Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Tillotson College

photo by Kevin Surbaugh

Founded in 1875 by the Rev. George J. Tillotson with the support of the American Missionary Association and congregational churches, Tillotson Collegiate and Normal Institute was chartered in 1877. Building on a foundation already set in Austin by the Evans Industrial School, Tillotson College focused on teacher training and quality education for African Americans. In 1925 Tillotson was designated a junior college. In 1926 it became a women's college and Mary Elizabeth Branch assumed the presidency in 1930. During her tenure, the school returned to its co-educational status as a full four-year institution. Through Branch's efforts, a partnership with Samuel Huston College was established, and in 1952 the two schools merged to form Huston-Tillotson College.


photo by Kevin Surbaugh

Handicapped Accessibility:
This marker is somewhat accessible to everyone, however it is in a grassy area with no sidewalk directly in-front of the marker.

900 Chicon Street  Austin, TX

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Moontower Comedy Festival (April 24-27, 2013)

Moontower Comedy and Oddity Festival is presented by the Paramount Theatre and brings to Austin, TX some of the funniest, wittiest and oddest world-class comics from around the globe. This marathon of comedy is sure to offer you several nights of side-splitting laughter.
image from MoonTower's Website
Last year, Moontower Comedy Festival debuted in Austin and set the lofty goal of establishing itself as one of the top comedy festivals in the country. And did they ever! The four day festival brought in an estimated 20,000 comedy fans who enjoyed the nation’s best stand-up, sketch and impov comics.
- Digital Texan

  • James Adomian
  • David Angelo
  • Maria Bamford
  • Todd Barry
  • Matt Bearden
  • Amber Bixby
  • Matt Braunger
  • Neal Brennan
  • Janine Brito
  • JR Brow
  • Bill Burr
  • Dana Carvey
  • Michael Che
  • Chris Cubas
  • Dan Cummins
  • Joe DeRosa
  • Ian Edwards
  • Fortune Feimster
  • Christian Finnegan
  • Greg Fitzsimmons
  • Jim Gaffigan
  • Godfrey
  • Bill Hader

 Badges $129-$599
VIP Packages $6000-$10000

Moontower Comedy Festival

Handicapped Accessibility:

(Click links for maps to specific venues)
Paramount Theatre – 713 Congress Ave
Stateside at the Paramount – 719 Congress Ave
Cap City Comedy Club – 8120 Research Blvd. #100
The Parish – 214 East 6th St.
The Parish Underground (formerly known as Beale Street Tavern) – 214 East 6th St.
New York, New York – 222 East 6th St.
Bethel Hall @ St. David’s – 301 E 8th St.
The Hideout – 617 Congress Ave
Swan Dive – 615 Red River St.
The Velveeta Room – 521 E. Sixth St.
New Movement Theatre – 616 Lavaca St.
Scottish Rite Theatre – 207 West 18th St.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Drunken Spelling Bee

Organizers claim that some things that we were required to do during our elementary school years are just so much more fun in adulthood when adult beverages are added to the mix.
So they are encouraging everyone to come out tonight January 28, 2013 at 9 pm to join the fun at Mohawk as the Drunken Spelling Bee gets underway. Even if you choose not participate, this is the kind of thing that is still fun to watch. Of course, they claim, the more cocktails you drink, the more fun it gets!
adukts free, minors $5.00

January 28, 2013 9:00 p.m.

Handicapped Accessibility:

912 Red River
Austin, Texas 78701

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Texas State Capitol

photo by Kevin Surbaugh

The Texas State Capital is both a historic building and a museum in Austin. It is also the center of the states government. The Capitol complex covers for city blocks.

Historical Marker(missing at the current time, so no photo available)
Austin became the Capital of Texas Jan. 19, 1840, and this hill was platted as Capitol Square. A modest statehouse built here in the 1850s soon developed structural flaws. The Constitutional Convention of 1876 set aside about 3,000,000 acres of public land to finance another building. This was authorized after the 1850s Capitol burned on Nov. 9, 1881.

