Author Andrew Hall Will Present Program On Historic Mary Conley Steamboat

LIBERTY, January 9, 2015 - The Liberty County Historical Commission will meet at 6:00 p.m., Monday, January 19th in the A. J. “Jack” Hartel County Community Center, 318 San Jacinto Street, Liberty, Texas.  The meeting is open to the public and citizens are encouraged  to attend. There will be an election of a new slate of officers serving the 2015-2016 term along with a review of work that has been accomplished the last two years and a plan of projects going forward in historic preservation throughout the county.  Many new commission members were recently appointed and approved by Commissioners Court including business and civic leaders from all areas of the county. 

After the business meeting, attendees will enjoy a special program, “Mary Conley: Rediscovering Liberty County’s Steamboatin’ Past,” presented by Galveston author, Andrew W. Hall. 

The Mary Conley was a sidewheel steamer with four topside decks and two prominent smokestacks, was of Mississippi River steamboat size, and made numerous trips between Galveston, Anahuac, and the various small landings scattered along one hundred miles up the Trinity.  After many years of service, she sank in 1872 at what is known as Mary Conley Bend about 25 miles above Liberty.  Many of the timbers and other artifacts of the Mary Conley have been recovered, some of which are housed at the Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center in Liberty. 

Andy Hall holds a bachelor’s degree in Historical Studies from the University of Houston – Clear Lake, and a master’s degree in Museum Science from Texas Tech University.  Since 1990, Hall has volunteered with the office of the State Marine Archaeologist at the Texas Historical Commission to help document historic shipwrecks in Texas waters.  Hall has worked on numerous marine archaeology projects in Texas, notably from 1995 to 2004 on the Denbigh Project, the most extensive excavation and research program on a Civil War blockade runner in the Gulf of Mexico.  In 2001, Hall was part of the inaugural group of volunteer marine archaeological stewards appointed by the Texas Historical Commission, the first group of its kind in the nation.  Hall writes and speaks frequently on the subjects of Texas’ maritime history and its military conflicts in the 19th century.  In 2012, Hall published his first book, The Galveston-Houston Packet: Steamboats on the Buffalo Bayou.  His second book titled, Civil War Blockade Running on the Texas Coast, was released in 2014.  Hall was recently appointed an Honorary Texas Navy Admiral in recognition of his work in brining Texas’ maritime history to a wider audience.

For more information about this meeting or the work of the Liberty County Historical Commission, please contact County Chair, Linda Jamison at or call 936.334.5813. 

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