A seldom-seen monument marking the original site of Patrick’s Cabin has been moved into a city park. Through a partnership with Dow Chemical, the 1936 Texas Centennial Marker was placed in front of the cabin replica in Heritage Park on Center Street.
Yet another historical piece of Deer Park’s history has found its way home.
Thursday morning, employees of Dow Chemical transported and installed a Texas centennial marker at the site of George Moffitt Patrick’s Cabin replica in Heritage Park in front of the Theater Courts Building. The project is the second major marker relocation during the
The marker had marked the site of the original cabin for generations, but because of security regulations on the Dow facility, very few visitors were able to see the stone monument. The marker reads: Site of the Home in 1836 of Dr. George Moffit Patrick 1801 – 1889 Pioneer Surveyor. Here the Texas Army Encamped after the Battle of San Jacinto and cabinet meetings were held. Erected by the State of Texas 1936”
Deer Park Councilwoman Sherry Garrison, who heads the city’s historical committee, said having the historical marker moved was the result of a lot of paperwork and a great relationship with the city’s industrial partners.
“Dow actually contacted us to see if we wanted the marker because it was not accessible to the public, said Garrison. “The commission mandates that a maker be accessible to the public. Dow has been incredible. They have done all of the work, removing the marker from their site, transporting it here and an installing it in front of the cabin.”
Garrison said the Dow site has had to turn down multiple groups asking to see the centennial marker.
“There are people who love to travel the state and visit all the historical markers, especially a centennial marker. The centennial markers are rare and very special,” she said. “Dow had one on their site, but could not make it accessible to the public.
The Patrick Cabin site marker had been installed in 1936 in celebration of the State of Texas’ 100-year anniversary celebration. It was placed on the actual cabin site on what was then the Rohm & Haas plant facility. As the facility expanded, the marker was known to have been moved at least once. Over time, security regulations at what is now Dow Chemicals made it nearly impossible for visitors to see the marker.
“This was an eight-month process. Our request to move the marker was initially turned down by the state’s historical commission,” she said. “We asked them to reconsider and we are finally having it moved. A lot of people have never seen or even heard of this marker.”
Dow Chemical’s Jim Gaus, who headed the removal and relocation project, said the monument would be missed at the site, but he and other employees understood the importance of the marker to the city of Deer Park.
“The marker is a pretty big deal to Texas history. We loved having it but we know we are putting it in a place where everyone can see it,” he said.
Removing the marker was not simple. The 81-year-old marker weighs 5,000 pounds and was anchored with a 5-foot concrete pier. That pier became entangled in tree roots. Dow employees were able to remove the monument by cutting off more than three feet of the buried pier. The pier was for anchor purposes only and did not have any aesthetic bearing on the marker.
Workers poured new concrete at the Heritage Park site to reanchor the structure.
Garrison said because the marker depicts the site of the original cabin site near the banks of Buffalo Bayou, it is now somewhat inaccurate. The cabin at Heritage Park is a replica of similar cabins built in that era.
She said the Historical Commission is working on additional signage explaining the replica cabin and its relationship to the centennial marker.
As the city celebrates its 125th anniversary in 2017, Garrison said adding the marker to Heritage Park is extra special.
“I hope a lot of people will understand the importance of the marker in front of the cabin replica. This represents where the treaty was drafted and it was a big deal for Texas history right here in Deer Park,” she said.