“Do you want these?” My sister, Peggy, had walked into our partnership
office with three Walmart bags under each arm. Each bag contained
a year of Texas Highway Magazines. She was clearing out her closet
and decided not to keep them any longer. Rather than just toss them
out, she asked me if I wanted them.
For the past several years three of my sisters and I had taken road
trips around Texas. Peggy did all the planning while I did the driving.
Ann and Betty Jean tagged along not caring particularly where we went
but just enjoying our time together. Peggy used the magazines as a
resource of places to visit. On different trips we went to the usual
tourist spots like Sea World, The Big Bend, Galveston, Port Aransas
and Jefferson. It was in Jefferson that I first began to really appreciate
the uniqueness of Texas, but it was no big deal to me at the time.
Peggy had decided she didn’t need to keep the magazines any more,
and not using better judgment, I said that we could just put them
in our office attic. About that time, I began reading James Michener’s
novel, “Texas”, so it was natural that in a few months I began to
drag out a few copies of the old magazines to see if I could find
anything familiar that I might have read about in the book.
That’s how it all started. Now, ten years later I have driven over
120,000 miles in Texas and taken over 70,000 pictures of everything
from old country churches to courthouses and jails to bridges and
signs, and finally of nearly all of the Texas Centennial markers that
were placed all around the state back in 1936. But that’s a whole
One can only wonder what I would be doing right now if my sister had
just tossed those magazines without asking me about them. I’d probably
be working on a stamp collection or such but not having nearly as
© Barclay Gibson, April 2013
Mr. Gibson has driven all over Texas many times in search of the
1936 Texas Centennial Markers. Here are a few of his stories:
Want to See Your Machete"
was a momentous occasion for me... I was finally going to meet Ruthie
Cade. Literally minutes before, I had been able to find, after a
previous failed attempt, the gray granite Centennial Marker placed
at the grave of Perry Alsbury in a hidden, overgrown area within
earshot of I-10. That marker was the 1,089th marker I have seen
of the 1,136 placed way back in 1936 to memorialize the multi-year
celebration of Texas' Independence from Mexico. Here I was, after
having seen nearly 96% of that total, meeting the one person who
made a lot of that search possible.
for the Pulaski Historical Marker 9-6-10
Where to start describing how I visited the five foot tall granite
1936 Panola County Centennial Historical Marker for the defunct
town site of Pulaski, former seat of Panola County?
Bridges / Three States
Canyon Bridge Winslow Arizona, Querino Canyon Bridge on Old Route
66 Houck Arizona, Sundial Bridge at Turtle Bay Redding California,
and Yaquina Bay Bridge Newport Oregon.
"I love everything about what you do-from the concept to the
execution. I will be trying to keep up with your work. I'm anxious
to see what you do next." - Dianna, Sept. 11, 2013
"You have some wonderful marker photos. There is so much information.
I even learned some things about my home town of Taylor. Before taking
my grandchildren on a family history tour, I found the picture on
the internet of the Jackson County Texana
marker you photographed. We descend from both F.F. Wells and his son-in-law
Clark Owen. I also descend from the Brackenridges of Jackson County,
so we wanted to see the marker. It had been temporally moved to lie
under a tree at the administration building, something of a let down."
- Genie, Sugar Grove, Illinois, August 02, 2013
"Thank you for sharing your photos taken at Cedar
Hill, Floyd County, Texas. I grew up there and although there
is mostly nothing left there, your photos were fantastic shots of
familiar landmarks. Thank you! I am thoroughly enjoying looking at
even more of your photos of familiar places. Thanks so much for all
your efforts." - Stephanie, July, 2013
"I came across your photos during a search on Roaring
Springs Cemetery. My dad is buried there
and I have not been there. I plan on going in the near future but
in the meantime these photos are precious to me. They give me a sense
of connection to my dad and thus means so much to me. Thank you so
much!" - Mona, May 2013