The Harrison County Historical Commission, along with the Marshall Historic Landmark Preservation Board, hosted their annual joint historic preservation awards ceremony Sunday, honoring individuals, architects and contractors who have made significant contributions to the restoration and preservation of local historical sites.

HCHC Awards

“For her extraordinary efforts in the preservation of the T&P (Texas and Pacific) Depot, the 1901 courthouse, and numerous other downtown projects, the Marjorie Perkins Outstanding Volunteer of the Year Award for 2023 goes to Christina Anderson,” said HCHC member and director of Starr Family Home State Historic Site Barbara Judkins as she announced this year’s award recipient.

Judkins noted that the award presented to Anderson is named in honor of Marjorie Bryant Perkins, a well-known pioneering preservationist and community activist of Harrison County and Marshall, who served on the HCHC board for more than 40 years and founded the Friends of the Starr Home annual croquet tournament.

“This award named in her honor recognizes an individual for outstanding volunteer service to historic preservation, downtown revitalization, heritage tourism or community service,” said Judkins.

The HCHC’s second award given, the Award of Merit, was presented to Marshall City Manager Terrell Smith.

“This award recognizes the efforts and/or contributions of an individual or organization involved in preserving Harrison County’s cultural and historical resources,” said Judkins. “For his willingness to work with city and county residents in the preservation of historic sites in Marshall, the Harrison County Historical Commission Award of Merit for 2023 goes to our very own city manager Terrell Smith.”

Smith expressed how honored he was to be this year’s recipient. He thanked all for their efforts in preserving the town’s history.

“I did get my master’s degree in history, so history is very important to me and I’m just thankful for all the work that you all (have done),” the city manager said.

Former county judge Richard Anderson applauded the fairly new city manager for his efforts.

“Our city manager has been here for a year, and he’s already made a mark,” said Anderson, noting how much Smith is appreciated.

HCHC’s final award, the Max Lale Award for historic preservation, was presented to HCHC and HLPB member Jay Carriker.

Named in honor of former HCHC chairman, journalist, historian and author Max S. Lale, this award recognizes an individual, organization or project that has significantly contributed to the understanding or preservation of Harrison County’s cultural and historical resources, Judkins noted.

Categories include restoration, preservation or rehabilitation projects and non-construction projects such as books, a scholarly paper, presentation and educational or media achievement.

“For his work in coordinating the efforts of the Harrison County Historical Commission with that of the city of Marshall’s Historic Landmark Preservation Board, the 2023 Max Lale Award goes to our very own Jay Carriker,” said Judkins.

Carriker shared his enthusiasm, describing the achievement as amazing.

“I did not personally know Max Lale, but I grew up collecting and visiting sites on the Max Lale History Trail, one of our two history trails, along with the Rebecca Buard Trail,” said Carriker.

“Being able to work with all these other wonderful people that have been here for a long time like Christina Anderson and build relationships and also Audrey Kariel and (the late) Jean Birmingham and also seeing new people like Terrell (Smith) come in that care about our history and our culture and care about preserving it for future generations, it is just amazing,” said Carriker. “I think that our history in Marshall has a bright future.”

HLPB Awards

During the program, Carriker presented several Historic Landmark Preservation Board (HLPB) awards, which are given for outstanding examples of the preservation of historic buildings, sites and neighborhoods that exemplify sound preservation practices, as well as for individuals who, through their efforts, have promoted and encouraged historic preservation in Marshall.

“Currently we give out individual awards for individual properties for property owners for architects for contractors for local examples of historic preservation and culture,” said Carriker. “There are so many sites in Marshall that are eligible for this.”

He advised that historic preservation is not just about the large or small buildings; it can be something as specific as repairing a porch such as one of the award recipient’s last year.

“Historic preservation is not just about the big buildings or the small buildings, but even actually repairing a porch was something we gave an award for last year because by repairing the porch it saved historic (architectural style) Gingerbread and pillars on a Victorian house,” said Carriker. “So by thinking strategically and having the big picture of saving buildings, that make (for) so many talented and caring people in Marshall that care about our community and Marshall’s history. We’d like to recognize a few of them and their projects over the last year and also picking up a few people that completed projects during the pandemic.”

Individuals awarded certificates for recognized properties were:

  • Alexei and Elena Sleazina for the preservation of the historicCaven-Huckeba home at 401 S. Washington, which now houses Marshall Fine Arts Academy;
  • Melisa and Todd Johnson and V. Belafonte Friar of V.B. Construction & Development LLC for the renovation of 1300 George Gregg St.;
  • East Texas Baptist University President J. Blair Blackburn, Chris Crawford, and Kendall Westbrook
  • For the rehabilitation of the old Hibernia Texas headquarters and the second of the old First National Bank Buildings, which is now what is now Synergy Park at 100 N. Bolivar St., in downtown Marshall;
  • Carlyle and Corliss Cooper and 3R Construction for the rehabilitation of the old Masonic Lodge at 109 E. Rusk St.;
  • Jennie Wells and Rob Reinhold for the restoration of the home at 600 W. Burleson St.
  • Linda Wells for the restoration of the home at 600 W. Burleson St.;
  • Grant and Susan Wood, Krystal Jeans with Grasshouse Designs, and Mark Thacker for the preservation of the Turner home, at 406 S. Washington Ave., described by Carriker as “one of our wonderful properties on the national register.”;
  • Leonard Challenge for the preservation of the home of former justice of the peace Alphonso Williams at 2207 South St.

Individual Service Awards

Individual Service awards for the advancing of historic preservation were presented to Sam Moseley and Lacy Burson, respectively, “for excellence in service to the preservation, restoration, rehabilitation and renovation of historical heritage of the City of Marshall.”

County/Courts Reporter

Robin Y. Richardson is an award winning print journalist, serving as the county government and courts reporter. She earned her journalism degree from TSU and master's from LSUS. She is the proud mother of one daughter.