Archive for the 'Historic Sites' Category

Celebrating a Pivotal Moment in Texas History

Wednesday, April 19th, 2017
Reenactment

Battle of San Jacinto Battle Reenactment

This is Passport to Texas

The Battle of San Jacinto was a game changer in Texas History. On April 21, 1836, an untrained Texian militia routed General Santa Ana’s troops.

The actual battle lasted less than half an hour; it carried on into the evening with clean up. But the main assault and the main fighting was done in less than half an hour.

Justin Rhodes is Region Four Director for State Parks, which includes the San Jacinto Battlegrounds in LaPorte. On Saturday, April 22th, the historic site celebrates this momentous battle with a reenactment and festival.

If you’re planning on coming out, I would recommend you arrive early when the crowds are low. That will give you plenty of time to visit the festival and get set up for the reenactment. The reenactment will occur only once during the day.

And that happens around 3 p.m. Rhodes hopes visitors leave with renewed appreciation for the sacrifices made on the battlefield in 1836.

Ultimately we want visitors to take away an appreciation of the significance of the site, the event, the history tht brought us to where we are today. So much of what we do today and tomorrow is based on lessons from the past – from the sacrifices that these men and women brought forward. They teach us valuable life lessons moving into the future.

The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The reenactment is at 3 p.m. details at texasstateparks.org.

That’s our show for today…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.

Goliad State Park and Historic Site

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016
Chapel at Goliad State Park and Historic Site

Chapel at Goliad State Park and Historic Site


This is Passport to Texas

About halfway between Victoria and Beeville on HWY 59 South you’ll find Goliad State Park and Historic Site.

Well, we have—we feel—one of the hidden treasures in the state park system: the historic Mission Espiritu Santo, which is a Spanish mission that was established in 1749. So, it’s one of the oldest sites in Texas.

Jared Ramirez is a park ranger at the site. The moment you walk onto the grounds and see the buildings, you feel as though you’ve stepped back in time.

They are representative of the Franciscan missionary style, dating back to the 18th century. They are very similar to the missions in San Antonio; situated in a really beautiful site right next to the San Antonio River.

Ramirez says many visitors to Goliad State Park and Historic Site never knew it existed until they passed it headed to the coast.

A lot of people pass us up on their way to the coast; a lot of fishermen on their way to Rockport. Many visitors stop and ask, ‘What’s that building?’ And they come in, pay their three dollars, and are really surprised at what we have to offer. It really does stand out.

Goliad State Park and Historic Site offers a variety of cultural and recreational opportunities. And we’ll talk about those on tomorrow’s show.

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

Cultural Sensitivity and the Battle of San Jacinto

Friday, April 22nd, 2016
Inscription on San Jacinto Monument

Inscription on San Jacinto Monument

This is Passport to Texas

The Mexican culture is integrated into the fabric of Texas. So, how do we handle something like the anniversary of the Battle of San Jacinto, where we celebrate the Texian Army’s victory over Mexico?

That’s something we’ve been trying to address here at San Jacinto.

Boyd Harris is a park interpreter at San Jacinto Battlegrounds and State historic Site in La Porte.

In the past it has been more of a centric, white Texan kind of history. But, nowadays, we like to commemorate and honor both sides. We’re more about education here, as well as the memory of these soldiers. The Mexican Army, itself—half the army was conscripts—and so they weren’t volunteers. But they weren’t the only people of Mexican decent at the battlefield. There were also Tejanos fighting on the Texian Army side, so we want to talk about them. Juan Seguin and his Tejano company is in the very forefront of the battle, and we want to talk about those guys. Because this is a revolution—and revolutions are messy. They’re complex, and we want to give due respect and due remembrance to all those involved with it.

We commemorate the battle of San Jacinto and all those involved on Saturday April 23 at the San Jacinto Battlegrounds and State Historic Site in La Porte.

Find details in the calendar section of the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti

TPW TV: Hueco Tanks

Friday, March 11th, 2016
Pictograph at Hueco Tanks State Historic Site

Pictograph at Hueco Tanks State Historic Site


This is Passport to Texas

Hueco Tanks, about 30 miles east of El Paso, is one of the most important pictograph sites in the Southwest, with the largest collection of painted faces in North America.

There really is no other place like Hueco Tanks, in terms of the nature and the number of the pictograph images. And for a tiny place of only eight hundred and sixty acres there’s just an amazing number of separate pictograph sites.

We visit the park next week during a segment of the Texas Parks and Wildlife TV series on PBS.

This mask that we sometimes call starry eyed man has been staring out of his little niche in the rocks for between six hundred and eighteen hundred years. Um, it’s amazing that it’s in such good condition.

Vandals damaged several paintings with graffiti. During the TV segment, we watch as scientists, use high tech devices to restore the pictographs.

This is pre-Colombian, and the graffiti is about fifty years old. We’re using infrared light, and it’s the similar technology that’s used in tattoo removal to take tattoos off, so you can be very precise with the laser. The work is going really well, it’s really difficult for me to stop because it’s really exciting!

Check out the segment about Hueco Tanks next week on the Texas Parks and Wildlife TV Series on PBS. Check your local listings.

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

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