Gregg County Historical Commission Approves 4 Applications for State Recognition | Local News

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated and corrected.

The Gregg County Historical Museum has approved four applications to the Texas Historical Commission for state recognition.

Former Longview resident Allen McReynolds helped guide marker applications for Trinity Episcopal Church and the 201 Boy Scout Troop hut in Teague Park, as well as an application for a Texas Registered Historic Landmark for the Utzman Farmhouse on West South Street.

Additionally, the commission approved a marker application for Butcher C. Christian Sr. on Shiloh Road between Longview and White Oak near the historic Shiloh Baptist Church and Shiloh School.

McReynolds is chairman of the conservation committee of the East Texas Sierra Club and considers himself an amateur historian, he said.

“It’s the highest form of environmental conservation when you’re not tearing down a house and sending it to a landfill — you’re recycling,” McReynolds said.

Trinity Episcopal Church took up residence on Padon Street in Longview in 1935. According to a Facebook post from McReynolds, “The Diocese of Texas followed the expansion of Jay Gould’s Texas and Pacific Railroad line across the state, opening missionary parish churches as the railroad progressed. during the Reconstruction in 1871.

At 105 years old, Troop 201 is one of the two oldest scout troops in the state. His Scout Hut, as the Teague Park Hut is called, has been around for nearly 80 years.

The cabin was built in phases over the decades. The first phase of the building was constructed as a log cabin for the Boy Scouts in 1941. In 1949 a log assembly hall was added and the last part of the building was constructed of metal for equipment storage in 1965.

The cabin was also used by Governor Greg Abbott when he was a member of Troop 201 in the late 1960s.

Since 2021, the 201 Troop Alumni Foundation has been working to improve the condition of the structure, which was officially designated a Local Historic Landmark in 2019.

The Utzman Farm was built in 1938 for Marvin Utzman and his wife. Four generations of the Utzman family lived in the home before Debbie Fontaine, owner of Edible Art Specialty Cakes and Cookies, purchased the property at West South Street and Texas 31 in 2020.

His original plan was to build a manufacturing plant for his company and a food truck fleet, which required demolishing the Utzman House and another house on the property. However, she ultimately kept the Utzman House after discovering its rich local history hidden in years of what initially appeared to be trash and trash.

Fontaine is working on restoring the house in hopes of opening what she will call The Sunset Chateau, a formal tea and pie house.

In December, the structure became the city’s 10th local historic landmark.

Christian, a former slave, owned 665 acres in Upshur and Gregg counties at the time of his death in 1903, according to information from the Gregg County Historical Commission.

McReynolds has begun work on two new marker apps, one for spring which is named after the Spring Hill area of ​​Longview and a second which recognizes the work of the Lions Club of Longview for its workforce volunteer efforts. work and materials for the Scout Hut and Teague Amphitheater. Park.

“The more we do markers and draw attention to structures and history, I think the more people are willing to invest in historic properties and not send them to landfill,” he said. .

According to McReynolds, there are 1,600 registered Texas Historic Landmark properties and 23,000 subject markers in Texas.

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