| Developed as a community of former slaves following the Civil War, Birdston Valley takes its name from the nearby settlement of Birdston (2 miles south). Located on Richland Creek bottom lands, residents of the community were primarily farmers. The Birdston Valley Cemetery may have been used as early as 1855, as evidenced by the grave of Willis Kelly (1850-1855), though the marker was probably placed at a later date. A few marked burials date to the 1870s. Many of the community's early settlers are buried here, though some are interred in a nearby slave cemetery. Religious services may have been held in the area as early as 1876. The Goodwill Baptist Church was organized sometime between 1876 and 1883. The first pastor was Isom J. Collins. The first church building was damaged beyond repair in a 1939 windstorm, and was replaced by a second structure. The Birdston Valley Masonic Lodge was organized on August 22, 1907, and met temporarily in a gin owned by Isom J. Collins. A two-story lodge was built, which also served as a schoolhouse for children of the community. The building was destroyed in a 1982 fire and replaced with a one-story structure. Texas Sesquicentennial 1836-1986 |
This page last updated: 7/15/2008
Birdston Valley Historical Marker Location Map, Texas
Related Themes: Texas Baptist Churches, Texas C.S.A., Texas Confederate States of America, Confederacy, Texas Freemasons, Masonic Lodges, Freemasonry
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