|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2012-05-15                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than seven years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ]
[ Additional Contacts: Angela Reed, angela.reed@tpwd.texas.gov (512) 389-8818; Dennis Gerow, dennis.gerow@tpwd.texas.gov (512) 389-4697 ]
May 15, 2012
TPWD Historic Sites Receives Grant to Study Effects of Bastrop State Park Fire
National Park Service Awards $25,000 to Examine Damage to Historic CCC Structures
AUSTIN, TX - As one of only 11 recipients nationwide, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's Historic Sites branch was recently awarded a $25,000 grant from the National Park Service to study the effects of the Bastrop fire on Bastrop State Park's historic structures built by the Civilian Conservation Corp.
Despite that almost all of the park's CCC-built structures, which date back to the 1930s, survived the worst fire in Texas history, the lethal flames and smoke came within feet of these invaluable buildings and may still have caused long-term or even unforeseen damage--hence the reason for the evaluative study.
"With the recent wildfires, I've learned to appreciate these historic structures even more," said State Parks Regional Director Todd McClanahan, who was also the Bastrop State Park Complex Superintendent at the time of the fire last Labor Day. "Knowing just how close we came to losing these buildings forever forces me to admire their beauty with a different perspective. They are so much more than historic buildings, they are historic treasures."
In addition to TPWD staff, Fran Gale, who teaches in the Historic Preservation Program at the University of Texas School of Architecture and is director of the UT Architectural Conservation Lab, and Casey Gallagher, who is a graduate of the UT program and is now an independent conservator, will help administer the program study.
Results from this research are expected to serve as an application model nationwide for other historic structures and cultural resources facing potential wildfire damage. For more information, contact Angela Reed, CCC Initiative Coordinator for TPWD, at (512) 389-8818.

[ Note: This item is more than seven years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ]
[ Additional Contacts: Andy Smith, (281) 479-2431 x236, andy.smith@tpwd.texas.gov ]
May 15, 2012
Battleship TEXAS Celebrates Christening Centennial
LA PORTE - On the opening weekend of the Hollywood blockbuster "Battleship" come be a part of history as we celebrate the centennial of the launching of the nation's oldest battleship.
Battleship TEXAS was launched May 18, 1912 and will be celebrating 100 years afloat with a cake cutting ceremony on May 19 at 2 p.m. aboard the ship in La Porte. The crew asks visitors to confirm their attendance by calling the ship at 281-479-2431.
"We are so proud to celebrate this monumental occasion," said Andy Smith, ship manager.
No other battleship has celebrated their centennial, and we hope our dedication to preserving this national treasure will honor the memories and stories of the men who served aboard this vessel."
The ceremony will be about half an hour and will feature a cake cutting by Emma Ward, the great-great granddaughter of the original woman to christen the first battleship and a keynotes speech on veterans and their families by Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst.
After the 30 minute ceremony the Texas Army will give a munitions salute with three cannons onboard the ship and an artillery piece and muskets on shore.
"Memorials like the Battleship TEXAS remind us of the great sacrifices and extraordinary lengths that generations of our heroes went to defend our freedom and safety," said Lt. Gov. Dewhurst. "Battleship TEXAS is not just a ship; it is a valuable piece of American history. I am honored, humbled and proud to have been invited to the centennial of her christening."
The Battleship TEXAS served the country in both World War I and World War II and was the only battleship to serve in all theaters during the last world war. After her lengthy active military service she became the first battleship memorial museum in the nation. She was presented to the State of Texas and commissioned as the flagship of the Texas Navy on San Jacinto Day, 1948 and retired on the site of the San Jacinto Battleground, the state's most significant victory. She has served as a museum memorial since 1948 and is anchored on the Buffalo Bayou and the Houston Ship Channel.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department became the steward of the ship in 1983. The ship is a part of the department's 1,200 acre San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site, which holds the battleground, battleground monument and the battleship.
In her retirement she has welcomed millions of visitors and has been designated a National Historic Landmark and a National Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark. As folks walk the wooden decks surrounded by heavy steel they are reminded of the flesh and blood crew that served aboard her and that the price for Liberty and Freedom is never completely paid. Join as we honor the ship and the crew that served aboard her.
Paul Schubert, author of "Come on Texas," famously wrote of the vessel "she was a ship - the smartest man o' war afloat, and the best. A hard, tough, salty, shootin', steamin', fool. A trophy grabber, a fighter and a he-man battlewagon."
The ship was featured in the movie "Pearl Harbor," and most of the naval scenes were shot on her decks. Today the ship's crew joke to tourists by pointing out a random bench and declaring it to be the very bench Ben Affleck sat on.
Information about current restoration and preservation plans for Battleship TEXAS State Historic Site can be found at http://www.dryberthTEXAS.com.