Erath County Historical Commission

Bluff Dale Suspension Bridge Spanning Paluxy River at County RT149 Bluff Image

The Bluff Dale suspension bridge (CR149) was placed on Texas Preservation's Most Endangered list in 2009. It is the only remaining cable-stayed bridge in Texas and the only known example of the Runyan construction patent components in the United States. [Library of Congress]

Our Mission

The Erath County Historical Commission is the official local organization charged with carrying out the mission of the Texas Historical Commission in Erath County.

The rich cultural history of Erath County is unique, and it is our shared heritage. Such a legacy requires preservation, research, and opportunities for future generations to appreciate our archeological, architectural, and cultural roots. The ECHC carries out these duties by initiating, coordinating, supporting and encouraging efforts to learn, mark, and share the stories of Erath County’s pioneers and the generations that followed.

Ongoing activities

  • Follow our most current news on Facebook.

  • Many types of Historical Markers are available by application from THC. Our local CHC can help develop an idea into a marked space celebrating our history. A competitive process for Undertold Markers could make a project marker free! THC approves marker applications once a year and dates vary by marker type.

  • Texas Treasures Business Awards honor and preserve the stories of local entrepreneurs and businesses that have operated continuously for at least 50 years.

  • Historical Cemetery Designations are available for any burial site more than 50 years old. While larger cemeteries are protected by Texas law, abandoned or private property burials are critically endangered. Sub-division of large land holdings, which involves bull dozing and other types of land management can wipe away the evidence of long-ago burials. The designation process produces a declaration recorded in county deed records and alerts the county appraisal office to the land use. These steps help land owners, realtors and developers.

  • Cemetery Preservation is an ongoing multi-layered process that creates a network of cemetery associations, county and local resources, experts, and volunteers to locate and protect county burials.

  • County exhibits and multimedia presentations are available in the rotunda of the Erath County Courthouse every day! Stop by for a visit.

  • THC administers the National registration of historical places or districts.

  • THC has compiled lists of funding resources, including grants for historical projects, restoration, and disasters. Contact us [please link to our email address] for assistance navigating this important resource.

  • Other CHC projects and wish lists include a county historic resource survey, educational and oral history workshops, and locating experts for local geographical and historical topics.

Are you interested in becoming an EHCH appointee? Contact us! 

THC has a list of criteria for appointees. In January of odd years the Erath County Commissioners’ Court approves two-year appointments and fills vacancies as they occur.

Please mark your calendars for our 2024 Erath County Historical Commission meetings.  Meetings will be held every other month on the third Tuesday evening at 5:30pm in the second floor courtroom of the Erath County Courthouse unless otherwise notified. Please use the South (ramp) entrance.  Guests are welcome to attend! Agendas and Minutes will be posted on the Erath County website Agenda Center and Calendar as well. 

Erath County Historical Commission 2024 Meeting Dates

  • January 16, 2024

  • March 19, 2024

  • May 21, 2024

  • July 16, 2024

  • September 17, 2024

  • November 19, 2024

Visit the Historical Commission Agenda Center!

Documents with Quick Links

  1. Erath County Historical Commission

    Mailing Address
    100 W. Washington
    Stephenville, TX 76401

    ECHC appointees

    • Larry Smith, Chair
    • Cathey Hartmann, Chair Emeritus
    • Ben Pate
    • Betty Leatherwood
    • Carole Boucher
    • Cindy Shipman
    • Janella Hendon
    • Kathryn Leatherwood
    • Kenneth Leatherwood
    • Terry Gibbs

  2. THC Main Logo Image