On Friday, April 9, a long-standing promise of the Old Blanco County Courthouse Preservation Society (OBCCPS) was honored and fulfilled. Eight commemorative bricks, sold from 1987 to 1993 as an early fund-raiser for preservation and restoration of the Old Blanco County Courthouse, were imbedded in the concrete walkway approaching the Courthouse from Main Street.
Early supporters of the “Save the Courthouse” movement promoted the bricks project with the thought that a brick walkway would encircle the Courthouse. That walkway never materialized, and year after year successive OBCCPS Boards of Directors carefully preserved the names and agonized over how to fulfill the obligation. A Landscape Master Plan, first put into operation with the construction of some sidewalks and curbs in 2003, gave OBCCPS the long-sought opportunity to do so. That Master Plan evolved over the ensuing years until OBCCPS assembled sufficient funding this year to move onto the next stages of implementation.
Plans for placement of the bricks, however, changed drastically with the decision by the Texas Historical Commission that no bricks could be used on the Old Courthouse grounds. After much negotiation, a compromise was reached and the bricks were approved for placement in the mid-block area of the planned new sidewalk on Main Street. As a condition of that agreement, no new commemorative bricks were sold.
On Saturday, April 10, some two dozen workers gathered at the Courthouse to plant eight large live oak trees generously donated by Trey Wyatt, owner of Cedar Creek Tree Farms, and a local ranch. Nine thousand square feet of Zoysia Palisades grass sod, provided at below wholesale price by King Ranch Turfgrass, Bulverde location, were also installed in the course of the grueling ten-hour work day. After TRUE GRIT filming in May is completed, Dirt Works will tackle filling and grading along with installing concrete and granite gravel walkways south of the Courthouse to prepare it for sod installation. Blanco Heating, Cooling, Electrical and Plumbing will resume electrical work by installing lighting fixtures and completing installation of new in-ground power boxes for OBCCPS Market Days.
Fresh volunteers will be needed for the next round of sod installation and tree planting. Call 833-2211 to reserve a spot for your personal volunteer services!
As most Blanco residents know, OBCCPS is a not-for-profit Texas corporation, funded entirely by donations, funds raised by Market Day, special events, and building rentals. Contrary to popular belief and rumor, the filming of some scenes of the new True Grit film at the Courthouse will not make OBCCPS rich, but the Board of Directors is proud and pleased that the Old Blanco County Courthouse has been chosen for this important “role” in the movie. Continued community support of the Old Blanco County Courthouse will ensure that it stands ready to fulfill any new role that comes its way.
The Courthouse Square has now been regraded and filled to facilitate drainage, all perimeter walks are in place, three approach walks are in place, a new handicap entry is fully functional, granite gravel pathways provide appealing travel lanes, some new grass sod and live oak trees have been planted - and the long promised bricks are in place.