By Sarah Mansfield, ACHP Extern
Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
The ACHP celebrates African American History month this February with the recognition of countless historical figures, moments, and places that created the America we see today. One such place sits about 30 miles north of Houston, TX in Montgomery County. Tamina, an unincorporated community near the town of Conroe, is rich in history and community values alike.
After the Civil War, many freed slaves moved toward the Tamina area to take up jobs in the logging and lumber industry, as well as help build the area’s railroad. Since being settled, Tamina has stayed a small, close-knit community that ensures the well-being of every family. Historically, it has had one post office, one school, several churches, and just a handful of businesses. In 1998, the Tamina Community Center was created, giving the people of Tamina an official place to meet to discuss pressing issues, local news, and community forums.
I first discovered Tamina a few years back when visiting my brother. Tamina is located next to the railroad tracks, with small dwellings and churches nestled between heavy patches of woodlands. Despite the strong history and cultural heritage, Tamina receives little recognition, protection, or help from surrounding towns. Many families still utilize old or rusted septic tanks, split rations of water amongst the entire community, and have no central sewage lines. While driving through Tamina, I was shocked at the lack of signs to note the community’s history, though delighted to find small delis and childcare centers that open before the sun rises.
In the last few years, the towns surrounding Tamina have experienced intense infrastructure developments. The people of Tamina still live without public sewerage, and receive little to no help or support from surrounding communities in terms of development. You can find information on volunteering in or donating to Tamina at https://taminatexas.org/index.php/get-involved/.