Liberty Hill history represented at Williamson Museum

By Catherine Hosman

 

Relda Parks McConnell wore these shoes on her wedding day in the late 1800s.  (Photo by Catherine Hosman)

Relda Parks McConnell wore these shoes on her wedding day in the late 1800s. (Photo by Catherine Hosman)

GEORGETOWN — Preserving Williamson County’s past is the culmination of photographs, documents and artifacts collected by the Williamson County Historical Commission over the years, said Curator Ann Evans. She said as the collection grew, so did the need for a museum to showcase the treasures, and in 1997 The Williamson Museum was established.

The museum, located at 716 S. Austin Avenue in Georgetown, has exhibits that date back to the stone age days of Texas, when mastodons and alligators roamed the area; the settling of the country by pioneers and the displacement of natives, and the growth of cities and towns that dot the county, including Liberty Hill.

For new and established residents who want to learn more about Liberty Hill and what it was like in the early days, a click of the mouse will lead the curious on a trip back in time. Historical photographs can be viewed on the museum’s website at www.williamsonmuseum.org. Just click on Collections and then on Historical Photographs.

The museum has in its archives remnants of the lives of several notable Liberty Hill residents, past and present. Some of those memories include the wedding shoes of “Aunt Relda Parks McConnell,” circa 1895-1896.

The white linen shoes with wooden heels are tucked away in the original shoe box that is worn fragile with time. Ms. Evans, wearing protective gloves, takes the shoes out of the box to reveal a pair of fashionable shoes with handcrafted detail.

Liberty Hill High School is represented by a 1911 diploma of Elsie Loretta Miller and the program for that commencement ceremony.

A 1906 blacksmith ledger from C.A. Miller records the sales and collection of customers, and a soldier’s footlocker reveals the equipment of the late Frank Parks, a veteran of World War II, Korea and Vietnam.

A more modern artifact is a Panther football helmet worn in the 2006-2007 3A Division II championship game between Liberty Hill High School and Celina High Schoo. which the Panthers won 22-19. It will be part of a larger display of local sports champions coming to the museum in the fall.

Although not on display for the public, patrons who would like to access the museum’s collections should complete an Access to Collections Form that can be found on the website. Events and field trip opportunities for schools are listed, as well as information about the museum’s traveling trunk shows.

“We are the county museum and it is important to us to represent the entire county,” Ms. Evans said. “We are always looking to expand our collection beyond the Georgetown area and are looking for items from other areas within the county, including Liberty Hill.”

Liberty Hill residents who would like to donate artifacts can contact Ms. Evans at aevans@williamsonmuseum.org or  call (512) 943-3758.