Victoria officials to dedicate historic signs
March 2, 2014 at 10:03 p.m.
Updated March 2, 2014 at 9:03 p.m.
Victoria City Council is set to dedicate two historical signs Tuesday aimed at benefiting tourism.
The dedication will take place at 4 p.m. before the regularly scheduled City Council meeting at 5 p.m. outside City Hall.
City Spokesman O.C. Garza said the two signs are part of a larger, six-sign historic tourism project that highlights different eras in the city's history.
"History is one of the things that separates Victoria from other communities," Garza said. "What these do, almost like the wayfinding signs, is they help deepen the experience of travelers to Victoria in understanding this is a historic place."
The two downtown signs, one at City Hall and one on the north wall of Fossati's Delicatessen, pay tribute to Jose Maria Jesus Carbajal, a revolutionary, legislator and Victoria's first surveyor; and the Macaroni Line, which was the railway for New York, Texas and Mexican trains in 1882.
Victoria County Heritage Director Jeff Wright said the project had been in the works under the former director, Gary Dunnam.
"I do believe that they are a wonderful vehicle to promote Victoria's rich history," Wright said. "I can't wait to see others start going up in other locations."
Garza said the project was budgeted at $31,000 but came in at $23,257, which included design, production and shipping of the panels.
The panels feature illustrations by the late Tom Jones, a Victoria artist and historian, with permission from his son, Bill Jones. Dr. Robert Shook and Dunnam worked together on the historical research.
Other panels, to be located throughout Riverside Park, tell the story of the original Mission Espiritu Santo located on the Tonkawa Bank; Margaret Theresa Wright, who was known as the Mother of Texas; the Comanche Raid of 1841; and the impact of steamboat transportation on the Guadalupe River.
Garza said the Convention and Visitors Bureau plans to request funding for six more panels next year.
"Our hope is to let visitors realize the unique community that Victoria really is, particularly the historic side," he said.