Courthouse preps for event of the century

Standing in front of the Live Oak County Courthouse, Mary Margaret Campbell, chairman of the Live Oak County Historical Commission, and County Judge Jim Huff talk about plans for the Dec. 4 centennial celebration. (Photo by Jeff Osborne)

The celebration for the Live Oak County Courthouse Centennial has officially been set for Dec. 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and officials are working to make the once-in-a-lifetime experience a memorable one.

Live Oak County Historical Commission Chairman Mary Margaret Campbell and County Judge Jim Huff have been planning the event for quite some time. In fact, the celebration will actually be the county courthouse’s 101st anniversary. COVID-19 complications delayed celebration plans in 2020, and  other factors pushed the event back even more. That included the fact that the old county jail located adjacent to the courthouse – and scheduled to be demolished – had its electricity system tied into the courthouse power itself.

“We’re very excited about finally having the opportunity to celebrate this historic occasion,” Campbell said. “Committees just began working full steam ahead and we’re looking forward to it.”

“We’ve been looking forward to this celebration for a long time,” Huff said. “It’s an important part of our history, where we came from and who were are.

“We are planning to put our best foot forward and sharing this magnificent building on Dec. 4.”

A contest is being held in which county residents are encouraged to submit their designs for a Live Oak County flag, with a deadline of Oct. 1. Details are available at www.liveoakchc.com.

Courthouse tours will be provided, and depending on the demolition schedule, these tours may include a last look at the old county jail, which was built in 1962 and played an important role in housing some detainees during the Iran hostage crisis of 1979-1980.

Historians will share stories about the courthouse and its important role over the years, and people in early 1920s era costumes may also be part of the event.

There will also be a time capsule sealing ceremony, with the time capsule scheduled to be opened on the courthouse’s 150th anniversary in 2070.

Food trucks and vendors are also being invited to participate in the event.

Area students from both George West and Three Rivers school districts will also participate in essay contests about what they expect Live Oak County to be like in 2070, with the winning essays being inserted into the time capsule.

Nancy Coquat with the historical foundation is taking orders for a Live Oak County Courthouse Centennial ornament. Cost is $20 each, but payments will be taken later. To reserve an ornament, call 361-362-9060.

Volunteers are needed to assist with the celebration, and those interested in helping should contact Campbell at 361-319-3067 or the George West Chamber of Commerce at 361-449-2033.

•josborne@mysoutex.com•

 

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