Heritage, Volume 8, Number 4, Fall 1990 Page: 35
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T wo energetic young women in Granger have made great
T strides in their effort to revitalize this small Czech community
of 1,150 residents. Although the community has not
been designated an official Main Street city, Melissa Gaida and
Kathleen Repa have launched their own Main Street project. They
have received no state or federal funding. Only the philosophy
behind their project-economic revitalization through historic
preservation-mirrors the state's program. They have organized
community efforts to raise funds for landscaping the town's park,
including antique lighting and park benches, by selling kolaches,
sponsoring the Czech classic 5K run/walk, an antique car show, and
many other activities. Now they are working on raising funds and
requesting donated expertise to turn the old train depot into a library.
Other projected goals are to continue to beautify the threeblock
downtown area and restore the city hall facade.
Denny Pickett, another enthusiastic member of Granger's
Main Street committee, has high hopes that Granger, and many
other towns like it, will be able to resurrect themselves, perhaps
through people like himself who do not rely on walk-in retail trade.
Granger train depot in the late 1800s.
Pickett is an artist who, with his wife Jan, bought a 1908 commercial
building on the main street for $8,000. They have turned the
2,600 square foot space into a bright, airy studio and home.
The energy and vision of such people as Gaida, Repa, and the
Picketts offer hope for reversing the downward trend of stnall town
Texas, where so many Texans had their beginnings.
Industry post office established in 1838.
The town of Industry was the first permanent German
settlement in Texas, according to local historical society
founder Ann Lindeman. In 1991, Industry will celebrate its
160th anniversary. Recently, in the process of enlarging the park
to make it more accessible to the tour buses on the Pioneer Trail,
workers unearthed the foundation and fireplace of an old German
home or 1840s hotel. The first impulse was to launch an
archaeological dig to learn more about the lifeways of the Germans
in Texas in 1831 as well as unearth certain buildings which were
known to have existed. In consulting with professional
archaeologists, they learned that a dig would be expensive. Dan
Utley, archaeological historian from the Texas Archaeological
Research Laboratory advised that a first step would be to devise a
master plan of the entire area with the purpose of staying on track
and using resources effectively. They could then follow the overall
plan as they proceed with the preservation and restoration work as
they build on the architectural and archaeological information.
The excitement generated by this information and activity has
stimulated local residents to feel more pride in their community
and heritage and regard their old buildings as something to be
preserved, not razed.
TExfLS YISTO^RIC2LL FOUNDATION STAFF CH-NGEs
T he Texas Historical Foundation has moved its jects, they will no longer share administrators. Combining operaT
administrative office to Austin, to join and be housed with tions will be more efficient and economical as the Foundation
the membership and publication activities which are al- shifts its focus towards preservation in rural communities.
ready located there. While the Foundation will continue to work Carolyn Fasel has been appointed executive director of the
closely with Texas A&M University on historic preservation pro- Foundation, and Patricia Haas is editor of HERITAGE.
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 8, Number 4, Fall 1990, periodical, Autumn 1990; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45429/m1/35/: accessed November 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.