Architect E.E. Myers of Detroit won a national competition with his plans for this Capitol. The contractor was Mattheas Schnell of Rock Island, Ill. Basement excavation began early in 1882. Railroads built especially for this project hauled limestone from the Oatmanville Quarries in Travis County as well as stone donated by the owners of the Granite Mountain in Burnet County. The 900 workmen on the project included 86 granite cutters brought from Scotland. Charles B. and John V. Farwell, Chicago bankers, funded the construction and were repaid in land in ten panhandle counties, on which they founded the famous XIT Ranch. At dedication ceremonies on May 18, 1888, the Capitol was accepted on behalf of the people by State Senator Temple Houston, son of Texas hero Sam Houston. He called it “a structure that shall stand as a sentinel of eternity”.
photo by Kevin Surbaugh



The Capitol Information and Guide Service is located in the restored Treasurer's Business Office on the first floor of the Capitol. Free Capitol tours are conducted daily beginning in the Capitol South Foyer and concluding in the Capitol Extension. This tour features the Capitol, Texas history, and the Texas legislature.

Tours are generally 45 minutes in length and are available during the following times:

Monday - Friday, 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Saturday, 9:30 am - 3:30 pm
Sunday, Noon - 3:30 pm

Capitol tours are conducted daily except Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Day and Easter.

Reservations for groups of 10 or more should be made in advance by calling 512.305.8400.

Self-guided tours are available between
Mon.-Sat. 9am-5pm
Sun. noon-5pm

Handicapped Accessibility:
There are number of entrances into the building with accessible entrances easily found at ground level. Because this a governmental building be prepared to go through security, including metal detectors.

Texas Capitol, Capitol Extension and Capitol Visitors Center
Parking is available in the Capitol Visitors Parking Garage at 1201 San Jacinto located between Trinity and San Jacinto Streets at 12th and 13th streets. Parking is free for the first two hours and $1.00 for each half hour thereafter (maximum daily charge: $8.00); accessible parking is available in the garage and throughout the complex, with accessible routes to the Capitol. Metered spaces are also available throughout the complex and nearby streets.

Rates are subject to change during special events on weekends.

1100 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701

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January in Guatemala

Happy (Late) New Year! 

So I'm now learning how hard it is to get some quiet time to sit down a write at home now that we have a baby! I'm already slow enough at writing! The past few weeks have been so busy that I wasn't able to send out an email in December, so here are all the updates for the past two months:

We had a great Christmas break! My mom was able to visit us in early December in order to meet our new daughter Margaret. We had a great time with her (as always), and this time she got to spend a lot more time with our guys. It was really fun to all be together, and our house sure felt full with 7 people living here! While she was visiting we also got to visit the kids at Casa Shalom, and we had a baby dedication for Margaret at our church. Yuli and I also celebrated our third wedding anniversary. We're so grateful that God brought us together!

Elias celebrated his 22nd birthday. He's been looking for a job now that he's graduated high school, and he got an offer at a tech support call center which he just started at. It's a long bus ride everyday, and it takes him about two hours to get there during rush hour. So he's been pretty tired. He's currently in training, and the first week he came home one night and asked, "Brent, what's outsourcing?" (I thought it was funny because you hear so much about it in the USA) His company answers calls from Spain, and he's learning slang, accents and customs from there. I think that it's a good experience for him. There's also a chance that a local computer repair store might offer him a job close by, so we've been praying that God would show him where the right place is.

Benjamin changed to a new job at the end of last year, and he now works in sales at a cell phone company. He works in the streets of Guatemala City selling different phone plans, which is quite different from his accounting background. He really seems to enjoy it, but my concern is that it's commission based, and I see his attention now solely focused on how many phone plans he can sell and how much money he'll get at the end of the month. He's also just starting to study telemarketing in college on the weekends. I ask that you pray for him and his heart.

Edwin doesn't actually live with us, but he's always here anyways! We love Edwin. It's been great watching him grow up from one of my kids to one of my friends. In early January my visa in Guatemala expired, so I had to travel to Mexico to get it renewed. Edwin came along to give me company during the trip and to get to experience a different country. Well, we didn't understand the rules, and the passes for Guatemalans to visit Mexico had been all used up by the time we got there. So we ended up only making it about 50 feet into Mexico! But we had some great conversations during the 10 hour trip about his hopes and dreams. His older brother died last October, and his younger brother and sister depend on him a lot. It's all been really hard on him. He could really use your prayers as he seeks God's will for his life.

The construction on our house stopped for a few weeks around Christmas to give everyone a break. In December we stuccoed the walls and installed the drainage lines. In January we've poured a cement floor and are installing tiles now. I hope to record a new video this week to show the progress. The big prayer request is that we still don't have any electricity, and I'm not sure how much longer it's going to take because there's still no power lines on our road.

