What began as a small collection of native animals in the 1950s grew into the Cameron Park Zoo Wacoans know today. Cameron Park Zoo rests on fifty-two acres of land near the Brazos River, and is a popular stop for local families, school groups, and…

With the possible entrance into World War II on the horizon, McLennan County officials and local city leaders lobbied the federal government to build a military installation in the Waco area. By August 14, 1941, officials learned about the…

The Waco Symphony Orchestra is a music organization that brings enrichment to the Central Texas community. The Waco Symphony Orchestra Association, Incorporated, as we know it, began its concerts in 1962. However, an orchestra conducted by Max Reiter…

Rebecca Pines Shelton Sparks, often referred to as Mother Sparks, was a laywoman from Missouri who moved to Texas with her family before the Civil War. Sparks married a Confederate veteran of the Texas Calvary and a Texas Ranger, Thaddeus Pinckney…

For eighty-eight years, the William Cameron House stood as a nineteenth-century architectural treasure near the intersection of Twelfth Street and Austin Avenue. The fine embellishments on the mansion dazzled Waco residents, and helped it to become a…

During the 1890s, the city of Waco was in a period of financial growth, and citizens were in need of a place to be entertained. Waco was home to several theaters and opera houses; however, local businessmen desired a large auditorium that would bring…

Believed to have curative qualities, water from Waco’s artesian wells were popular during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Locals considered the discovery of the artesian water in 1889 one of the most important events in Waco up…

During the early twentieth century, Waco experienced economic growth, large amounts of community engagement and recreation, as well as racial tension and military training. Photographer Fred Gildersleeve, nicknamed “Gildy,” immortalized the…