By Carla Bass
The 8th Annual Crystal Globe Awards were presented at the Excelsior House Hotel Ballroom on Oct. 20th. They were hosted by the Marion County Historical Commission.
Michel Whitington welcomed the honorees and guests to the awards giving a brief background for the awards.
The first presenter was Sammie DeSpain for the Lucille Terry Award for Preservation. The recipients of this award were Chris and Lorraine Garret. After a previous renovation in the 90’s of what then became known as Diamond Bessie’s Saloon and Dance Hall, Chris moved from Jefferson to Marshall after selling the Saloon. He then purchased and restored two homes there. Moving back in 2006, Chris purchased a property on the west side of town that in another lifetime was called Paradise Plantation. After meeting and marrying while Chris worked in Afghanistan, Lorraine sold some of her property in London. They then returned to Jefferson and fully restored the Greek Revival homestead, situated in a community which was once called Paradise. It was an “upscale” community on the outskirts of Jefferson that was the home of many of the wealthier residents of Jefferson and well away from the riff-raff that inhabited the wharf area in town.
Whitington presented the next award to John Taylor. This award is the Katherine Ramsey Wise Award for History. Since John’s retirement from City Drug, he has co-written several books on the history of Jefferson. He also writes a regular series of articles for the Jeffersonian newspaper entitled, “Growing up Jefferson”, documenting his life growing up here in Jefferson.
John currently serves as President of the Board of Directors for the Jefferson Historical Society and Museum.
The third recipients were honored with the Marsha Thomas Award for Contributing to the Arts and Tourism. Ida Robinson presented this crystal globe to Don and Francene Rainey. Since April of 2002, the Rainey’s have contributed greatly to the promotion of tourism in Jefferson, starting with the railroad he purchased, developing the acreage along with it into an RV park, a venue for motor cross races on vintage motorcycles, hosted motorcycle shows, Civil War Reenactments, and now has a pavilion for special events such as the recent Texas International Country Music Awards. They have preserved the historical elements which are located on the property and have even established a 501(c)3 non-profit for protection of the wetlands located on the property and the preservation of the wildlife, plants and animals that call it home.
The last award…
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