Here's all the stories from the past two months:

• Snow

Whew, I think that's enough for this month. Thank you so much for your support and prayers for Yuli, myself and the ministry with these guys. We're grateful for all the support that we've received this past year, especially with the additional expenses of the guys now living with us and our new daughter. Thank you for enabling us to serve in Guatemala!

Brent & Yuliza

Friday, January 25, 2013

Tejano Monument

What is a “Tejano” and where does the word “Tejano” come from?
A: “Tejano” is a regional variant of Mexican American or Mexicano. The way the people who have been involved in constructing the monument describe “Tejano” is that it is the direct translation of Texan into Spanish. It is the most popular term of reference by Mexican people in Texas who have long-lasting ties to the land. It’s basically a regional self-reference by people who see themselves as people of the soil, descendants of settlers in this area in the 1600s, 1700s, and 1800s.

photo by Kevin Surbaugh

March 29, 2012

Sculpted by Armando Hinojosa of Laredo, the monument tells the sweeping story of pioneer Tejano families, the advent of cattle ranching, farming and the Tejano cultural influences that pervade Texas life centuries later. The life-size statues depict a Spanish explorer, a vaquero (cowboy) on his mustang, two longhorns and a family of settlers. Installed on the south lawn last week, the monument has been eagerly awaited by supporters and the organizers who waged a grass-roots campaign to see it accomplished. The Legislature approved the project in 2001. Supporters raised about $1 million to combine with another $1 million in state money. - Austin American Statesman (Monday, March 26, 2012)

photo by Kevin Surbaugh
Handicapped Accessibility:
Though the sidewalks around the Capitol building can be steep in some places, access t the monument is very accessible for people of all mobilities including those in wheel chairs.

photo by Kevin Surbaugh
Spanish Tejanos 1519-1810
Tejanos are descended from the Spanish explorers and colonizers who settled Texas. They eventually took the name Tejano from the Spanish word Tejas, used by native American Indians who originally inhabited Texas. As early as 1519 Spaniards visited the Texas coast and a group led by Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca was the first to describe the native peoples of Texas and the geography of Texas between 1528 and 1534. The Texas Panhandle region was explored by Francisco Vasquez de Coronado in 1541, while the Desoto-Moscoso expedition explored northeastern Texas the following year. Soon, Spaniards explored the coastal regions and established Texas as a province.
 An attempt by France to establish a colony on the Texas coast in the 1680s, prompted Spain to send General Alonzo de Leon in search of the French settlement. On his expeditions into Texas in 1666-1690, De Leon founded the first Spanish mission in East Texas. These early expeditions named most of the major rivers in Texas and released many longhorn cattle which later became the foundation of the cattle industry of Texas. By 1718, a permanent community at San Antonio de Bexar has been established by soldier-settlers and Franciscan missionaries, later expanded by families from New Spain and the Canary Islands.
 By the mid-1700s, Spanish settlements included the capital at Los Adaes (now Robeline, Louisiana), San Antonio and La Bahia (now Goliad). In the lower Rio Grande country, other settlers from the interior of Mexico and Spain, under the leadership of Jose de Escandon, founded a network of towns. Tejano ranchers provided thousands of longhorn cattle to Spanish soldiers and settlers and even drove cattle northeastward to aid the American Revolution. Tejano pioneers left a proud ranching legacy in Texas.

photo by Kevin Surbaugh
Tejanos Under the Mexican Flag 1810-1836
Tejanos developed their unique identity and sought to control their own destiny in the late eighteenth century and early nineteenth centuries. Following Father Hidalgo's call for rebellion against bad government on September 16, 1810, many Tejanos rallied in support of the Mexican War for independence. Tejanos and their Anglo allies first declared Texas Independence. Tejanos in April 1813, but suffered defeat at the Battle of Medina on August 18, 1813. It was the bloodiest battle ever fought on Texas soil. After Mexico gained independence from Spain in 1821. Tejanos welcomed Anglo-American immigrants into Texas under the Republic of Mexico.
In 1824, the Mexican National Congress joined Texas to Coahuila as a combined state. Fearful that the arrangement would hurt Texas interests, Tejanos apposed the union. This view was shared by the new Anglo-American colonists, many of whom retained strong economic and political ties to the United States. After the Mexican Congress cut off trade and immigration from the U. S., Anglo-Texans and Tejanos revolted and declared Texas independence from Mexico. Two native Tejanos signed the Texas Declaration of Independence on March 2, 1836.
In his march to defeat the independence movement in Texas in 1836,  Mexican General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna was opposed by many influential Tejano families, particularly the Sequin, Navarro, Ruiz, Benavides, Carvajal, and De Leon families. Many Tejanos fought bravely in the Texas Revolution, including the battles at San Antonio in 1835, the Alamo and San Jacinto.

