The Alamo Roadshow Previews the Alamo’s Future in Ten Cities

Alamo Curator Dr. Bruce Winders examines Jeri Lilly’s picture of Cynthia Jane Baker Tumlinson.

During April, Alamo Trust, Inc. and the Texas General Land Office (GLO) collaborated on the Alamo Roadshow, a statewide tour to inform communities throughout Texas about the ongoing preservation work happening at the state’s most well-known historic site.

The Alamo Roadshow visited ten cities between April 9 and May 1, spanning from El Paso to Rockwall before ending in Laredo. Guests were encouraged to share their own family stories, documents and artifacts related to Texas history and the Texas Revolution. Stations were set up at each event for attendees to ask questions about the Alamo Master Plan and to go hands-on with artifacts from the GLO’s archives.

“You are here because, like us, you care about the Alamo,” Bryan Preston, Director of Communications at the Texas General Land Office, said to the crowd at the McAllen Convention Center. “You could be anywhere else tonight, but you are here because you care about the shrine of Texas liberty.”

Throughout the tour, the Alamo team met descendants of Alamo defenders such as William Wells, Juan Seguin, and James Butler Bonham. Attendees had the opportunity to discuss their own Texas history artifacts with Alamo Curator Dr. Bruce Winders. Some of the treasures attendees brought with them included land grants, bills of sale, letters and other documents from the Republic of Texas.

The Alamo’s Associate Curator, Ernesto Rodriguez (left), examines a rare 1970’s book owned by Vernon Weckbacher. The book contains rare information about the Santa Fe Expedition.

Each event began with a digital comparison of the 1836 Alamo battlefield and Alamo Plaza today, presented by Bryan Preston, the Communications Director at the Texas General Land Office. This digital demonstration illustrated the importance of recapturing the footprint of the 1836 battlefield so that reverence and honor can be paid to the defenders who gave their lives on March 6, 1836.

In addition to recapturing the 1836 footprint of the Alamo, another goal of the Alamo Master Plan is to build the museum that the Alamo deserves.

“We are in the process of trying to bring a world-class museum to the Alamo,” Ernesto Rodriguez, the Associate Curator at the Alamo, told the audience at Laredo Community College. “As a museum-person and as a historian, it is important that we provide a place for future generations to learn about the vast history of the Alamo,” Ernesto added.

John Kasmen, Vice President of PGAV Destinations, answering a question about the Alamo’s future

One example of the Alamo descendants that attended the roadshow was Mary Wells-Anderson, a descendant of Alamo defender William Wells. She told us that her family still lives on land that was given to her family through a Republic of Texas land grant given in honor of William’s service.

“As we begin to make plans for future exhibits, programming and a museum to house the Alamo’s collection,” Alamo Trust, Inc. CEO Doug McDonald said. “The stories shared at the roadshow could help shape the way we think about historical interpretation at the Alamo in the future. These stories are part of the Alamo’s story and we would like to thank the public for sharing them with us. Most of all, we would like to thank you for remembering the Alamo.”