From the Van Zandt County Historical Commission
The Old Dallas–Shreveport Road Preservation Association will host the dedication and unveiling of an official Texas Historical Marker recognizing the historical significance of the community of Providence, an early pioneer settlement in far north eastern Van Zandt County.
The ceremony will take place Saturday, September 21 at 10:00 a.m. at the Providence Store at the intersection of Farm Road 857 and Van Zandt County Road 1525 southeast of Grand Saline. Guest speakers will include 294th Judicial District Judge Teresa Drum, Van Zandt County Judge Rhita Koches and other special guests. The public is invited and encouraged to attend.
The Providence Community, comprised mostly of small family farms, was colonized in 1845 by land grants to hardworking immigrants from the southern states of Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee. The early settlers staked their claims, worked the land, built their homes, raised their families and earned the right to patent the land in their own names. By 1888, Providence had a post office, school, cotton gin, mercantile, a grange, a Woodman of the World hall, a church and a population of about 1,500. Through the years, theses pioneers played an important part in shaping Van Zandt County. Today the small community is still populated by descendants of the early settlers with the names of Rucker, Crone, Petrea, Darnell, Bruner, Neal, Wilson, Mason, Rhodes, and Cameron.
Research and documentation for the application for the state marker was provided by the Old Dallas-Shreveport Road Preservation Association and submitted to the Van Zandt County Historical Commission for submission to the Texas Historical Commission. The association strives to place markers along the Old Dallas-Shreveport Road to identify and preserve the history of significant locations, events, and people that have added to the rich history of Van Zandt County.
Groups or individuals interested in preserving local history should contact the Van Zandt County Historical Commission to learn more about submitting an application for an official Texas Historical Marker. Contact Elvis Allen, Marker Chairman for the county commission, at 903-962-7103 or County Chairman Tim West at 903-849-0205.