SAN AUGUSTINE, TX (KTRE) - After years of losing momentum, a historical site in Deep East Texas has been recognized on a state level.
"I think the future holds wonderful promise," said Betty Oglesbee, a San Augustine resident.
The City of San Augustine has been wanting to remodel its historic site, Mission Dolores, for years and now thanks to the Texas Historical Commission take over, that time has come.
"It's been owned by the city for a long tim,e and they've done a wonderful job, but it deserves to be further developed," Oglesbee said.
"They recognize that it is a great property," said Mayor Leroy Hughes, of San Augustine.
Mission Dolores has been around since the early 1700s. The site tells the history of the Native American experience with Texas' earliest European settlers.
"We've got a lot of history in this building, a lot of it," said Wilma Mcmillien, a hostess at Mission Dolores.
"If we didn't have this, there'd be nothing for them to come here for," said Claudia Rentrop, a tour guide at Mission Dolores. "It is a great historical mark. It was the first mission this side of the Neches River."
The historic landmark lost its thunder after years of success.
"When I first started working here we were busy," Mcmillien said. "We had people in all the time, but I guess the economy stopped people from coming in."
Due to a lack of funds, the Vity of San Augustine wasn't able to revamp Mission Dolores. However, city officials said thanks to the Texas Historical Commission they're able to upgrade it, which means more tourist, which ultimately means more revenue.
"I believe it will bring a huge economic boost to the state of Texas and to the East Texas area," Oglesbee said.
"We don't have the necessary funds that the state has," Hughes said. "By the state taking over, they can do a whole lot more, they can keep it open more. They can advertise it more and it brings more people in."
"I think it'll improve the livelihood for everybody in San Augustine," Rentrop said.
Tours for the site are Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Organizers hope after the renovations, they'll be able to open five days a week.