Archive for the 'History' Category

They Fought to Preserve a Way of Life

Tuesday, April 18th, 2017
The Battle of San Jacinto

The Battle of San Jacinto

This is Passport to Texas

Six weeks after the fall of the Alamo General Sam Houston’s Texas army took less than 30 minutes to overpower Santa Ana’s militia, at what is now the San Jacinto Battleground.

San Jacinto is such a special place. It’s where we won our Texas independence. It’s where many scholars will argue that the history for not just Texas, but more so the United States — and even the world — was set with the Texian army winning that battle on April 21, 1836.

Justin Rhodes is the Region Four Director for State Parks, which includes the San Jacinto.

It’s interesting to sit down and talk to other historians and hear the “what ifs.” What if Texas did not win? Where would we be? Where would the United States be? Where would the world be without that victory that day? You know, where the battle occurred is right on – now – the Houston Ship Channel, which is one of the busier ports in the world.

The Texian Army was a rag tag crew of untrained men, battling against Santa Anna’s professional soldiers. Fighting on their home turf to preserve the lives they’d worked to achieve spurred them to victory.

Any time someone tries to take something that’s near and dear to your heart, you’re going to have that spirit that flows through to make you fight that much harder. And that was the backbone of the Texian army.

Celebrating the victory at San Jacinto is tomorrow.

That’s our show for today…For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

2017 Texas Independence Day Festivities

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017
Declaration of Texas' Independence at Washington-on-the-Brazos.

Declaration of Texas’ Independence at Washington-on-the-Brazos.

This is Passport to Texas

Washington-on-the-Brazos is the birthplace of Texas. We observe the state’s anniversary on March 2, but we celebrate its 181 years on March 4th and 5th with family friendly activities at the State Park and Historic Site.

The Texas Independence Day festival observes the March 2, 1836 adoption of the Texas Declaration of Independence, and brings thousands of folks to Washington-on-the-Brazos to celebrate Texas’ birth.

The festivities this year include live performances, food, music, tours, traditional crafts, demonstrations, living history presentations, historical encampments, commemorative programs, and historic firearms and cannon demonstrations.

There will something for everyone. Visit the Star of the Republic Museum, featuring collections honoring the history of early Texans; there’s Independence Hall, where representatives wrote the Texas Declaration of Independence; and Barrington Living History Farm, where interpreters dress, work and farm as did the original residents of this homestead.

Admission is free Saturday and Sunday, March fourth and fifth, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.

Visit the calendar section of the Texas Parks and Wildlife website for more details.

That’s our show for today… Funding provided in part by Ram Trucks. Guts. Glory. Ram

For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Barrington Living History Farm Goes Whole Hog

Friday, January 6th, 2017
Butchering and curing workshop at Barrington Living History Farm.

Butchering and curing workshop at Barrington Living History Farm.

This is Passport to Texas

They’re going whole hog at Barrington Living History Farm January 14 & 15. That’s when they’ll present a hog butchering and curing program to the public.

Butchering is just one part of many things that we do seasonally throughout the year.

Barb King is a park interpreter at the farm, located at Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site. The program takes place outdoors in January just as would have happened in 1850s rural Texas.

So, all the meat that will be produced, and the sausage and the fat that we will save for soap or cooking all needs to be at a constant temperature, which is cold—like your fridge. So that we can start the curing process without worrying about it spoiling.

Staff will dispatch a heritage breed hog before visitors arrive. Barb says the rest of the process is for public view, which is mostly a demonstration…

People are able to do a tiny bit if they choose—like helping us scrape the hogs. But cutting up the carcass into specific portions of meat is only done by staff. A lot of people come right at 10, and we normally have a big group waiting. And then on Sunday, we focus on more of the preservation aspect.

Visitors who return Sunday will observe how staff cures the meat for storage. The butchering and curing program at Barrington Living History Farm is January 14 & 15, from 10am – 4pm both days. Admission fees apply. Find complete details at texasstateparks.org.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Goliad State Park Holds Surprises for Visitors

Thursday, September 15th, 2016
Goliad State Park and Historic site during Rio! Rio!

Goliad State Park and Historic site during Rio! Rio!


This is Passport to Texas

When visitors set foot on the grounds of Goliad State Park and Historic site and see the exquisitely restored 18th Century Mission Espíritu Santo, they may think the site is intended for quiet contemplation only.

Well, that’s one of the misconceptions people find when they come here.

Jared Ramirez is a park ranger at the site.

They’re coming to visit an historic site, and they don’t realize that we actually have full hook-ups for trailers. We have water and electric sites for camping. We have a lot of people that enjoy our paddling trail and fishing as well. We have a little bit of everything, and our visitors really are surprised when they come out and see us.

But there’s still an opportunity to delve into the history of the site. Including in November, with the annual Rio! Rio! Event.

We’ll have historic reenactors all throughout the Mission grounds; blacksmiths, stonecutters—a little bit of everything. We have a few thousand people come to that event every year. What is the point of Rio! Rio! To show a little bit about Mission lifeways. The types of materials they were working with back then. The way they would cook. The way they would build. Just a little bit about the life in the 18th century.

Find details about Rio! Rio! And other events and activities at Goliad State Park and Historic site—as well as all Texas State parks—in the calendar section of the Texas parks and Wildlife website.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

State Bison Herd at Caprock Canyons State Park

Monday, August 1st, 2016
Bison

Members of the Texas State Bison Herd at Caprock Canyons State Park

This is Passport to Texas

Caprock Canyons State Park is home to living history: the State Bison Herd.

The herd was started by Charles Goodnight back in the 1870s. And it’s one of the five foundation herds that all bison today pretty much come from.

Unchecked slaughter of Bison nearly brought them to extinction. Mary Goodnight, wife of legendary Texas rancher Charles Goodnight, encouraged her husband to capture calves to save the species. The 130 or so bison roaming Caprock Canyons today are direct descendants of those animals.

There is about 12-thousand acres of bison range in the park. Just about everything that’s open to the public is open to the bison. You can run into them almost everywhere in the park.

Donald Beard, Park Superintendent, says although bison roam freely, visitors must not interact with them.

We do everything we can to keep the park visitor and the animal safe. We educate the visitors as they come in. There are signs. As they come into the visitor center, they’re hand a safety message pamphlet that talks about what to do if you run into a bison on the trail. We just have to keep telling visitors that this is a bison range; of course the bison have the right-of-way. So, the best thing you can do if you run along a bison on a trail is find a shade tree, get out your camera, take some pictures, and wait for them to move on.

Tomorrow: the annual Texas Bison Music Fest.

That’s our show… Funding provided in part by Ram Trucks. Guts. Glory. Ram

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.