By CLINT FOSTER
PALO PINTO – Texas has always taken a great deal of pride in its rich history. On Monday, the Palo Pinto County Historical Commission was officially presented the Distinguished Service Award from the Texas Historical Commission at the morning Palo Pinto County Commissioners Court meeting.
"The Distinguished Service Award is our agency's way of affirming County Historical Commissions that continue to improve and expand their preservation programs," THC Executive Director Mark Wolfe said in a press release. "The Texas Historical Commission works with County Historical Commissions to save the real places and tell the real stories of Texas."
The PPCHC is comprised of members of the commissioners court and nominated citizens of the county. The group is dedicated to preserve, protect and promote history within the county, according to the PPCHC website. The commission is in charge of many projects including setting up historical markers, providing various historical tours and researching and maintaining historical sites.
"[This is] just a recognition from the Texas Historical Commission of the fact that the Palo Pinto County Historical Commission is very active and does such a good job of promoting Palo Pinto County as well as the historical association," County Judge and member of the PPCHC David Nicklas said. "There's a lot of things that these folks do and it's not just in Palo Pinto and Mineral Wells, it's throughout the county."
Nicklas said the PPCHC is currently very active in the preservation of a portion of State Highway 16 and maintaining historic features of the old road, even if it ends up being redone. The PPCHC has been specifically interested in the portion of the road with a large rock wall that was built by Works Progress Administration employees in the late 1930s or early 1940s. Nicklas added that the road is also significant because a portion of it overlooks the historic Kimberlin Ranch. Owners of the ranch have a private historical marker and claim that the famous Oliver Loving kept his cattle there until he was ready to make a drive.
Nicklas said this award speaks volumes about the quality of the PPCHC and shows that they are one of the more active historical commissions in the entire Lone Star State. He added that the importance of the historical commission cannot be overstated.
"If we don't have someone like that maintaining the history of the county, it will just go away," Nicklas said. "They're interested in saving any structures they can so we can maintain some of the history in the county."
To find out more or get involved with the PPCHC, visit their website at www.palopintohistory.com.
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