JOHN W. STORMONT LECTURE  Finding Tom Cook: The Undertold Story of African American Blacksmiths in TX

  • Date(s): September 21, 2023 - September 21, 2023
Museum of the Coastal Bend building


Finding Tom Cook: The Undertold Story of African American Blacksmiths in Texas, presented by Douglas Boyd

Thursday, Sept. 21, 2023, 5:30 p.m.

This program will look at the 2020–2021 archeological and historical investigations of the Tom Cook Blacksmith Shop (41DN617), an archeological site located in Bolivar, a small town along the Chisholm Trail route in western Denton County. He worked as a blacksmith in Bolivar from the 1870s until his death in 1898. Thomas Cook, Sr. was an African American Freedman who was not only a successful blacksmith, but also a minister, a freemason, and a respected member of the Bolivar community. The analysis of the site is ongoing as researchers work to learn more about black entrepreneurs like Tom Cook and gain a better understanding of the role of African-American blacksmiths in rural Texas.
Douglas K. Boyd is senior archeologist at Stantec, Inc., in Austin, Texas, where he works on special projects such as cemetery work and major data recoveries. Born and raised in the Panhandle, Boyd has a BA from West Texas State University and an MA from Texas A&M University. He has been doing archeology, mostly in Texas, for over 45 years. For most of that time, he has served as a project archeologist, project manager, or principal investigator on hundreds of cultural resources management projects. He has published a wide range of CRM reports, academic book and journal articles, popular magazine articles and a book, and a variety of public outreach products such as posters, brochures, and internet exhibits. 

Admission to this event is free and open to the public.