Moving History: The Roberts/Farris Cabin, Sam Houston Memorial Museum, and a few thoughts….

Standing by the Reynolds/Farris cabin on the grounds of the Sam Houston Memorial Museum.

Standing by the Reynolds/Farris cabin on the grounds of the Sam Houston Memorial Museum.

Putting together the pieces of the Cabin on the Square

SHSU students help in putting together the pieces of the Cabin on the Square, The Houstonian, 9/11/2001

On Sunday, my daughter, granddaughter, and your SHSU University Archivist headed to the Sam Houston Memorial Museum Park to run off some of my 2-year old granddaughter’s energy.

Heading up the driveway by the Steamboat House there in front of us on a trailer was the Roberts/Farris Cabin; also known as, “The Cabin on the Square.” Fighting the crazy wind blowing I immediately walked towards the cabin and realized two things: I never knew just how small the 176-year-old cabin was and how sad I felt for the little cabin. Taken apart in pieces in 2001, than put back together by history students from Sam Houston State on the square where it finally found a new home only to move again 15 years later. Thankfully, all in one piece this time. Sitting there on a trailer besides the Woodland Home, Bear Bend Cabin, and the old Exhibit Hall, the cabin just looked tired and unhappy.

Not to worry little cabin, you are in BearKat country now. Here we take our motto seriously, “The Measure of a Life is It’s Service.” The people, who work at the Sam Houston Memorial Museum, know how to treat historic buildings big and small. They will have you settled in no time and once again, there will be all kinds of visitors to come visit you to ooh and awe over your simple beauty.

To see more history about the Roberts/Ferris cabin come and visit the Special Collection Department in the Newton Gresham Library.  You can also read, Cabin Fever: The Roberts-Farris Cabin: A Campus, A Cabin, A Community.” A brief account of the Life and Times of the Builders and Residents of a Small Log Cabin in Walker County. This title is available at call number: F392 .W24 C75 2002.

ZZ Top takes over the SHSU-LSC Ballroom, 1971

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On August 24, 1971, 45 years ago, ZZ Top, the hottest super-group in Houston at the time, came to Sam Houston State University. They came to play their breed of hard-rock in the Lowman Student Center Ballroom. (the room where the Barnes and Noble Bookstore is now).  The images above are from the 1971 The Alcalde and The Houstonian.

The LSC Ball Room was the site of many 1970s concerts featuring groups or singers such as Cheap Trick, CowSills, Manhattan Transfer, Climax, Mac Davis, Mel Tillis, and more.

For more information come visit the SHSU University Archives in Room 400 of the Newton Gresham Library.

GROW THE GROWL! BEARKAT FOOTBALL IS BACK!

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It’s time for the 101st season of BearKat Football!

Come this Saturday the BearKats will be back on Bowers Field to meet the Oklahoma Panhandle State Aggies. This game will be the annual BearKat, “Orange Out,” so the stadium will be covered in a sea of orange, white, and blue.

The image above is from a recent donation to the University Archives. This football program is from the October 28, 1950 game featuring Sam Houston State Teachers College BearKats vs. East Texas State Teachers College Lions.

The Sam Houston State University Archives collection of BearKats Football programs dates from the 1930s to the present. It you would like to look at these programs come visit the SHSU University Archives in Room 400 of the Newton Gresham Library.

Life off Campus – Sam Houston Avenue & 16th Street just off Campus, 1976.

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Hello 1976! This is Sam Houston Avenue & 16th Street just off the main campus which was captured in this photograph from The Alcalde, 1976.

A lot has changed in this area since 1976. Some of the building you see in this photograph are gone. Gone are the Center Hotel, restaurant, and bowling lanes, Gulf Station, Sam Houston Hotel (which had two restaurants in it), bus station, Ward Furniture Building, and City Lumber. Tasty Freeze Big Tee Burger is now a storage building for Heartfield Floral across the street. The Center Motel block is now Sam Houston State University’s dorm called Sam Houston Village.

You can find more photographs of life off campus in The Alcalde. In University Archives there are copies of the Alcaldes from 1910 to 2007, excluding 1932-1935 (Depression years), 1944 (World War II), 1999-2001 (ceased printing in 1998 and started printing again in 2002 for the 125th anniversary of the University).

#TBT – Repelling back to Recondo, CS143, KSHU 90.5, SHSU Observatory, and class gift gates.

The SHSU University Archives has a comprehensive collection from the 1900s through 2000s of what are called view books or informational booklets. These booklets are still produced for informing and enticing future students to attend Sam Houston State University. Today the view books are still sent to future students by the thousands. Now days this University information can also be found online which appeals to our tech savvy, social media loving, future students.

Above is the back cover of the 1982-1983 information booklet. The photographs are of KSHU 90.5, Computer Science 143 class, (note the C in the word computer is missing on the bulletin board behind the instructor), the ROTC repelling tower called the “Recondo,” the SHSU observatory which at the time was on top of the Farrington Building, and in the middle are two class gift entry gates that were at the original entrance to SHSU on Sam Houston Avenue.

To see more view books come visit the SHSU University Archives, room 400, of the Newton Gresham Library. We are open M-F, 8-5.

Happy 40th! Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum

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The University Coliseum was completed and opened in December of 1976. Designed as a spectator facility where various sports and special events could be scheduled the coliseum is basically an open arena with a playing/performing court with 5,000 fixed seat and 3,200 other sides with folding bleachers or temporary seating. A circular concourse level surrounds the arena.

