
students can singularly impact their
understanding of their own regional history.
"The grant from THF," said Riggs, "has
allowed the project to open a new window
into the history of East Texas sawmilling
and railroading. Both had significant roles
in developing the region. The THF grant
has provided the opportunity for scholars
and students of the 21st century to understand
East Texas' material and social history
of the 19th and 20th centuries."
Here’s what’s next.
This issue can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Periodical.
Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 12, Number 4, Fall 1994, periodical, Autumn 1994; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45414/m1/26/: accessed April 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.