photo by Kevin Surbaugh
Tejanos in the Republic of Texas 1836-1848
As citizens of the Republic of Texas, Tejanos kept their language, culture and traditions alive with a fierce determination despite many difficulties as Texans of Mexican heritage. The Republic of Texas had set the Rio Grande as its southern border, claiming the Mexican territories and settlements that had previously been part of the neighboring states Tamaulipas, Coahuila, and Nuevo Leon. This increased the conflict with Mexico. 
Despite the difficulties. Tejanos continued to serve in government and the military. Lorenzo de Zavala served as the first Vice President of an interim government of the Republic of Texas.  Tejanos served in both houses of the Congress of the Republic of Texas. Other Tejanos served in local government and as Texas Rangers. Tejanos also participated in the defense of Texas against Indian raiders and contributed to frontier settlements. They continued to be active participants in the ranching and agricultural economy of the Republic.
In 1845, the United States annexed Texas as its 28th state and re-asserted the claim to the Rio Grande as its border. This led to the United States - Mexican War of 1846-1848 and the United States victory over Mexico. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo incorporated all of Mexico north of the Rio Grande into the United States, including Texas. The treaty made Tejanos and other Mexican settlers into United States citizens.

photo by Kevin Surbaugh
Tejanos and Texas in the U.S. 1848-1920
After 1848, when all of Texas became part of the United States, most Tejanos adjusted to the new American laws and to the new economy. At times,change came to fast for Tejanos resulting in injustice and violence, and many experienced loss of their lands. Rebellions broke that attempted to right those wrongs. Many others adapted, and some even prospered in the new political and economic system, particularly in South Texas. In the 1850's Mexican-Americans shared their ranching life and culture of vaqueros (the first cowboys) with Anglo settlers. While some of the original Tejano residents in cities such as Brownsville, Laredo, and San Antonio became merchants and leaders in local political organizations, many Mexican-Americans arrive from Mexico became laborers in the new economic system. Many of these new arrivals assumed identities as Tejanos. They participated in important national events, including the Civil War (1861-1865) in which Tejanos were recruited by the Union as well as the Confederacy. Many Tejanos fought honorably in the Spanish-American War and in World War I.

photo by Kevin Surbaugh
Mexican Americans in the 20th Century
World War II ushered in a new era for Tejanos and Mexican-Americans of other states. Tejanos were among the first American soldiers to volunteer and to be recruited to serve in combat. They fought bravely,earning a disproportionately high number of combat decorations. Including the Medal of Honor. Tejanos served in integrated Army with Mexican-Americans from other states and returned to Texas after the war to press for economic, political and social equality.
Struggles in various civil rights organizations produced new opportunities that resulted in the rise of a new professional class and greater political participation for Tejanos. Immigration from Mexico in the late 20th century resulted in larger Mexican-American populations in the Western and Midwestern states while it also augmented the Tejano community in Texas.
By the end of the 20th century, Tejanos had served in the cabinets of presidents of both political parties, held elective office at the statewide level, and led public colleges and universities. Tejanos also made significant contributions in the worlds of business and sports. Traditional Mexican cultural identity remained strong in Tejano families and archived public expression in music, literature and the arts.

on the grounds of the Texas State Capital
1100 Congress Austin, TX 78701

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

The 15th Annual Austin Under 40 Awards 2-22-13

The 15th Annual Austin Under 40 Awards will honor the best and brightest young professionals in Austin! Nominees are recognized for their professional achievements as well as their contributions to the community. The evening will include a plated dinner, cocktails, a huge silent auction, and of course...our amazing awards presentation!  Don't miss this opportunity to mingle and celebrate with Austin's brightest young minds at Austin City Music Hall on February 22, 2013!
They will also have a  silent auction is the main fundraiser portion of our event with all proceeds benefiting the Young Women's Alliance Foundation and Austin Sunshine Camps
According to their website, this is the timeline for the evening events.
  • 5:30 - Doors Open + VIP Party begins- location is at the Austin Music Hall
  • 5:30-7:45 Event Registration, Silent Auction, and Cocktails
  • 8:15 Presentation Begins
  • 9:15 Presentation Ends, Silent Auction Reopens
  • 10:00 Silent Auction closes for checkout
  • 10:30 After Party begins - location is at the Pool Area of the 360 Condo's (Right across the street from the AMH!)
 They also say that the attire is cocktail/black-tie optional

