The Burnet County Historical Commission received the Texas Historical Commission’s Distinguished Service Award for 2016. The award is based on a number of criteria, including volunteer hours. The local commission’s board and volunteers are involved in several historical projects, including assisting at Fort Croghan Museum during its fall Fort Croghan Day in October. This marks the seventh year in a row the Burnet County Historical Commission has earned the honor. Staff photo by Daniel Clifton
EDITOR DANIEL CLIFTON
BURNET — The Burnet County Historical Commission won it seven years in a row with its eyes firmly fixed on No. 8.
“I think we’ll get it again next year,” commission chairwoman JoAnn Myers said.
The Texas Historical Commission honored the local group for its work in 2016 with the Distinguished Service Award. It’s the seventh year straight the Burnet County Historical Commission has received the honor. Out of the 254 counties in Texas, only 89 earned the Distinguished Service Award for 2016.
“We have a very hardworking group of volunteers,” Myers said.
Burnet County commissioners appoint the historical commission’s board members, and those members select volunteers to help with preservation projects. In 2016, the commission tackled a several projects in Burnet County, including raising more than $8,300 to place markers at two historically significant iron bridges; researching the architectural style and date of a Burnet Consolidated Independent School District building, which led to the district acquiring a historical marker for the old school; presenting a number of educational programs to the community; acknowledging 10 women for their contributions to the county through the Burnet County Women of Note program; organizing an archaeology fair; and assisting with local history museums and programs.
In all, the Burnet County Historical Commission’s 30 volunteer appointees and board members contributed 2,815 volunteer hours, which, according to the state of Texas’s formulation, comes out to $67,954 as an in-kind donation to Burnet County.
“That’s a lot of time and effort put in by the volunteers,” Myers said.
Compared to other counties, particularly larger ones, the Burnet County Historical Commission accomplishes quite a bit on a very limited budget. Much of the money for projects comes through fundraisers.
The bulk of the work is done by the volunteers, Myers said.
“We have some people who are very dedicated to preserving the local history,” she said.
Along with helping the Burnet County Historical Commission, many of the board members and volunteers also lend a hand to other history-oriented groups such as the Fort Croghan Museum in Burnet and the Falls on the Colorado Museum in Marble Falls.
“We try to do what we can with what we can,” Myers said. “With determination and the goals we wanted to meet, we got a lot done (in 2016).
The commission isn’t taking any breaks. The board has been hard at work in 2017 on a number of projects, including a major oral history undertaking. Myers said they are collecting oral histories regarding businesses, schools, government institutions, and the ranching and agriculture industries.
“We already done several, but it’s a slow process,” she said. “There are a lot we need to get to.”
To help the process, Myers and the commission are always on the lookout for more volunteers.
Email Myers at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.