Old Stone Fort Museum (Texas)
|Old Stone Fort Museum|
|Location||Stephen F. Austin State University
Griffith and Clarke Boulevards
|Website||The Old Stone Fort at SFASU|
The Old Stone Fort Museum is located on the grounds of Stephen F. Austin State University, in the city and county of Nacogdoches, in the U.S. state of Texas. It is a 1936 replica of a structure that had been erected circa 1779 by Nacogdoches militia commander Antonio Gil Y'Barbo. The original building never was a fort, in spite of its sobriquet. After more than a century serving varied purposes, the original structure was demolished. The replica was erected with help from the local Cum Concilio civic organization and funding from the New Deal economic program of the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration. The museum is open to visitors and provides historic exhibits on the grounds of the university.
Origins and history
The original Old Stone Fort was built of native iron ore circa 1779 as a mercantile house by Antonio Gil Y'Barbo. Because of its iron-brick construction, it was referred to as the Stone House. He sold the structure in 1805 to José Luis de la Bega. In 1806, Bega sold it to William Barr. Along with fellow merchants Peter Samuel Davenport, Luther Smith, and Edward Murphy, Barr operated the Natchitoches, Louisiana-based House of Barr and Davenport import-export business catering to the indigenous tribes of the area. Davenport established his headquarters as the Nacogdoches agent for the firm in the Old Stone Fort. Davenport outlived his partners—Smith died in 1807, Murphy in 1808, and Barr in 1810—leaving Davenport as the sole proprietor. During the next several years, the structure also served as various government facilities.
In a prelude to the Fredonian Rebellion, Empresario Haden Edwards's brother, Benjamin, led several followers in seizing the building on December 16, 1826. Shortly thereafter, Col. José de las Piedras used the structure as his headquarters.
In 1829, John Marie Durst purchased the Stone House from Juan Benigno Davenport, Peter Samuel Davenport's son and heir. Durst and his family lived there until 1834 when he sold it to Vicente Córdova. In 1837, the Republic of Texas used the structure as a courtroom under Judge Robert McAlpin Williamson, who also was known as Three-legged Willie.
In 1838, Córdova sold the structure to John S. Roberts, one of the signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence. Roberts, a former sheriff of Natchitoches, Louisiana, also had participated in the battle of Nagodoches in 1832 and the Siege of Béxar in 1835. He operated a variety of commercial ventures in the structure before selling it to William and Charles Perkins. They became the last owners of the original building.
The Perkins family dismantled the building in 1902, but some of its original stones were preserved by Cum Concilio, a civic organization in Nacogdoches. In 1907, the club used the stones for a small building in Washington Square.
Decades later, the New Deal economic program of the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration provided funding for the construction of a replica of the old fort on the grounds of Stephen F. Austin State College. Dedication ceremonies were held October 16, 1936.
- List of museums in East Texas
- Millard's Crossing Historic Village
- Sterne-Hoya House Museum and Library
- Perttula, Timothy K; Greene, Lance; Plane, Mark R (2011). American Indians and the Market Economy, 1775–1850. University of Alabama Press. p. 98. ISBN 978-0-8173-5626-2.
- Ericson, Joe E. "Peter Samuel Davenport". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 23 December 2011.
- "House of Barr and Davenport". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 23 December 2011.
- McDonald, Archie P. "Old Stone Fort". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 19 December 2011.
- Haley, James L. (2006). Passionate Nation: The Epic History of Texas. Free Press. p. 92. ISBN 978-0-684-86291-0.
- Ericson, Joe E. and Carolyn Reeves. "John Marie Durst". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 19 December 2011.
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- John S. Roberts at Find a Grave
- Kane, Joseph Nathan; Aiken, Charles Curry (2005). The American Counties. Scarecrow Press Inc. p. 257.
- McDonald, Archie P.; Meredith, Hardy (2009). Nacogdoches (Images of America). Arcadia Publishing. pp. 2, 6, 7, 8, 15, 17, 24, 28. ISBN 978-0-7385-7861-3.
- "The Stone Fort Museum". Stephen F. Austin State University. Retrieved 19 December 2011.