National Register District Update

Rebecca Jesse 073117 (2).jpg

Since the effort to create Yoakum’s first National Register District (NRD) began in May, significant progress has been made on the Historic Resources Survey.  Rebecca Borchers and summer intern Jesse Berger are in the process of creating a collection of photos, real estate records, GPS coordinates, and off-beat history.   The sources include the Yoakum Public Library, the Yoakum Heritage Museum, the Yoakum City Hall vault, Sanborn Insurance maps, Yoakum history books, obituaries, personal interviews, and the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History in Austin.   The downtown buildings themselves have clues to the past, such as tile flooring with previous owner’s names, faded murals, embedded building numbers and building names.  The NRD duo has found that not all information is reliable.   For instance, some buildings were registered in the wrong county, a result of the Lavaca/Dewitt County line being misaligned with city streets.  Because the 2017 Historic Resources Survey will be considered the basis of downtown truth for generations to come, conflicting data must be resolved.  By the end of the year, the data will be entered into a database and will be submitted to the Texas Historical Commission (THC).  In 2018, the THC will conduct a State Review, which will ultimately lead to the National Register District nomination submitted to the National Park Service.