Eugenia Stene Park in Historic Nacogdoches
Eugenia Sterne Park is located three blocks east of the Historic Town Center between El Camino
Real (E. Main St.) and Pilar Street. It compliments this intersection of historical sites that includes
the Sterne-Hoya House, the workshop of Nacogdoches architect Diedrich A. Rulfs, and the
Bivouac and Banquet of the New Orleans' Greys.
"The Treaty," the statue at the center of the park, was sculptured by artist Michael Boyett.
It depicts a crucial moment in Texas history when an agreement was reached between
Sam Houston, representative of the Texan forces, and Cherokee Chief Bowles, representing
the Cherokees and 12 tribes, that the Indian nation would remain neutral and not side with
Mexico in Texas' struggle for independence.
The Workshop of Diedrich A. Rulfs, master architect of Nacogdoches, is the first house seen
to the left in this picture. Rulfs, who immigrated to Nacogdoches with his family from the Oldenberg
region of Germany in 1879, brought with him the skills and knowledge of European architectural
styles that he successfully employed in creating the more than 50 still remaining prominent
homes and commercial structures that have contributed to the cultural legacy of the City of
Nacogdoches' claim as being "The Oldest Town in Texas." Rulf's best expression of Victorian
style is the Roland Jones House at 141 North Church Street; of church architecture, the
Christ Episcopal Church at 502 East Starr Avenue; and of magnificent residential construction;
the intricately designed Mediterranean Classical styled Eugene Blount home at 1801 North Street.
The Sterne-Hoya Museum and Library can be seen on Lanana Street just beyond Rulf's
workshop. Adolphus Nicolas Sterne built this home in 1829 for his wife Catherine Rosine Ruoff.
An immigrant from Germany, coming first to New Orleans and then to Nacogdoches, Sterne
became a prominent merchant, civic leader, and strong supporter of the Texas Revolution.
He assisted in the Battle of Nacogdoches and personally recruited and financed two companies
military, and social meeting place during this period. Sam Houston, Texas Revolutionary
Commander and first President of Texas; Thomas J. Rusk, General of the Texas Army; and
Davy Crockett, hero of the Alamo; were guests in Sterne's home. Cherokee Indian Chief Bowles
negotiated a treaty in this house promising that the Indian tribes would remain neutral in Texas'
struggle against Mexico.
The Bivouac and Banquet of the New Orleans' Greys,located on Pilar Street south
of Eugenia Sterne Park, is identified by a Texas State Historical Marker. The New Orleans' Greys
were a company of volunteers recruited by Adolphus Sterne in October of 1835 to fight
in the cause of the Texas Revolution. One company of Greys, under the command of
Captain Thomas Breece, came overland to Texas through St. Augustine where they were
greeted and presented with a blue silk banner having the words, "First Company of Texan
Volunteers from New Orleans." Arriving in Nacogdoches, they were honored with speeches
and a banquet of roasted bear and champagne and given supplies and horses by the citizens
of Nacogdoches before proceeding to San Antonio. Most of the Greys died in the battles of
Goliad and the Alamo, but at least seven were present at San Jacinto, thus distinguishing the
New Orleans' Greys as one of the "few volunteer units to be able to claim Bexar, the Alamo,
San Patricio, Refugio, Coleto, Goliad, and the victory at San Jacinto as battle honors."¹
(Next Picture: Sculpture: The Treaty)