Anita Perry dedicates San Augustine in Main St. program

SAN AUGUSTINE, TX (KTRE) - (San Augustine, TX) There are only 84 Texas cities holding the prestigious title of 'Texas Main Street'. San Augustine, the Cradle of Texas, is now on that list.

The small town comes out to meet its state's First Lady. What better place to gather than on Main Street.

"Hi everybody," waved Perry to a crowd of San Augustine school children.

Perry chooses the Texas Historic Commission Main Street program dedications as her pet project.

"It takes a commitment, it takes a community, it takes involvement. This doesn't get done by itself. It's a process," explained Perry.

Perry was on the road today visiting several Main Streets. In addition to San Augustine in East Texas, she had stops in Childress in the Panhandle and Cuero in south Texas.

San Augustine is the smallest Texas town in the Main Street program.

Size doesn't matter to the town mayor Leroy Hughes.

"We can do things that's in accordance to the things that we want, just like large cities can," said Hughes.

Often small size comes with its benefits explained County Judge Samye Johnson.

"Because San Augustine is such a low populous community we'll be county wide taking these same principals they're bringing to us and support," said Johnson.

San Augustine has had a wonderful taste of the benefits of historic preservation with its recent renovation of the county courthouse. Now the city hopes to expand it to all of main street and downtown area.

The Texas Historical Commission is already conducting surveys. Unique architecture badly in need of restoration, cracking sidewalks and other needs are noted.

"Businesses are A-1, number one important," said Main Street director Tracy Cox.

"They will be here to support us to make changes in the buildings."

Business owners are already applying for grants to attract the recognition they believe their town deserves.

"We've got more business than we can initiate. We just need a little help growing," said Jodi Johnson, owner of Pinto Pony Cookie Factory, located in the Main Street district.

The only requirement is to know what to hold onto.

"You've got the beauty of the past, the commitment of the present and the promise of the future," reminded Perry.

The woman who grew up in a small town herself than unveiled an architect rendering of what San Augustine can preserve and build. It illustrates small towns have a lot to look forward to through the Main Street Program.

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