'Landmark' honor due courthouse
July 4 is the date set for the Milam County Courthouse in Cameron to receive the Recorded Texas Historical Landmark (RTHL) marker from the Texas Historical Commission. The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m., according to Milam County Judge Frank Summers.
"Awarding of this accolade sets in place one more honor for this wonderful old building," Summers said. "The designation is the highest honor which can be bestowed on a building by the Texas Historical Commission. Very strict standards are used by the Commission in awarding this marker."
Highlighting the event will be the keynote address by the head of the A rchitect ural Division of the Texas Historic al Commis- sion, Stan Graves. Graves is a native of Sharp in Milam County and owns a home in that area.
Reviewing the restoration of the present courthouse will be Joy Graham who was a member of the Phase I Preserve Our Past Committee and was chair of the Phase II POP Committee. This committee led the fund-raising and planning for the Courthouse restoration.
Also featured on the program will be the Communities in Concert Band and Cameron Boy Scout Troop 752. Amy Ellsworth, Dee Green, Geri Burnett and Jackie Thornton will also take part.
The present Cameron structure, the 1892 Courthouse, was first dedicated on July 4, 1892. It was preceded by three structures, the first of which was built in Cameron soon after the seat of county government was moved from Nashville to Cameron in 1837.
The new county seat was named Cameron in honor of Captain Ewen Cameron, a hero of the Texas Revolution. The second courthouse was a brick building located on the present site, but little is known about this structure or the third building.
The Courthouse burned in 1874, thus losing many of the archives of the county. After the fire, the county apparently limped along with a substandard building until a new courthouse was authorized in 1889.
On July 4, 1891 San Andres Masonic L odge No. 170 laid the cornerstone for the present building. Reknowned architects Lamour and Watson presented their report to county commissioners on April 20, 1892, at which time it was accepted by commissioners. The stone arrived from Brook School Furniture in Dallas. It was moved into the Courthouse by volunteers.
Planning for the ceremony scheduled for July 4 is being coordinated by Jackie Thornton, of the Milam County Historical Commission.
The ceremony is sponsored by the MCHC, co-chaired by Geri Burnett of Rockdale and Dee Dee Green of Cameron.