ROWENA-The Texas Historical Commission (THC) recognized the Town of Rowena as a significant part of Texas history by awarding it an Official Historical Marker. The designation honors the town as an important and educational part of local Runnels County history.

ROWENA-The Texas Historical Commission (THC) recognized the Town of Rowena as a significant part of Texas history by awarding it an Official Historical Marker. The designation honors the town as an important and educational part of local Runnels County history.

A dedication ceremony to commemorate the event was held on Saturday, July 1 during the “Meet You At the Square Celebration” in Rowena at the intersection of Edward Street and Mary Street, where the marker was unveiled.

The marker tells the story of how Rowena was laid out by Paul J. Baron in 1897. It would later be dubbed Baronsville. The Barons officially changed the name of the town to Rowena in 1904. Many of the early residents of Rowena were of Czech and German descent and as the town grew, it became a trading point for those involved in the agricultural industry. And, of course the marker references Rowena as the birthplace of the infamous bank robber Bonnie Parker, of the Barrow Gang.

“It is vital that as we move forward, we do not forget our past. Not only will the Texas Historical Marker provide awareness in the community of our fascinating history, but it will become a building block for the promotion of local tourism,” said Ruth Cooper, chairperson of the Runnels County Historical Commission.

The Runnels County Historical Commission, and the Rowena Lions Club welcomed the public to share in and witness the exciting historical event that included a parade and a barbecue cook-off.

A historian in the Official Texas Historical Marker Program for the Texas Historical Commission has sent a message for the occasion.

“The Official Texas Historical Marker program helps bring attention to community treasures and the importance of their preservation,” said Mark Wolfe, Executive Director of the THC. “Awareness and education are among the best ways to guarantee the preservation of our state’s history. This designation is a tool that will increase public awareness of important cultural resources, “ Wolfe said.

A subject qualifies for a marker if two basic criteria are met: historical significance and age. Historical significance is established by reviewing its role and importance in local history, and the age requirement depends on the topic. The THC’s Official Texas

Marker Policies are outlined in the Official Texas Historical Marker Procedures, which may be obtained by contacting the History Programs Division, Texas Historical Commission, at 512-463-5853 or visiting the web site at www.thc.state.tx.us.

There are three types of Texas Historical Markers. Subject markers are posted solely for public education awareness and awarded more frequently than the Recorded Texas Historic Landmark (RTHL), which is a legal designation for historic structures and comes with a measure of protection. Unlike subject markers, the RTHL must also meet a third criterion—architectural integrity. Historic Texas Cemetery (HTC) markers identify cemeteries which have obtained the HTC designation and whose histories have been researched in detail.

Texas has the largest marker program in the United States with more than 15,000 markers. Seventeen states have used the Texas program as a model; the THC reviews approximately 250 marker applications each year.