February 22, 2013 5:30pm-10:30pm

Handicapped Accessibility:
Reportedly the facility is ADA compliant, but at this time I have not been to this facility to know how accessible it is, or if the accessibility is the very minimum.


Austin City Music Hall
208 Nueces Street, Austin, TX 78701

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Texas Military Forces Museum

The Museum's exhibits display the story of Texas Military Forces from 1823 and the first militia musters in Stephen F. Austin's Colony to the present day. The role of the Texas Military Forces in both war and peace is highlighted with a focus on four major topics

photo by Kevin Surbaugh

  • Militia and volunteer units formed in Texas during the 19th Century, including the Texas Revolution, Mexican War, Indian Wars, War Between the States and Spanish-American War

  • The Texas Army National Guard from its creation in 1903 to the present, including those periods when it was called into Federal service during World War I, World War II, and the Global War on Terror.

  • The story of the Texas Air National Guard, from its origins to involvement in the Korean War, the Cold War, Operation Desert Storm and the War on Terror.

  • The history of the Texas Defense Guard and the Texas State Guard

    The museum has five major exhibit areas, each of which highlights different parts of the Texas Military Forces story.
    1. 1823 to Spanish American War
    2. Cold War to Global War on Terror
    3. World War II Pacific Theater Exhibit
    4. Air Guard Gallery
    5. Armor Row and the Artillery Park
    photo by Kevin Surbaugh
    photo by Kevin Surbaugh
    photo by Kevin Surbaugh

    Location: 2200 West 35th Street, Austin, TX 78703

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    The Texas Military Forces Museum is located in Building 6 on Camp Mabry in Austin, Texas. The street address of Camp Mabry is 2200 West 35th Street.  The former entrance to the post was blocked in 2001, the current entrance is on Maintence Drive. A photo I.D. for all adults is required for entry onto Camp Mabry. In addition, Camp Mabry regulations require motorcycle riders to wear long pants, a long sleeve shirt, and a motorcycle helmet. If for any reason the gate guards refuse you entry to the post to visit the museum, please have them call the museum at (512) 782-5659 and we will make arrangements to bring you to the museum.
  • Monday, January 21, 2013

    Community Walk of Heroes

    photo by Kevin Surbaugh

    Southwest Key's Walk of Heroes is incorporated into the design of the 42,000 square foot El Centro de Familia to commemorate the legacies of local and national social justice trailblazers. The Walk of Heroes provides an interactive pathway leading to the community center, adorned with various mosaic installations of a number of community and civil rights activists, designed by Texas artist Rosalinda R. Toro.

    photo by Kevin Surbaugh

    The plaque underneath reads:
    Dr. Martin Luther King
    In remembrance of his courage, spirit and dedication to equal opportunity for all people.
    Honored February 25, 2012
    "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter" - Dr. King

    photo by Kevin Surbaugh

    The plaque underneath reads:
    Cesar E. Chavez
    To honor his fight for the rights and dignity for farm workers.
    Honored October 13, 2012
    "Without a sense of caring, there can be no sense of community." - Cesar

    photo by Kevin Surbaugh

    The plaque underneath reads:
    Pedro Ruiz Garza
    In gratitude for his courage, leadership and belief in Southwest Key.
    Honored May 14, 2011
    "Action in pursuit of a dream can change the world" - Pedro

    Handicapped Accessibility:
    All the monuments are very handicapped accessible.

