Arlington Well-Represented at the Tarrant County Historical Commission Summit
By Arlington Historical Society
Posted on December 29, 2023, December 29, 2023

Jacob Browning, Kristina Rumans, Jason Sullivan, and Geraldine Mills at the 19th annual Tarrant County Historical Commission Summit, held on Oct. 18, 2023.

Three Arlington preservationists received awards at the Tarrant County Historical Commission Summit on Oct. 18 in Fort Worth. The three also received recognition at the Arlington Historical Society's October board meeting and the Nov. 28 Arlington City Council meeting.

Geraldine Mills received the Susie Pritchett Lifetime Achievement Award in Preservation, which recognizes an individual who has devoted their life to promoting the preservation and contributing to the heritage of Tarrant County. Mills was born in Fort Worth and developed an early interest in her family's history. She attended Arlington High School and studied geology at Arlington State College—now known as The University of Texas at Arlington. In 1996, Mills began volunteering with the Arlington Historical Society. She became their president and, later, their executive director, a role she has had for over 20 years and still holds today. Under Mill's leadership, the Arlington Historical Society maintains the Fielder Museum, Knapp Heritage Park, and the Arlington Heritage Memorial Grounds. In April 2022, the museum grounds were renamed Fielder Museum at Geraldine Mills Heritage Place, honoring Mill's long-time volunteer service and preservation efforts. In addition, she has served as an Arlington Landmark Preservation Commissioner for six years and as President of the Arlington Garden Club.

Kristina Rumans received the Tom Vandergriff Award, which recognizes an individual for long-term exemplary public/community service contributing to the history of Tarrant County. Rumans was born in Fort Worth and raised in a neighborhood of historic homes, where she developed an early interest in the history of buildings and architecture. She served on the Arlington Preservation Foundation Board for many years, which was Arlington's first historic marker program. Today, Rumans is active in many organizations, including the Arlington Heritage Memorial Grounds Corporation and the Lucretia Council Cochran Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. She has also served as an Arlington Landmark Preservation Commissioner for more than a decade and has been the long-time chairwoman of the group. Over the last 40 years, Rumans has written numerous applications for local landmarks, historic districts, National Register properties, and Texas Historical Markers in Arlington. In addition, she has contributed to, served as a consultant for, and led many other preservation efforts throughout the city, including ones for historic cemeteries.

Jason Sullivan received the Debbie Reynolds-Hazen Award, which recognizes an individual younger than 50 years of age who has shown leadership in collecting and preserving the history of Tarrant County. Sullivan was born in Arlington and recalls that his parents often took him to antique malls when he was young. These adventures instilled an interest in the past and preservation. His interest in local history began a few years ago when he discovered a captivating Texas Historical Marker in Fort Worth. Sullivan joined the Arlington Historical Society in 2020 and contributed a few articles to their newsletter. He became the newsletter's editor and primary contributor in 2022. Today, besides his newsletter duties, he serves as an AHS Board Member and manages the Fielder Museum Facebook page. Sullivan enjoys blogging about local history on his blog and was the editor for the fourth edition of Caddos, Cotton and Cowboys: Essays on Arlington by O.K. Carter. He served as an Arlington Landmark Preservation Commissioner for three years.

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