Lana and Garland Richards and the Fort Chadbourne Foundation in Coke County, and The Runnels County Historical Commission were recently honored with the R. C. Crane Heritage Service Award by the Texas Historical Association in Odessa. The award recognizes nonprofit organizations for their preservation efforts to West Texas History.
Nominees must show a contribution to our Texas heritage through projects of restoration, community partnerships, and most importantly work with local and area schools, teachers and students, through educational events and activities.
The Fort Chadbourne Foundation, organized in 1999 as a nonprofit charitable organization, to preserve and present the historic 1852 fort site, was chosen for its preservation work, and meeting all the requirements of their original mission statement. In all, six buildings have been restored and all ruins stabilized. The Foundation has educated and entertained well over 25,000 students and teachers at their annual Fort Chadbourne Days Living History Event held the first weekend each May. And, they opened a new 12,500 square foot Visitor Center/Museum in April 2012. Much work at Fort Chadbourne, such as archeological excavations, has been completed by volunteerism with groups such as the Concho Valley Archeological Society and the SMARTS.
The Runnels County Historical Commission was also honored at the April 5, 2014 meeting. They were selected for their cooperation with other organizations and extreme volunteerism, as well as the preservation projects throughout Runnels County. Janie Ruth Cooper, of Winters, was at the presentation to accept the award. Cooper also gave a presentation at the 91st annual meeting “The Chick Inn and the Diners of Winters, Texas”. She also serves as the President of the Edwards Plateau Historical Association.
The prestigious R. C. Crane award comes with a $500.00 monetary award, which was awarded to both recipients.
Both organizations have contributed heavily to the historic preservations in Runnels and Coke Counties, along with the Texas Forts Trail, and many other cities and communities throughout West Texas.