    6002 Jain Ln. Austin, TX 78721

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    Saturday, January 19, 2013

    The (Jan 21, 2013) Annual Community March, Festival and Food Drive

    The March kicks off at 9 a.m. with a short program at the MLK Statue on the campus of the University of Texas (located on the East Mall, near the Jackson Geological Sciences Building). Attendees will then march to the south steps of the Texas State Capitol for Gospel music performed by the Sweet Home Baptist Church Choir, then continue on to the historic Huston-Tillotson University, for the MLK Festival. All businesses, non-profit organizations and individuals are invited to march and celebrate Dr. King’s legacy. The MLK Festival will begin when the marchers arrive and will feature vendors and local musical artists, wrapping up at 3 p.m. This year, the Austin Area Heritage Council is asking that those marching and/or attending to help by donating canned goods or non-perishable food items to the Capital Area Food Bank. Donation receptacles will be available at The University of Texas and the Capitol, while the march is in those locations. Receptacles will also be available at the festival location on the campus of  Huston-Tillotson University. Click here for free parking locations.

    Monday, January 21, from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

    Capitol Metro Bus Routes 2, 4, 18, 21/22 will get you to and from the MLK March & Rally and Celebration (including back to the parking garages near UT and the State Capitol). The #2 bus will run every 15 minutes until 4pm. Fare: Single Ride $1, Day Pass $2.00 (Reduced Fare: Single Ride $.50, Day Pass $1. Children five and under with an accompanying adult, and emergency and military personnel in uniform ride Capital Metro bus and rail services at no charge.) Use Capital Metro’s online trip planner or call the Go-Line at 512-474-1200 for information about routes and schedules.

    Friday, January 18, 2013

    Site of Pecan Springs School Marker

    photo by Kevin Surbaugh


    In community where scalping and dramatic rescue of Josiah Wilbarger occurred in 1833. By 1875 area had developed so much that a schoolhouse was built at this site. Original 30 x 40 – foot structure was set on 4.68 acres of land. A Mr. Goodnight was the first teacher; he had 85 pupils in one-room school.

    Later, under county system, this became District Number 61. Its southern boundary was the Colorado River. By 1943 it had six teachers. It was annexed to Austin in 1951; closed in 1956.



    photo by Kevin Surbaugh

    Handicapped Accessibility:

    This sign is accessible to all persons regardless of accessibility.

    5020 Manor Road, Austin TX 78723

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    Thursday, January 17, 2013

    New Area Code

    It has been announced that Austin is getting a new area code. The new area code will be 737. If you have a 512 number, you’ll need to start dialing all ten digits starting in June of 2013. The new area code itself will start being distributed on July 1st, 2013. Personally, when I get a fax line again, I will make sure it is a 737 number, so I don't get the endless collection and telemarketing calls meant for a previous owner of the number. If the number never existed before, I can rest assured that calls (assuming not miscalled) are in fact, for me.

    Wednesday, January 16, 2013

    Site of Second Travis County Courthouse & Walton Building

    photo by Kevin Surbaugh

    Built in 1875 in term of County Judge James W. Smith. Former state officials on committees for site and building included Governor E.M. Pease, Secretary of State C.S. West, Attorney General N.G. Shelley, Treasurer James H. Raymond and Legislator George Hancock.

    In era when Texas was gaining world renown, home of outstanding courts, able judges, brilliant bar. One tenant of its fortress-style jail was author William Sidney Porter (O. Henry), after his return to Austin in 1897 to be with his dying wife and face trial on embezzlement charges.

    In 1931, the county accepted a block of land in exchange for cancellation of its 99-year lease on this site. Courthouse towers and jail were removed. State offices moved in – Game, Fish, and Oyster Commission, Department of Education, Banking Department.

    In public competition for a name, “Walton Building” was chosen, for Fishermen’s Patron Izaak Walton (1593-1683) and for W.M. M. “Buck” Walton (1832-1915), Adjutant General in Terrell’s Confederate brigade, Attorney General of Texas, famed for a colorful law career.

    The massive 3-story Victorian limestone structure with impressive carved entrance was razed in 1964.


    near 1009 Congress  at the corner of East 11th and Congress at the edge of a parking lot.

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    Tuesday, January 15, 2013

    11th Annual Star of Texas Tattoo Arts Revival - Jan 2013

    What is the Star of Texas Tattoo Arts Revival? Here is a video about the show from a previous show.

    January 18, 2013 - January 20, 2013
    2pm-9:30pm (Saturday and Sunday)


    $15 for a one-day pass
    $40 for a full weekend pass


    $20 for a one-day pass
    $45 for a weekend pass

    CHILDREN 12 & UNDER – FREE with adult!


