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The Deer Park Community

Celebrating History: Historical Committee piecing together city's past

Written by Sherry Garrison. Posted in Community

As Deer Park celebrates its 125th birthday in 2017, the Historical Committee looks back on the city's beginnings and preserve its memories for future generations. This column is the first in a series from Committee Chair Sherry Garrison talking about the committee's mission, plans and community involvement throughout this historic year in Deer Park.

Four years ago, Mayor Jerry Mouton charged the Historical Committee with the task of preserving our history for future generations. It appeared to be a simple endeavor. However, it has proven to be challenging, complicated, as well as rewarding. Our committee has grown in size but, more importantly, we have grown in our commitment to preserve, protect, and display our past, present, and future history.

In order to preserve, we had to take an inventory of what we had and make sure the information was accurate. This has been somewhat demanding because dates, names, events, and places must always be correct. We must also have adequate space to display the items for the public to see.

It would be easy to list our accomplishments, but that leaves out the element of discovery. It is our hope that you will be patient as we take you through our journey into Deer Park’s unique history. As we began this adventure, we had to ask ourselves 4 questions: 1) When and how did Deer Park begin, 2) Who were the key players and important factors in Deer Park’s growth, 3) How do we present the information, and 4) Is the information accurate?

The first step was to take an inventory of the items that were in our possession. We had 11 cabinets filled with pictures and other items at the Court and Theatre Building. Unfortunately, most of the items were not identified or labeled with details about how the items were acquired. The entire process involved taking inventory, cleaning, identifying, and developing a plan to display the items.

Over the last three years, we have reorganized and collected more items to display. To date, we have added 11 cabinets for a current total of 22 cabinets. The cabinets are located at the Court and Theatre Building, the Deer Park Public Library, the Community Center, and the Visitors Center. We plan to add another four cabinets this year. This steady growth reinforces our belief that a city museum would be a benefit and a resource for Deer Park’s future.

This is the first article of a series that will focus on different aspects of our history. We will highlight some of the well-known facts about Deer Park, introduce new information, and draw attention to some interesting people who have played an important role in our history.