The designation honors the history of African and Mexican-Americans.
The Texas Historical Commission (THC) has recognized Wood Street Settlement at Shoal Creek as a significant part of Texas history by designating an Official Texas Historical Marker at the site. The designation honors the history of African and Mexican-Americans, their families and their lives.
A dedication ceremony to commemorate the event will be heldat 9:00 am, Friday, February, 23, 2018 at 600 Wood Street, Austin, Texas. Currently, the confirmed speakers for the dedication include Commissioner Wallace Jefferson from the Texas Historical Commission, Joe Ramirez from Travis County Historical Commission, and State Representative, Gina Hinojosa.
The northern half of Wood Street, near the west bank of Shoal Creek, was once home to a distinct enclave of African American and later Tejano residents. As the frontier city’s natural western boundary, Shoal Creek became a settling point for formerly enslaved people following the Civil War. Early inhabitants of the African American settlement included porters, yardmen, cooks, laborers, and drivers. As the 1928 City Master Plan pushed African Americans into East Austin, Tejanos began to occupy the houses along Shoal Creek, likely connected to the significant cultural enclave located just east of Shoal Creek in the area around Republic Square.
Tejano families continued to live in the neighborhood until the 1980s when most of the houses had disappeared due to flooding and demolition. Although many of the physical reminders of this era in Austin’s history are gone, residents of Wood Street at Shoal Creek were major contributes to the rich and diverse ethnic historical geography of Austin.
The Shoal Creek Conservancy worked with the Austin Parks and Recreation Department and the Travis County Historical Commission to submit a nomination for the Wood Street Settlement historical marker to the Undertold Markers Program of the Texas Historical Commission. The program, which funds the development and fabrication of the marker, is designed to address historical gaps and proactively document underrepresented subjects and untold stories.
Texas has the largest marker program in the United States with approximately 15,000 markers. Seventeen states have used the Texas program as a model; the THC reviews more than 300 marker applications each year.
Communications and Public Information Office
301 W. 2nd Street, Austin, TX 78701