Saturday, December 2, 2023

Celebrate Black History Month at the Bob Jones Nature Center and Preserve

February is Black History Month. It’s a time to recognize and celebrate the achievements of African Americans in local communities and throughout the U.S.

If you are looking for a way to celebrate Black History Month this year, then look no further than the Bob Jones Nature Center and Preserve. The Southlake Historical Society’s Bob & Almeady Chisum Jones: A True Story of Resilience, Courage & Success exhibit is displayed in the nature center lobby. Discover Bob Jones, his family, and their impact on Southlake.

The exhibit does a fabulous job of detailing the life and achievements of the man whose name is on Southlake’s largest park, a road, and the city’s nature center and preserve. Learn more about the Jones family and the legacy they left in Southlake through this exhibit which recently won the American Association for State and Local History’s Award of Excellence.

If you don’t have time to make it to the Nature Center this month, fret not! You can experience this exhibit virtually on the Southlake Historical Society’s website.

We hope to see you at the Nature Center!

Southlake Honors Bob Jones

February is Black History Month! Join us at the Bob Jones Nature Center and Preserve on Saturday, February 15 from 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. to honor the legendary Bob Jones. Guest speakers will discuss his legacy and ties to the Southlake community.

Jones was a former slave, husband and father who became a prosperous landowner and rancher in the Roanoke-Southlake area.

He and his brother purchased 60 acres of land now known as Roanoke from their father in the early 1860s. He later relocated to Denton Creek where he started a cattle and farming operation.

Between the late 1860s and early 1870s, Jones was one of the largest landowners in the area, owning over 1,000-2,000 acres on the Tarrant-Denton County line. Some of that land is located under Lake Grapevine.

By 1875, Jones married Almeady Chisum and they had 10 children together.  Due to ‘Jim Crow’ laws, his children could not attend schools with white children.

In the 1920s, Tarrant County created districts for “colored” schools. Jones donated an acre of his own land and built Walnut Grove School.  The school later closed around 1951 because the seven students enrolled eventually had to attend junior and senior high schools, which were located in Fort Worth.

Jones was held in high esteem by both whites and blacks throughout the area. His legacy will always be remembered throughout Southlake and Tarrant County.

The Legacy of Bob Jones event is FREE, but registration is required, please register online here.