— By BRIAN SMITH
Three years in the making, but well worth the wait.
City and county officials came out Friday afternoon for the unveiling of a Texas historical marker at Chandor Gardens. Weatherford City Manager Jerry Blaisdell said the marker is just one of the things that makes the city great.
“It signifies the best part and why people come here, for our historical heritage,” Blaisdell said. “The marker honors this historic property and is what makes Weatherford unique in so many ways.”
The marker is placed at the entrance of the facility and is a fitting tribute to the Chandor family, according to Chandor Gardens Manager Karen Nantz. The garden is reportedly one of four peace gardens in the world.
Bill Warren with the Parker County Heritage Society, who wrote the application to have the marker granted, said the process involved several months of research before being submitted to the county level for review and editing application and then on to the Texas Historical Commission. Warren said the application for the marker was approved in Feburary 2011, but making the markers and inscribing them took the most time.
“We actually received the markers (in December) but with everything going on with the holidays, we decided to wait before having the ceremony,” Warren said.
Warren praised Weatherford officials for helping with the nomination process. Former mayor Joe Tison told a crowd of about 50 people he was asked by resident Jamie Bodiford-Brinkley to buy the property back in 2001 but contended the city didn’t have the money.
“I had never been out there and I saw the place and I knew we had to buy it,” Tison said. “It’s a wonderful way to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life and enjoy some peace and quiet.”
Tison said the city did not buy the property for now but for generations to come. He said the city parks and recreation department have done a tremendous job of keeping the facility up over the years.
Harold Lawrence, president of the Parker County Historical Commission, said he was proud the application was approved after some editing of what would go on the marker and said there are other markers being considered for county areas, including parts of the Bankhead Highway and the Mount Pleasant Colored School.