Archive for the 'Historic Sites' Category

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.

History: Texas Independence Day Celebration

Monday, February 23rd, 2015
Independence Hall, Washington-on-the-Brazos

Independence Hall, Washington-on-the-Brazos


This is Passport to Texas

Celebrate Texas Independence at Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site February 28 and March 1.

07—And, there’ll be lots of activities going on in the park. They’ll have special programs and demonstrations down at the Barrington Living History farm…

Houston McGaugh is director of the Star of the Republic Museum for Blinn College.

12— We’ll have some various demonstrations going on in the museum, and just lots of activities in the park. Food. And, it’s a free, two-day event for people to come out and enjoy and learn a little Texas history.

We remember The Alamo, and the Battle of San Jacinto and their roles in gaining independence for Texas, but what about Washington-on-the-Brazos? On March 2, 1836, it’s where delegates signed the declaration of independence from Mexico.

21— And, I think that’s something we always keep coming back to. That, you know, it’s not necessarily battles; it’s the documentation; it’s the representatives of the people that come together and say, you know what, we’re not going to do this anymore. We’re going to be a free and independent country, and have a democracy. And that’s really what we celebrate here, I think. It’s the birthplace of a democracy. The Republic of Texas.

Find details about this year’s Texas Independence Day celebration at Washington-on-the-Brazos on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

Funding for our series provided in part by Ram Trucks. Guts. Glory. Ram

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

History: Enduring Spirit – African Americans in 19th Century Texas

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

Slave_dance_to_banjo,_1780s


This is Passport to Texas

Enduring Spirit: African Americans in 19th Century Texas is a yearlong exhibit at the Texas Star of the Republic Museum in Washington-on-the-Brazos.

08—It actually started from a recent acquisition that we acquired. It was about 15-hundren documents from a gentleman names Asa Hoxey.

Houston McGaugh, director of the museum for Blinn College, says Hoxey moved to Washington County in the early 1830s, and brought black slaves with him.

14— And that prompted us to wonder if there are any descendants of those slaves still in Washington County. And we were able to identify some. So, that really made us start thinking about, more of – well, gosh, there’s an awful lot of African American history that you don’t hear about.

A question the museum wanted answered: when did Blacks first arrive in Texas?

10— And we were surprised to find out they started coming in the 1820s when this was still part of Mexico; and they were actually trying to get land grants like some of the Anglo settlers were in Austin’s Colony.

Mexico abolished slavery in 1829, so Blacks here before Texas Independence were free. That changed when Texas became a republic.

07— And, actually, the free blacks that were here, were given one year to either go back into servitude, or leave the Republic.

Many of these free Blacks went to Mexico where their ancestors live today. Learn more about the exhibit and special events and speakers at starmuseum.org.

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

Parks | Holidays: Festive Activities in Parks

Friday, December 12th, 2014

 

Enjoy the holidays at State Parks and Historic Sites

Enjoy the holidays at State Parks and Historic Sites


This is Passport to Texas

You don’t have to travel far to find holiday events in state parks, but Thomas Wilhelm says, if you do have the time, how about a road trip December 16, to Far West Texas and Fort Leaton.

17—For this Christmas, Fort Leaton will be having a Posada, which is the recreation of Mary and Joseph’s trip through Bethlehem. But, there’s also going to be a performance by a local choir; so, it’s going to tell the holiday story with that area of the state’s culture in mind.

Palo Duro Canyon in the Panhandle is another far flung destination. On December 20, it offers a new holiday event worth the drive.

18—It’s called their Hot Air Balloon Glow. So, they’re going to bring balloons into the canyon and light them up. Of course, there’s going to be other traditional holiday events: hot cocoa, snacks – that sort of thing. Santa Claus will be there for the kids. So, it will be a really unique opportunity to not only experience Palo Duro Canyon, but really put a holiday feel to it.

If you prefer to celebrate nature, Central Texas’ McKinney Falls December 20 & 21 is the place to be.

14—They’re doing a Winter Solstice Celebration. So, they’ll have opportunities for kids to join with a ranger and do hikes, or nature themed crafts and activities. So, it’s a great opportunity to touch base with nature during the holidays.

Find a full list of holiday events on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti