Mason County News
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First Mason County Historical Plaque Presented
Wednesday, November 17, 2010 • Posted November 17, 2010

On November 10th, the Mason County Historical Commission presented its first County Historical Plaque to Thomas Starks for his family’s homestead, das alte Haus (The Old House). The house was built in 1910 by Tommy’s grandmother, Mrs. Laura Sparks, and was his birthplace. Laura was widowed early and supported her family of ten children by running the local freight line, which went from Mason to Llano. She employed local craftsmen to construct the house on her property. The tin-roofed building was enlarged in 1914 to include a cellar and wrap-around porch. Located on a century old working ranch and farm, the house was completely renovated in 1990 by Tommy and his wife Alice.

The house is also a registered "Texas Century Farm" by the Texas Land Heritage Program, certifying that it has been maintained in continuing operation for more than 100 years.

Because the Texas Historical Commission’s historical markers are now a minimum of $1500, the Mason County Historical Commission has been working on the county’s own historic marker program which is now in place and Mr. Stark is the first to receive this award. The minimum cost of the county marker is $325, depending upon size and amount of text desired, paid by the applicant.

If you are interested in applying for a Mason County Historic Marker for a house, commercial building, church, school, or site which you feel has historic significance to Mason County, you may pick up an application from Jane Hoerster at the Mason County Historical Commission’s office in the Mason County Library or email Jane at or Jan Appleby at

There are many locations in Mason County that have historic significance to the community. Such significance is due to various factors including the age, architecture, interest to the community and/or importance of the original owner to the development of the county and the city of Mason. Sites that qualify can be affixed with a county marker that will identify sites as important to the history of Mason County and/or the city of Mason.

Civic pride and community involvement are, to a large extent, dependent on a sense of history. This program is intended to help identify and mark historic sites in Mason County, hopefully encouraging maintenance and preservation of these sites for the benefit of both local residents and visitors.

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