Historic preservation and environmental conservation are important initiatives for the Collins Academy team and community leaders.
Union Missionary Baptist Church
The Union Missionary Baptist Church has been a historic center of worship for black residents in Jefferson, Texas since 1842, when it’s doors opened to all people of color. Thanks to the interest and support of the local community, and their partnership with the Collins Academy team, the church site is facing a restored life.
Captain William Perry gave the Houston Street property to local slaves in 1842, shortly after his arrival at the location that would become the bustling port of Jefferson, Texas.
The first structure was erected on the site in 1847 and was built using native cypress lumber for a non-denominational congregation and represents one of the earliest black churches in Texas. A formal congregation, the Union Missionary Baptist Church, was established at the location in 1868 by Reverend Duncan. Apparently, this first structure was burned sometime around October – November, 1868 as part of the local backlash from the punitive reconstruction policies and socio-economic upheaval caused by the federal government at the close of the American Civil War.
Its importance lies in the fact that the church was the epicenter of black religious, Loyal League, Radical Republican, and Freedmens Bureau activities in Marion County during reconstruction and was a literal as well as symbolic site of white, disenfranchised retribution and black suffering. Its life chronicles the deep and often violent racial divide in East Texas after the Civil War and demonstrates how religion and perseverance can underpin culture.
House of the Seasons
The House of the Seasons is a fully restored, historic home in Jefferson, Texas. The house, originally built in 1872, has received a historic designation and is decorated to reflect the interior design fashion of the 1870s, including some of the original furniture. The House of the Seasons is owned by the Calvert K. Collins Family Foundation.
409 South Alley Street
Jefferson, Texas 75657
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Confederate Powder Magazine – Jefferson Ordnance Works
Constructed in 1863 to temporarily store black powder manufactured at the Marshall Powder Mill, this structure is in eminent danger of collapse due to erosion of the soil bank at its location on Big Cypress Bayou below Jefferson, Texas. This feature was an important supply asset of the Trans-Mississippi Division of the Confederate States of America during the Civil War. This is Jefferson’s only remaining, visible artifact from this important period of Texas history.