What are CHCs?

CHC Establishment and Responsibilities

County Historical Commissions (CHCs) were established by the Texas Legislature to assist county commissioners courts and the Texas Historical Commission (THC) in the preservation of Texas’ historic and cultural resources. The mission of each CHC is to preserve, protect, and promote these resources. Texas Local Government Code, Chapter 318, establishes work that CHCs may pursue appropriate to their county’s size and resources. CHCs consult with county officials, partners, and the THC to establish preservation priorities. CHCs are the primary points of contact for individuals seeking information about county history and historic sites. CHC responsibilities include:

  • Reporting annually to their county commissioners court and the THC.
  • Meeting at least four times each year.
  • Surveying county historic resources.
  • Assessing and maintaining historical markers, structures, and sites.
  • Creating awareness and appreciation of historic preservation.
  • Partnering with other preservation organizations.
  • Promoting cultural and historic sites to develop and sustain heritage tourism.
  • Participating in THC programs and consulting with THC preservation specialists.

CHC Activities

Texas is home to over 200 CHCs that provide more than 290,000 hours of volunteer service annually. The average CHC has 16 appointees that provide over 1,600 hours of volunteer service to their county. CHCs are passionate about historic preservation, and represent a broad range of ages, ethnicities, skills, and communities. A summary of CHC preservation activity for the 2022 calendar year is available here. See CHC activities by reading 2022 CHC Project Highlights and clicking on the photos below.

CHC Brochure

The CHC brochure provides an overview of a CHC’s mission, the appointment process, and notable statewide preservation projects. It may be used to raise awareness of CHC efforts and to recruit new appointees. If able, we encourage CHCs to produce their own brochures that highlight outstanding preservation efforts. Download and print the CHC brochure here.

Photo Gallery

Click on any image to view the photo gallery.

  • Nacogdoches CHC partnered with Mission Dolores in San Augustine, Texas to host archeological field training for local youth. Trainers included a CHC member who is a professional archeologist and four members of the Texas Archeological Steward Network. Following a brief lecture, attendees were guided to an archeological site. The area was known for artifacts related to a 1900 farmhouse instead of the mission itself (but modern finds were plentiful). A large search grid was previously installed prior to the event, and attendees were assigned to a certain grid. If an artifact was discovered and flagged, the item was marked on the grid by the Stewards and the finders would draw sketches of their artifacts. The item was then returned to the ground. At the end of the session, parents and children returned to the lecture room and each attendee was presented with a xeroxed copy of their artifacts. Both morning and afternoon groups added up to 65 participants.