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Nacogdoches in Nacogdoches County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Church Street

 
 
Church Street Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, November 20, 2022
1. Church Street Marker
Inscription.  Church Street is one of the first named streets in Nacogdoches. Although the original land grant from the Mexican Government in this are to Jose Ygnacio Y'Barbo forbade the sale of the land to a church or religious organization, after Texas Independence the land passes into the hands of the Durst, Roberts, and the Thorns families who did not feel bound by the restriction. The congregation of the Episcopal Christ Church built their first building on the land just north of Main street around the 1952 for $900. The one-story, board-and-batten structure with its Gothic two-story belfry over the front door stood at 108 North Church. The Rectory was north of the church at Hospital Street. The congregation remained in this building until they moved to a new sanctuary on Washington Square in 1902.

Church Street's history through the decades is very interesting. In frontier time, the street was closely associated with hotels. Near the corner of the Church and Main stood the Mitchell and Hart Hotels, to the north at Hospital Street the Banen Hotel, and after 1900 the city and Redlands Hotel Livery stables stood close by to serve both town
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and visitors needs. Many emigrants and travelers from the east using Nacogdoches as their gateway to Texas stopped at these hotels to rest and acquire provisions. To capitalize on the traffic from the east, John Schmidt built the Old Opera House in 1889 to attract traveling entertainment companies going to and from Houston and Shreveport.

Brick commercial buildings did not replace the wooden structured along Church Street east side until 1900. The old Daily Sentinel Building was first, the five one-story multiple use buildings known as the "Bailey Block" were next, the two-story Hazel Building on the corner of Main followed. The Commercial National Bank opened for business in the Hazel Building in 1901. The livery stable at the corner of Commerce eventually added brick showrooms and carriages; later these one-story brick buildings housed a Veterinary Hospital and then a movie house. In the 1920's a sizeable auto repair business replaced the livery stables. The 1906 map shows that restaurants and clothiers who catered to the black community had opened along the east side of the street; where was even a "Negro Church" listed on the map of Church Street. Due to a racial incident, the center of commerce for the black community moved further east to Shawnee Street area.

The part of Church Street north of Hospital Street originally bore the name College Boulevard.
The Church Street Marker on the wall of the building image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, November 20, 2022
2. The Church Street Marker on the wall of the building
The street dedicated by deed in the 1860's as a 60 foot wide boulevard, was to serve as a grand entrance to the newly constructed Nacogdoches University. When the street became residential after 1889, the city extended the name "Church" northward into Washington Square. Several important domestic structures still stand in this area. At the southeast corner of Church and Hospital, the fine mid-19th century East Texas Greek Revival Domicile built by Joseph Durst and used at one time as the Rectory of Christ Church is one of the oldest houses in downtown Nacogdoches. It still retains much of its integrity although modified in later years to serve as a residence, a medical office, a gift shop, a restaurant and now interior design studio. On the southwest corner stand the majestic house built by architect D. Rulfs for Roland Jones in 1895, one of the finest Victorian houses in the state. Further north on Church Street, the family homes still give a good impression of how Church Street looked from the turn of the 19th century: Muckleroy (1889), Summers (1890-1914), Hardeman (1892-1912), and Richardson (1897-1920). The Fredonia Hotel and the Northeast corner of Hospital Street date from the 1950's.
 
Erected by The Heritage Club of Nacogdoches and the City of Nacogdoches Main Street Advisory Board.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these
A Church Street Lampole image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, November 20, 2022
3. A Church Street Lampole
topic lists: African AmericansIndustry & CommerceRoads & Vehicles. A significant historical year for this entry is 1952.
 
Location. 31° 36.167′ N, 94° 39.194′ W. Marker is in Nacogdoches, Texas, in Nacogdoches County. Marker is at the intersection of North Church Street and East Main Street, on the right when traveling north on North Church Street. The marker is located on the west wall of the building. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 114 North Church Street, Nacogdoches TX 75961, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Diedrich Anton Wilhelm Rulfs (a few steps from this marker); Old Nacogdoches Opera House (a few steps from this marker); The M.G. Hazel Building (a few steps from this marker); The Redland Hotel, 1906-1907 (within shouting distance of this marker); Site of "Old Soledad" (within shouting distance of this marker); Woodmen of the World Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Site of the Home of Antonio Gil y Barbo (within shouting distance of this marker); "Running to the Fight" (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Nacogdoches.
 
A view down Church Street and the Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, November 20, 2022
4. A view down Church Street and the Marker
The view of the marker on the M.G. Hazel Building image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, November 20, 2022
5. The view of the marker on the M.G. Hazel Building
The marker is located on the left side of the wall on the building.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 23, 2022. It was originally submitted on November 23, 2022, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. This page has been viewed 93 times since then and 20 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on November 23, 2022, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.

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Apr. 17, 2024