Historical Marker Dedication set for Sunday in Cleveland

CLEVELAND, March 20, 2012 - The Liberty County Historical Commission will join local preservationist Larry B. Litton Sr. this Sunday afternoon in dedicating a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark marker for the Hill and Sara McClanahan House. The ceremony begins at 2:30 p.m.

The house, located at 401 Austin Street, was constructed in 1923 by McClanahan.

The home is a two bedroom bungalow with a high pitch roof, tongue and grooved siding and a large front porch with four unique posts. Each post features cypress tree trunks as the top half and brick as the bottom half. It is noteworthy that the original posts have been preserved.

Hill McClanahan and his wife Sara were the parents of three children, Vivian, Virginia and Hugh Douglas. All three of the children were born in the front bedroom of the house according to surviving daughters, Vivian and Virginia. They shared with me the fond memories they have of the home. Vivian resides in Richards, Texas, Virginia lives in Cleveland, Texas and Hugh Douglas is deceased. Hill and Sara McClanahan conveyed the property to W.H. Southward on February 7, 1940. The house changed hands several times, but Litton acquried the home during the past few years and had it restored to its orginal appearance.

McClanahan was born in Old Waverly, Texas in 1900 and died in 1968. He was a prominent Cleveland resident and businessman, owning and operating Hill McClanahan’s, a general store on Houston Street in the downtown area of the city. Longtime residents remember the store and its significance to the community. At the store, a family could purchase all the necessities including canned goods, fresh fruit and vegetables, sacks of grain, sugar and flour and there was even fresh cut meat with a butcher on duty. Candy and ice cream cones were available for the kids.

Litton previously purchased and restored the Tom Hill House at 211 S. Bonham in Cleveland. A Recorded Texas Historic Landmark [RTHL] marker was dedicated last year for that house.

Another RTHL marker will be dedicated in Liberty the following Sunday, April 1 at 3 p.m. for the Henry O. and Bridgett Ager Home at 537 Fannin. That home is owned by Martha Ager Goodwin and her husband Paul. They restored the house in 2004.

The RTHL designation is the highest honor that the Texas Historical Commission can bestow upon a historic structure.

 

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