    Palmer Event Center
    900 Barton Springs Rd. Austin TX 78704

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    Monday, January 14, 2013

    Clara Driscoll

    photo by Kevin Surbaugh


    Patriot, philanthropist, writer, public figure, born at St. Mary’s, Refugio County; daughter of Robert and Julia Fox Driscoll, and descendant of a hero of San Jacinto; was educated in Texas, New York and France.

    In 1903 came her finest hour. When the public was shocked at plans for destroying the Alamo in San Antonio, she saved the shrine by buying it to give the State of Texas time to redeem and preserve it.

    In 1905-06 she published two novels, “The Girl of La Gloria” and “In the Shadow of the Alamo”, and had on Broadway a musical comedy, “Mexicana.” In 1922 organized the Pan-American Round Table in Austin; served as Democratic National Committee woman from Texas, 1928-1944; was President of Daughters of the Republic of Texas, the Big Bend Park Association and Corpus Christi Bank and Trust Company.

    This headquarters building of the Texas Federation of Women’s Clubs is a monument to her generosity, for her 1939 gift of $92,000 paid off debts against it. In 1943 she gave her Austin home, Laguna Gloria to the Texas Fine Arts Association for a museum.

    She died in Corpus Christi, leaving the bulk of her estate to a foundation for the care of crippled and diseased children.

    photo by Kevin Surbaugh

    Handicapped Accessibility:
    The historical marker is at the top of the steps on the right hand side, with no wheelchair ramp to even enter this historical building which is home to the Texas Federation of Women's Clubs.

    2312 San Gabriel St, Austin TX 78705

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    Friday, January 11, 2013

    Texas Federation of Women's Clubs Headquaters Marker

    photo by Kevin Surbaugh

    Dedicated to the pursuit of education and humanitarian programs, the Texas Federation of Women’s Clubs was founded in 1897. The goal of a permanent state headquarters was realized with the construction of this building in the early 1930s. Designed by prominent Dallas architect Henry Coke Knight (1896-1966), it is one of the best examples of Georgian Revival architecture in Texas and features a dominant central two-story portico and fine detailing. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark.


    photo by Kevin Surbaugh

    Handicapped Accessibility:
    The historical marker is at the top of the steps on the left hand side, with no wheelchair ramp to even enter this historical building which is home to the Texas Federation of Women's Clubs.


    Thursday, January 10, 2013

    Austin Home and Garden Show - Jan 2013

    This year Jason Cameron of DIY's "Desperate Landscapes" and "Man Caves" will be at the 15th annual Austin Home and Garden Show.  Cameron, will discuss his experiences as a licensed contractor and his hit shows “Desperate Landscapes” and “Man Caves” on the DIY Network. ”You can see Jason in new episodes of “Desperate Landscapes,” on the DIY Network.

    Friday Jan. 11 2:00 - 7:00
    Saturday Jan. 12 10:00 - 7:00
    Sunday Jan. 13 11:00 - 5:00

    Adults 17+ $8.50
    16 and under Free
    Retired Military ID $6.00
    Active Military ID Free
    Senior 65+ $6.00

    Handicapped Accessibility:
    Palmer Events Center is ADA accessible.

    Mobility Impaired Parking is available in the Palmer Events Center Garage on all levels located near elevators. Beginning November 1, 2009 only the following patrons will receive complimentary garage parking: vehicles with a specialty license plate for recipients of the Air Force Cross, Distinguished Service Cross, Army Distinguished Service Cross, Navy Cross, Medal of Honor and Legion of Merit Medal; vehicles with a specialty license plate for recipients of the Purple Heart, Pearl Harbor Survivors, Prisoners of War and Disabled Veterans.



    Palmer Event Center
    900 Barton Springs Rd. Austin, TX 78704

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    Wednesday, January 9, 2013

    Central Christian Church

    Having grown up in the Disciples of Christ and some of the breakaway churches, it was interesting to see the first church of this denomination in Austin.

    photo by Kevin Surbaugh

    In 1847, Eight years after the City of Austin was platted, ten members of the Disciples of Christ Brotherhood met to organize this congregation. Although early records of the church are scarce, it is known that regular worship services were being held in a local school building by 1852.

    The Christian Church of Austin, as the congregation originally was known, acquired its first property at Eighth and Colorado Street and worshiped at that site until moving to this location in 1929. An early dispute over theological and procedural matters split the congregation in 1888. Until 1896, when the Rev.S .D. Dutcher was appointed pastor, leaders of the church were selected from among the laity.

