Historians and educators are wrestling with the challenge of preserving a collection of historical buildings – including a hunting lodge used by Sam Houston – in a secluded area of Montgomery County. Fernland, the 40-acre parcel of land donated to Sam Houston State University in 2002, is important to scholars and state historians because it features five historical buildings dating back to the 1820s.
“It’s a secluded site without modern conveniences like water, power and sewer,” said Dr. Patrick Nolan, director of the Sam Houston Museum in Huntsville. “Making it available to the public is a challenge.”
While the site is available for tour with prior arrangement, SHSU officials are reluctant to encourage tourism, citing security issues and a lack of modern conveniences. The rustic site has been used by filmmakers as a set for western movies, but Nolan noted future cinematic adventures may not be likely.
“There’s a lot of history there and it’s almost entirely made of wood,” he said. “An accidental fire or other mishap would be disastrous.”
University representatives and area historical groups are in discussions regarding a possible way for the grounds to be made more accessible to the public. While officials are concerned about releasing information about Fernland’s location, they are eager to inform the public about the site.
Buildings of Sam Houston State University documents the changes of the SHSU campus in Huntsville, Texas from its inception in 1879 through tomorrow. The Brick and Mortarboard presents news and commentary about the buildings, the people, and the history of SHSU. Stay informed and impress your friends.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
There was some information about the historical structures located at Montgomery County's Fernland property in the Dec. 2, 2008 edition of the Conroe Courier: