The Brownwood community is blessed with a multitude of opportunities for citizens to make a difference, and many of them need help in a way some are unable to assist — financially. But an important community project is scheduled for Saturday morning, and many residents who might not be able to write a big check for the fund-raising effort can still help out.
A clean-up day is planned for at the home of Greenleaf Fisk, “the father of Brownwood,” and officials with the Brown County Museum of History say that a good turn-out of volunteers will make the work go much faster.
Many county residents who have driven by the home on Milton Street behind the Brownwood Coliseum make not have realized the historic significance of this site. With its purchase by the museum and the planned restoration, that is going to change. Before too long, the Fisk home will become an important addition to the growing list of historic locations open to the public, and museum officials plan to utilize it as a visitor’s center. Its location next to the coliseum and within the downtown area make this a logical use of the building.
The home had been occupied until recently, but it was abused by vandals and unauthorized occupants. Fortunately, perhaps miraculously, the floors and walls escaped major damage, even though campfires had been set inside.
The contributions Greenleaf Fisk made to the pioneer city of Brownwood have been listed repeatedly, so it is appropriate that this community honor him, his family and this important home in the history of the city. Fisk donated the 60 acres of land to move Brownwood from its initial site east of the Pecan Bayou, provided the first acreage for Greenleaf Cemetery and contributed in numerous ways to the development of the community.
But the restored facility will be more than a tribute to this one man and one family. It will also house tributes to dozens of other pioneer families who helped settle Brown County and build it into the place we know today.
Meanwhile, the effort will also provide a lasting tribute to a man who not only looms large in the history of Brownwood, but also made his mark on the Republic and young state of Texas years before he settled here. Fisk, who lived in Bastrop and Williamson County before moving to Brownwood in 1860, fought in the Battle of San Jacinto and served in the Texas Legislature before Texas was a state.
The Fisk home project is one of several endeavors currently under way in Brown County that needs greater support, whether that comes in the way of donations of time or money. Even as this area makes great strides into the future by creating jobs and opportunities for families, it is capitalizing on its past to generate tourism as well as an understanding among those who live here of where we’ve been.
All these projects are in need of funds. Those who can write that check — whatever the amount — are urged to do so. But those who can donate their time and skills are needed as well. Those who can use hand tools or help move trash have an opportunity to contribute too, beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday.