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Wood Street receives state historical marker

Tuesday, February 20, 2018 by Katy McElroy

The Wood Street Settlement at Shoal Creek has received an Official Texas Historical Marker from the Texas Historical Commission. The area was nominated to the Undertold Markers program by the Shoal Creek Conservancy with assistance from the Parks and Recreation Department and Travis County Historical Commission. The program is “designed to address historical gaps and proactively document underrepresented subjects and untold stories,” and it will fund the marker. The city’s press release describes the area as “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. … 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 contributors to the rich and diverse ethnic historical geography of Austin.” There will be a dedication ceremony this Friday, Feb. 23, at 9 a.m. at 600 Wood St. Confirmed speakers include Texas Historical Commissioner Wallace Jefferson, Travis County Historical Commissioner Joe Ramirez and state Rep. Gina Hinojosa.

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