The Alamo Society Gets An Inside Look Into Long Barrack Preservation

August 26, 2019
Archaeologist showing an excavation unit to three other people
Pictured left to right: Alamo Archaeologist Kristi Nichols, Alamo Society President Brian Gibson, Alamo Society member Jack Edmondson, Alamo Conservator Pam Rosser.

Recently, Alamo Archaeologist Kristi Nichols gave President of the Alamo Society, Brian Gibson, a tour of the ongoing archaeological investigations happening in the Long Barrack. Jack Edmondson, a member of the Alamo Society and author of Alamo Story: From Early History to Current Conflicts, accompanied Mr. Gibson for this inside look into the history beneath the oldest building in Texas.

Both Gibson and Edmondson were impressed by how meticulous, and detailed the investigation process is.

“They’re taking their time to make sure its done right, they’re marking everything so that everything can be put back into place,” Brian Gibson said. “Respect is being given to the grounds.”

Inside of an excavation unit

Founded in 1986 by Bill Chemerka, the Alamo Society was created to honor, and explore the historical legacy of those who fought and died at the Battle of the Alamo. Since then, the Alamo Society has become an international organization with a diverse membership that includes researchers, archaeologists, historians, enthusiasts and descendants of the Alamo defenders.

Jack Edmondson, a retired history teacher who published Alamo Story: From Early History to Current Conflicts in 2000, has taught countless children about the Battle of the Alamo.

“I’ve done a lot of programs for kids, and when you describe the fall of the Alamo they take you very literally,” Edmondson said. “They think the Alamo fell down. Of course, what we’re trying to do here is to keep that from happening.”

Alamo Archaeologist Kristi Nichols and Alamo Conservator Pam Rosser took them on a tour through the Long Barrack and Church, discussing the ongoing investigations, artifacts found, potential meanings of discoveries, and more. Both Gibson and Edmondson said the thing that stood out most to them was how far down the foundation of the Long Barrack went and the numerous layers that have been added to it over time.

“The Alamo as it stands now provides clues as to what it looked like at different times in its existence, ” Edmondson remarked. “But we really only have clues as to what it was like during the mission time and of course during the revolution and Battle of the Alamo. It has evolved and it is still evolving, we just want it to keep evolving in a positive manner.”