Jerry Lloyd Moore greeted the New Year with praise from neighbors and friends during a well-attended private party Epiphany evening on Belvin Street in San Marcos.
Moore, feted as a patriarch of the local historic movement, reigned as king of the inaugural 12th Night Masque and King Cake Party on Jan. 6. His wife, Dr. Nelwyn Moore, served as queen.
Moore, who has lived on Belvin Street since 1964, helped develop the historic district concept in San Marcos. The idea for a local historic district gathered momentum in 1974, fueled by the Bicentennial Commission’s emphasis on local history. Leaders in the movement included Moore, Larry Murphree, George Martindale, local historians Tula Townsend Wyatt and Francis Stovall, among others.
Diana Baker, one of the organizers of the Jan. 6 12th Night Masque and King Cake Party, said Moore was instrumental in the preservation of various historic homes in San Marcos.
“Back in the 70’s, Mr. Moore and others fought the same kind of battles to save neighborhoods we still fight today,” Baker said
In 1974, the San Marcos City Council approved an ordinance establishing the Belvin Street Historic District and the first board of review, the latter of which was a precursor to today’s Historic Preservation Commission. Moore was elected chairman of the board.
Continuing his work as chairman of the Belvin Street Historic District, Moore led the district to win the award of a Texas historical marker, which was dedicated on September 5, 1976. Moore introduced Wyatt as the guest speaker, and she presented an erudite history of the district. Emmie Craddock, the first female mayor of San Marcos and also a Belvin Street resident, accepted the two markers, which were placed at either end of the street.
With the addition of Texas Historical Commission and National Register listings for individual homes supported by the diligent research of historians like Wyatt and Stoval, the three-block area was awarded designation as the Belvin Street National Register District in 1983 as the result of a comprehensive survey of the town sponsored by the Heritage Association of San Marcos, nine years before the National Register recognized the Hays County Courthouse National Historic District.
The Moores’ home at 809 Belvin Street is unique among the houses on the street for solid rock and mortar construction with walls 16 inches thick. The home’s original owner, Dr. Alexander Thomas, chairman of Southwest Texas Normal School (now Texas State University), received many interesting guests, including two visits by the poet Carl Sandburg to review his famous books Smoke and Steel (1920) and Rootabaga Pigeons (1923). After Mrs. Thomas sold her home to the Moores, she gave copies of the books to the couple’s children, Jerry Lloyd, Jr. and Amy Meeks.
Jerry Lloyd Moore served in many other community organizations and was post commander for the American Legion branch in San Marcos.
Among the dozens of guests at the Jan. 6 12th Night Masque and King Cake Party present to wish the Moores a royal 2012 were their two grandchildren, Madeleine and Max.
“It is so much easier getting older when we see others like you coming up behind us,” Nelwyn Moore said, referring to San Marcos’ latest crop of historical preservation-minded residents.
Wayne Kraemer read the following proclamation at the Jan. 6 party:
Greetings and Salutations!
A hearty welcome is extended to all loyal subjects on this most joyous and splendid evening.
The Lord High Chamberlain of His Majesty’s Household and the Captain of this most grand and gracious Krewe takes great pleasure in proclaiming the identity of the King and Queen of the 12th Night Revels to reign over the beloved city of San Marcos during Carnival in the year of our Lord two thousand and twelve.
Be it ordained and designed that to honor his most brilliant attainments in his glorious past and present as an educator, serving as Dean and Administrative vice president of the San Marcos Baptist Academy, and a Distinguished Alum from Texas State University, as a business leader with Southwestern Life Insurance Company, as post commander of the American Legion, a community volunteer with organizations like the Hays County United Way and the American Cancer Society, and constant steward of the historical treasures of the realm of San Marcos, specifically his leadership in the formation of the Belvin Street National Historic District, a landmark event that had never been produced in such a scale in San Marcos, and which preceded the Hays County Courthouse National Historic District by a decade, I hereby proclaim that a member of the Royal Order of Scotland, Mr. Jerry Lloyd Moore, shall reign as King and that his lovely wife Nelwyn, who he met when she was a freshman at Texas State, shall be his Queen.
Huzzah! Huzzah! Huzzah!