Before the end of January 2010, Bellaire residents will have a new way to learn about the city’s history.
On Oct. 5, the Bellaire City Council approved the final leg of the self-guided Bellaire History Walk. The Bellaire Arts Commission, Centennial Commission and the Bellaire Historical Society have worked together since early 2008 to create the History Walk.
The city will hire a company to fabricate 10 historical markers and place them at some of the interesting sites from Bellaire’s past. Five existing historical markers will also be part of the tour. Brochures with a map will lead residents on their self-guided tours.
“Markers can be added later as items of historical significance get brought to us,” said Kay Hieronymus, a member of the Bellaire Arts Commission. She told the city council that residents going on the tour can park anywhere, start at the marker of their choice, and progress in any order they want.
The base of each marker will be pink granite, topped with a stainless steel plate etched with a pen and ink drawing by local artist Jim Arp. Each marker includes a 50-word description explaining its significance.
The city’s cost is $18,640 for the historical markers, $3,000 for artwork and $825 to print brochures. This is less than the project’s budget of $30,000.
“That’s very good,” said Councilman Jim Avioli after discovering the project was about $7,500 under budget.
Karl Miller, director of facilities management, said that after the markers are completed, the Public Works department will help identify the best places to install them near the historical sites.
New markers for the Bellaire History Walk will highlight these sites:
- City Hall, Community Center and Library
- Original Bellaire school building, 1914 (located on grounds of present-day Condit Elementary School)
- Bellaire Mission Presbyterian Church, 1919
- Trolley Dedication Day, 1910
- Bellaire Trolley Station and Pavilion, 1911
- Rosner’s General Store and U.S. Post Office, 1929
- “The Little Brown,” Bellaire’s first one-room school
- Bellaire centennial time capsule, 1908 to 2008
- Alfred J. Condit house, damaged in 1915 hurricane
- Convent of the Incarnate Word, 1931
- Home of Frank S. Henshaw, Jr., mayor from 1933 to 1937