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About CHPT 2018-10-11T13:06:15+00:00

Our Mission

The mission of the Columbus Historical Preservation Trust is to maintain, preserve, and present historic sites in Columbus, Texas, for the appreciation and education of the public; stimulate interest and enhanced understanding for the heritage of Columbus, Texas; present cultural events that further the purpose of the organization; encourage tourism in the Columbus, Texas area; and promote volunteerism that furthers the purpose of CHPT.

History of CHPT

In 1961, 10 visionary individuals met with the idea of preserving the unique culture, tradition, and heritage of Columbus. Out of this small beginning grew the Magnolia Homes Tour, Inc., a nonprofit organization supported by donations from the citizens of Columbus as well as individuals who had an interest in preserving Texas’ history and historical landmarks.

The Magnolia Homes Tour’s primary fundraising event was a spring festival held on the third weekend in May, when the magnolia trees around the Courthouse Square were in full bloom. The event grew and attracted thousands of visitors from across the state. The Homes Tour worked hand in hand with the Live Oak Art Center to showcase local artists’ works on the Square for guests to view and purchase. Guests could also enjoy food, live entertainment, an antiques show, and of course, visiting the historic homes and properties around Columbus.

In 1970 Magnolia Homes Tour, Inc. purchased the Stafford Opera House, which at the time was the local Ford dealership. The group felt it was important to renovate the Opera House to bring it back to its original purpose of being a usable space for community events and celebrations. It was a lengthy and very costly undertaking. The organization received grants and funding from many community supporters over the renovation period but due to the overall cost of the project, the upstairs portion of the Opera House was not reopened to the public until 1990.

In August of 1999, the Magnolia Homes Tour, Inc. became the Columbus Historical Preservation Trust, Inc.  CHPT handed responsibility of the spring festival over to the Columbus Chamber of Commerce so it could concentrate its focus on the renovations and upkeep of the historical properties it owned. CHPT also spends a great deal of time sharing the history of Columbus with guests when they visit town.

Aside from preserving the town’s history and historical importance in the state of Texas, CHPT is dedicated to creating a stronger community by hosting fun events and unique learning opportunities. We hope to build a stronger tomorrow by remembering the significance of our yesterdays.

CHPT Board of Directors

ESTER CHANDLER
ESTER CHANDLERPresident
DORIS KLAUS
DORIS KLAUSSecretary
CAROLINE JOHANNES
CAROLINE JOHANNESFirst Vice President
CHARLOTTE TILOTTA
CHARLOTTE TILOTTATreasurer
MARILYN WADE
MARILYN WADESecond Vice President
LAURA ANN RAU
LAURA ANN RAUExecutive Director

Members at Large

PAT BARTELS
PAT BARTELS
AMY HARTIGAN
AMY HARTIGAN
JOHN STORY
JOHN STORY
ANN BUTLER
ANN BUTLER
CHARMAINE KATZ
CHARMAINE KATZ
SHANE THERIOT
SHANE THERIOT
LORI CLOAT
LORI CLOAT
JULIE PRAUSE
JULIE PRAUSE
DOREEN VAIL
DOREEN VAIL