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A CALL TO ARMS 


Draggingtree

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Draggingtree
A CALL TO ARMS 
Texas history is again under immediate and serious attack and we must rally to stop it! AGE (Austin Groups for the Elderly) of Central Texas (www.ageofcentraltx.org) currently occupies the building and grounds that were originally the Confederate Woman’s Home of Texas. 
 
The site is honored by the State of Texas with a State Antiquities Landmark Designation, honored as a City of Austin Historical Landmark and further honored with a Texas Historical Marker.
 
 AGE now wants those historical landmark designations removed and the Historical Marker removed from the property altogether so that they can destroy the building. 
 
Last March, AGE covered the Historical Marker with a black trash bag so that nobody could see/read it and placed references to “racial equality and change” on it (effectively making it their personal billboard) covering the historical text.
 
 This activity on the part of AGE was protested to them directly by the Descendants of Confederate Veterans, a historical, educational and preservation group who was also the sponsor of the Historical Marker when it was placed in 2013, with the full and enthusiastic cooperation of the Board of Directors of AGE. 
 
The current Executive Director and AGE Board of Directors rejected all overtures by the DCV to resolve the situation. 
 
The DCV included the Texas Historical Commission, the Travis County Historical Commission, the City of Austin Historical Commission, the United Daughters of the Confederacy (the original builders and caretakers of the Home) and others in trying to persuade AGE against their destructive plans without success. 
 
The final word on whether the State Antiquities Landmark designation remains in effect and whether the Historical Marker remains in place (and uncovered as originally intended) is now solely in the hands of the Commissioners of the Texas Historical Commission. Every southern state had a home for the men who fought in the Civil War but only four had homes for women and Texas was one of them. 
 
One of those homes (in North Carolina) no longer exists. 
The other two are in Virginia and South Carolina. This Texas site is the only one not built on the East Coast, making it doubly unique. 
 
It must not be allowed to fall to the wrecking ball! It has stood since 1907 and housed Texas women as originally intended until 1963. 
The greed and misleading statements of AGE must not be allowed to win the day and the history of Texas must be preserved. 
 
Such was recently demonstrated by the overwhelming vote by the people of Texas regarding the preservation in place of the Alamo cenotaph. 
The Woman’s Home is one of only four for its purpose ever built and the only one not on the East Coast…and one of three left standing. 
 
It has already been designated by the State of Texas and the City of Austin as historically significant and worthy of preservation and we cannot let this determination be overturned. AGE was well aware of these historic designations WHEN THEY BOUGHT THE PROPERTY AND MOVED IN!! 
These designations PREDATE AGE owning this landmark! The Home has stood for 113 years and deserves to stand for all to see and appreciate for at least 113 more. The property was bought, the building was built and furnished, staffed and operated those many years ago with private donations from Texans, young and old. 
 
Donations were documented in amounts of 10 cents, 25 cents, 50 cents, 5 dollars, etc. Fund raising began in 1904 and the State of Texas didn’t take the Home over until October of 1912. For 8 years the money came entirely out of the pockets of private Texans, every bit of it, and the Home was run entirely by the Daughters of the Confederacy.
 Their goal was to have a place described as follows; “First and foremost, the home was intended to be a charitable institution that offered a respectable alternative to destitution or living on a county poor farm to needy recipients.
 
” Ms. Katie Daffan’s appointment as Superintendent of the Woman’s Home by Governor O. B. Colquitt made her the first woman in the state ever to serve on the board of a state institution and she remained in that position from its origin until 1918, well after the state had taken over the facility and she was responsible for the addition of a hospital and much more. 
 
Every Texan, regardless of your personal feeling on the Civil War, can clearly see that historical preservation is the primary and only goal. 
This historical site is not some worthless pile of wood and bricks laying in a vacant lot. A business currently works out of this building. The site is viable and worthy of preservation. There are only two others like it in the entire country...two others ANYWHERE that were built for the same purpose as this one and neither of them anywhere near this geographic location. 
 
This one is unique. It is Texas, financed and built by Texans, run by Texans, for Texans, out of the goodness of their hearts from their own private donations. Over 3400 indigent Texas women were served at this location and the honors already bestowed on them by the state and the city – and by their fellow Texans - must not be allowed to be taken away. To have a Historical Marker at this site is a must and was determined to be so years ago. It exists now and must not be allowed to be taken away.
 
WHAT YOU CAN DO RIGHT NOW The first of two major battles for this historic site will be for the preservation of the existing Historical Marker at the site. The Texas Historic Commission will meet virtually on October 27- 28 to decide if it stays or goes. Details of how to participate in that Zoom meeting have not yet been announced. 
 
In the meantime, THC has said that you can voice your opinion and your vote to LEAVE THE MARKER IN PLACE at the following e-mail address: esther.brickley@thc.texas.gov Let’s let them hear from you. Make it loud and clear that you want the marker left right where it is and uncovered for all to see! The battle for the State Antiquities Landmark designation has been postponed until a later date, probably February. 
 
The THC is having to make new rules for this because NOBODY HAS EVER CHALLENGED THIS BEFORE. AGE IS DOING SOMETHING NOBODY HAS EVER DONE. We will let you know more about this battle as the time nears. For now, let’s let THC know how we feel about the marker. Flood that e-mail address with your feelings on LEAVING THE MARKER IN PLACE! DON’T DELAY. 
 
We will let you know how to participate in the THC live meeting as soon as the details are known. Don’t let what you see in the photo below remain…and don’t let it ever happen again. Take a stand and - STAY TUNED
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