    The fellowship adopted its current name during the early years of the twentieth century, after other disciples of Christ congregations had been organized in Austin. Although much growth has occurred in the outlying sections of the city, Central Christian Church has remained a vital force in the downtown area, its ministry has included the establishment of several other congregations. As one of the oldest churches in Austin, Central Christian has provided the city with significant service and leadership.

    photo by Kevin Surbaugh

    Handicapped Accessibility:
    The church is accessible, but not at this entrance. No matter, the historical marker is at sidewalk level to the left of the steps in the picture. Handicapped individuals will have to access the sidewalk from the crosswalks or church parking lot.

    1110 Guadalupe Street, Austin TX 78701

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    Monday, January 7, 2013

    Hotel Provident and Heierman Building

    photo by Kevin Surbaugh
    Built in 1887, apparently as a hotel, for Tom Smith. Contractor was Austin Mayor Joseph Nalle. The “Hotel Provident” operated under various names until the 1920s. In conjunction with the hotel, the lower floor housed numerous businesses, including a newspaper, a law office, the “Texas Invention Co.”, and, 1900-45, various enterprises of J. Frank and John G. Heierman. The fa├žade, with its erroneous date, was altered after 1900.


    photo by Kevin Surbaugh

    Handicapped Accessibility:
    The historical marker is on the facade of the building and is visible to all regardless of mobility.

    115 E 5th Street, Austin, TX 78701

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    Friday, January 4, 2013

    Pond Springs Cemetery Marker

    photo by Kevin Surbaugh

    This graveyard was begun for members of the Pond Springs community in the 1860s. The oldest grave is believed to be that of Mrs. Asenath M. Stewart (d. 1862). Also interred here is Mexican War veteran William P. Rutledge, Sr. (1815-1890), and Lavinia Hyland Chapman (1844-1929), a citizen of the Republic of Texas. Although the land was in use as a graveyard years earlier, it was not officially deeded as such by Thomas L. and H.M. Rutledge until 1872, and did not appear in deed records as a cemetery until 1877. It serves as a reminder of early Pond Springs history.

    photo by Kevin Surbaugh

    Handicapped Accessible:
    The marker is pretty accessible as a paved parking spot is right in front of the sign. However, exploring the cemetery may be a little harder as it is all grass with not even a dirt or gravel trail through the cemetery.

    There is no physical address for this cemetery. The coordinates are N 30° 28.09′ W 97° 47.284′ , it is located near 10015 Lake Creek Parkway, Austin, TX 78729, between an apartment (Presido) complex and a car lot. On the right as you travel north between highways 183 and 620 (just south of 620).

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    Thursday, January 3, 2013

    Free Week in Austin - January 2013

    I have been in Austin since August 2010 and am now learning that the first week of January is a special time for the Austin music scene, bringing with it the annual tradition known as Free Week. During Free Week, participating venues offer nightly free shows featuring some of Austin's best local talent.

    The focus of Free Week Austin is placed almost exclusively on the bands and musicians that call Austin home, making it a great opportunity to experience what the Austin music scene has to offer.

    Participating venues for Free Week 2013 include:
    Red 7,
    The Mohawk,
    Beauty Ballroom,
    The Scoot Inn,
    Holy Mountain,
    Swan Dive,
    Flamingo Cantina,
    The Parish
    For more information check @FreeWeekAustin on twitter.

    Wednesday, January 2, 2013

    Fort Colorado

    This fort was a Republic of Texas defensive post built in the fall of 1836 by Colonel Robert M. Coleman and manned by Texas Rangers until 1838. The fort consisted of two blockhouses and a number of cabins enclosed within a high wall stockade. It is a travesty that this fort wasn't preserved for historical purposes. It would have made a great museum (much like Fort Scott in Fort Scott, KS).

    photo by Kevin Surbaugh
    June, 1836 - November, 1838.
    Established and first commanded by
    Colonel Robert M. Coleman.
    Succeeded by Capt. Michael Andrews
    Capt. William M. Eastland.

    An extreme frontier outpost occupied by Texas Rangers to protect Anglo-American civilization from savage Indians in this vicinity.


    photo by Kevin Surbaugh

    Near Russet Hill Drive and Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard. (Coordinates: N 30° 17.194′, W 97° 40.453′) Marker is in Austin, Texas, in Travis County. Marker is on East Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard west of Russet Hill Drive, on the right when traveling east.