Designed by Fort Worth Architect Preston M. Garen and constructed by Waco Construction the new Health and Physical Education Building contract was let for $3,589,000 dollars. The new University Coliseum received awards for design excellence and was published in many professional journals.

Here are a few facts about the building when it opened:

1. There are 19 sections of seats labeled A through S with 18 entry ways.
2. There are 56 doorways.
3. 12 water fountains
4. 4 trophy cases
5. Four ticket offices
6. 36 cigarette urns
7. 24 trash cans that weigh 44 pounds apiece.
8. The press room was in the concourse.
9. The Coliseum contain 11, 752 square feet in the concourse area, 44, 666 square feet outside the concourse area, and about 78, 000 square feet in total.
10. The plastic seats alone are worth $178,000.
11. The building houses a 16,000 square foot playing floor made of a synthetic material called “sportstred.”
12. The glass, called “windowwall” decorates 6, 384 square feet of the Coliseum’s outside walls. It is bronze tinted with the aluminum around the glass having a bronze finish.

It remained the University Coliseum until the Texas State University System at its meeting of August 21, 1987, voted to name the coliseum in honor of former regent of the TSUS, Bernard G. Johnson of Houston, Texas. At the December 12, 1987 commencement program Bernard G. Johnson was the commencement speaker. During this commencement Johnson was also awarded an honorary Ph. D, as a Doctor of Philosophy and the University Coliseum was dedicated as the Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum.

This year the Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum will celebrate their 40th year of service. In that time changes in the building and the events that are held there have been varied from musical groups, commencements for the University and area high schools, basketball games, volleyball games, hurricane storm shelter, to a new sparkling cooper roof and a brand new floor.

The featured photograph is from, “The Presidents Report of 1975-76,” The completed building photograph shows the new building with a grassy area across the street from the building. Today that grassy area is across the street on Bobby K. Marks Drive and Bowers Boulevard and is a parking lot in front with intramural fields in the back.

Please come visit the University Archives in room 400 of the NGL to see more about the Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum. Also be sure to visit the Johnson Coliseum for a special exhibit on the history of the building.

HAPPY 56th BIRTHDAY SAMMY!

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HAPPY 56th BIRTHDAY SAMMY!

On December 14th, 1959, during a basketball game the first ever Sammy the BearKat mascot costume was unveiled. In the years since then Sammy has undergone many changes to his appearance to morph into the Sammy the BearKat we know today.

This article from The Houstonian, 10/7/2003, gives a good overview of the various Sammy’s over the years.

To find out more about Sammy the BearKat come and visit the University Archives in room 400 of the Newton Gresham Library.

Football Fun Fridays! The lighter side of 100 years of BearKat football.

 

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It’s the annual “Pink Out” game this weekend. Everyone wear pink and support the search for a cure for breast cancer.

Deciding what to wear to the Sam Houston vs.Texas A&M Commerce game on Saturday will be a no brainer. But back in 1959 The Houstonian decided to give female football fans a few helpful hints on the latest football fashion. This clipping is from The Houstonian, October 24, 1959.

To see more football fashion in the SHSU yearbook, The Alcalde, or copies of The Houstonian come visit the University Archives, room 400, Newton Gresham Library.

Football Fun Fridays! the lighter side of 100 years of Bearkat football

Chris @ SHSU Homecoming

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Homecoming Week! Since the mid-1940s Homecoming as we known it today has been a big deal on the Sam Houston State University campus. With all the festivities, electing the Queen and King, and most importantly THE BIG GAME there will be fun for all. This year we take on Nicholls State and have a record of 6-0 against the Colonels.

This week University Archives would like to introduce you to the cutest BearKat Homecoming fan. His name is Chris Gilstrap. Chris was destined to be a BearKat from an early age. His father Michael was a student (alum 1968 and life member of the SHSU Alumni Association) and his mother, Barbara, worked for Dr. George Killinger, who was involved in starting the Criminal Justice program at the same period of time this photograph was taken at the 1967 Homecoming game between Sam Houston State College and Texas A & I. Sad to say we lost that game 48 to 6, but gained this adorable photograph to feature in this post 48 years later.

The game was played at Bedrock Bowl or Old Bedrock, also known as Pritchett Field. Little Chris was getting bored so his father decided to take him out of the stands and entertain him on the sidelines. Chris’s picture was shot by a Houstonian photographer and he appeared in the November 14, 1967 issue of The Houstonian.

Just a quick 22 years later in 1989, Timothy “Chris” Gilstrap, now a BearKat of the 1980s, graduates from Sam Houston State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts, Mass Communication/Media Studies continuing the Gilstrap Family BearKat tradition. Chris was also a member of Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity.

Many thanks to Michael Gilstrap for letting the University Archives use this picture.

To learn or see more materials on Homecoming activities come visit the University Archives in the NGL, room 400.

Football Fun Fridays! the lighter side of 100 years of BearKat Football.

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IT’S THE BATTLE OF THE PINEY WOODS TIME!

Since 1923 the BearKats have been pinned against the SFA Lumberjacks in a rivalry that has lasted for 90 years.

The Battle of the Piney Woods rivalry collage above was complied from various sources that are in the SHSU University Archives. Click on the image to see it larger.

The current win-lose statistics for the battle stands at BearKats with the edge at 52-35-2. The Bearkats have won the last 4 years since 2010 when the Battle has been held at the NRG Stadium in Houston.

Eat’em up Kats!

To see more about the Battle of the Piney Woods visit the University Archives in the Newton Gresham Library, room 400, 8-5, Monday-Friday.