Exterior of TSC Entrance
Meet the Home of Texas Caving            !! Driving directions and address here!!
The Texas Speleological Center (TSC) was purchased from Bill Mixon with major contributions from the Texas Speleological Survey and the Texas Cave Management Association, with additional support from the Association for Mexican Cave Studies (to secure space to house their archives alongside those from Texas). The paperwork was completed in early January, 2018. At that time, this announcement was sent out:

The Texas Speleological Survey (TSS) and the Texas Cave Management Association (TCMA) are pleased to announce the new Texas Speleology Center! This facility will serve as the new joint headquarters for both organizations and will eventually be the new home of the TSS library currently located at the Pickle Research campus. The Texas Speleology Center is located near Driftwood, TX (southwest of Austin) and is in the former residence of Bill Mixon. The TCMA and TSS wish to thank Bill for generously working with us to acquire this property, which will serve the entire Texas caving community.

The Center is located on 5 quiet wooded acres and contains a main building and a large metal barn. The main building contains a library, meeting room, office space, and a cooking area. It also has a full size basement with its own lower entrance and the main level has a large deck. The barn is suitable for storing trailers and equipment or holding talks and events. The Center currently holds the AMCS library, which we anticipate will continue.

The TCMA and TSS wish to thank the many people who helped this purchase come to fruition and we look forward to inviting the Texas caving community to join us at the Center in the upcoming year for many projects and events!

Joe Mitchell
President, Texas Speleological Survey

Gregg Williams
President, Texas Cave Management Association

Over the next two years, many volunteer hours were spent in reconfiguring the upstairs space to make it a meeting room (a non-load-bearing wall was removed), in making repairs to the property which had been deferred since Mixon moved out, in improving security and facility condition (new drywall in places upstairs; new secure doors allowing for easier direct access to the basement as main archive area), wiring, and drywall downstairs, along with reconfiguring the plumbing), and in working at sorting out the parts of Mixon's extensive book collections that had not been donated elsewhere; lots of touchup and painting). Arrangements were made for monitored security, wifi, and usability (e.g. acquiring chairs and installing a screen for projections).

Once these substantial renovations were complete (repairs and upgrades are never done, however), it was time to actually move the TSS library and archive to the TSC.

Mary Thiesse and Jerry Atkinson spent the last week of February, 2020, packing up the Pickle Campus office, with the help of several others (especially Ron Ralph, M.D. Turner, Jim Kennedy, Logan McNatt, Leslie Bell, and Katie Arens)-- they provided an exact inventory of 252 boxes and labeled cabinets so that re-filing. George Veni came and picked up 24 boxes of non-Texas newsletters for NCKRI.

A team of directors was fixing up remaining maintenance items at TSC, and Jim Kennedy plus a team measured out space, to provide the movers with an exact blueprint of where the furniture (mostly tables, bookcases, and over a dozen file cabinets and an equal number of large flat files for maps) should be placed by the movers. THEN COVID-19 hit, and stymied the originally planned moving date of 28 March.

The actual move started once people figured out a little better what constraints could be worked under. Movers took the furniture and file cabinets (marked by Kennedy and others for what to take and what not) on 22 October 2020. MD Turner oversaw the move-out at Pickle, which included unstacking large flat files and making sure 5 rooms of materials got down two high flights of steps with no damage. Jim Kennedy oversaw the furniture move-in at TSC, along with several other directors who helped reinstall the archive infrastructure. (And who uniformly praised the wide downstairs doors as a great improvement over Pickle stairways).

Moving day for the 252+ boxes was 10 December 2020. It was reportedly exciting to watch how the movers installed cardboard on the stairs and slid the boxes down, assembly-line style. On the 19th, a team went up to James Reddell's house in Killeen with a U-Haul and moved 4 file cabinets and about 70 more boxes to TSC (Arens as driver; Perrine and Miller at Killeen; Kennedy, Bell, Kennedy, Hutchins at TSC), More boxes came from Reddell's UT office, and from donations accumulated at various peoples' houses (>50, thanks very much to Logan McNatt who had guarded them). After Jim Kennedy sorted out the sale books, Arens unpacked most of the rest of the boxes and refiled filing cabinets and flat files from all sources over the couse of Spring and early summer 2021; Hutchins and Kennedy did extensive work on Mixon's remaining library books. Kennedy, Arens, and others spent a lot of time separating TSS and AMCS donations and materials, as well; Kennedy's sense of space helped reconfigure the AMCS archive space, and he wins the award for "most material sorted" with respect to donated journals.

An additional furniture pickup at Pickle happened on 17 July 2021, when MD Turner opened and locked up at Pickle, so that Ethan Perrine, Leslie Bell, and Marvin Miller provided the muscle to load a desk, a file cabinet, and a table onto a uHaul provided by Arens, and then Christopher Francke acced to the team for helping off-load on the TSC end -- and then onload 5 unneeded or bad file cabinets that Arens brought back to Pickle and unloaded. AMCS needed a desk, noted Kennedy, and they got one!!!

Workdays have continued through 2022, especially to sort out new donations and getting the filing system for the library under control (every board meeting is finished with several directors spending hours sorting and filing new materials). Ron Ralph has been coordinating the maintenance of the property, and extensive exterior renovations (siding replacement, paint, doors, brush clearance in preparation for fencing, and endless repairs).

A work in progress! Let us know if you want to help. The number of donated people hours, materials, expertise, and support has been extraordinary (and heavily credited to the directors of TSS).

NOSTALGIA: Our old home: MAP to TSS Pickle Office