TOMFRA is a statewide organization of historians and early architecture enthusiasts joined in our interest in preserving the mission and fort heritage of Texas. Our purpose is to encourage continued study of our missions and forts as well as to support the restoration of sites significant to our Texas frontier heritage. TOMFRA's emphasis on appropriating funds for education and preservation projects extends to our support of other organizations, agencies and individuals with similar aims.
TOMFRA members recall highlights from our spring trips:
An organization for busy people, TOMFRA holds just two events a year. In January, we gather in Dallas for our Winter Meeting with a noted speaker and sometimes a tour.
Usually in April, our annual Spring Conference takes us to Texas forts, missions and other historic sites. Uniquely, we gain access to privately owned sites and are guided by expert archaeologists and historians. Frequently we enjoy reenactments by militia, local enthusiasts. This is why so many of us join TOMFRA.
Recent Spring Conferences have taken place in Nacogdoches, Fredericksburg, Brazoria, Lubbock, Gonzales, El Paso, San Angelo, Laredo, Albany, San Antonio and Goliad. When TOMFRA went to El Paso, we saw the reenactment of April 30, 1598, when Don Juan de Onate and this followers crossed the Rio Grande at San Elizario, settling the province of New Mexico. We have been welcomed onto private ranches near Mason, Fort Davis, and Lambshead, near Albany. In Laredo, we visited the ranch home where Houston oilmen entertained Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie on hunting trips. In 2010, we were privileged to see Stephen F. Austin's huge canopied bed and tiny office on the plantation once owned by his sister in Brazoria County. In Floydada, near Lubbock, we stood where Coronado's soldiers had eaten around a campfire, tossing their bones over their shoulders, saw a mesh gauntlet, and learned from archaeologist Donald Blakeslee how he identified the canyon campsite that is now on private land. On our Victoria trip, we toured the archaeologists' laboratory and saw the cannons salvaged from La Salle's shipwreck with that day's smaller "finds."
"We would like to ask everyone to please check the 2020 Membership Booklet and let us know of any contact information corrections. Please e-mail updated information to Elizabeth Small (firstname.lastname@example.org) and/or Pat Coggan (email@example.com).