Archive for the 'History' Category

TPW TV–Fort Richardson: Appreciating Our Past

Friday, November 3rd, 2017
Bringing history to life at Fort Richardson.

Bringing history to life at Fort Richardson.

This is Passport to Texas

Fort Richardson, established in 1867, was the northernmost frontier fort in what is now Texas; it was established to help protect the western movement of settlers. Tim Swagerty.

The fort system was really integral in being able to settle the state. So without the fort system, we would not have had a state of Texas. We would not have been able to defend it and be able inhabit it as we do now.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife TV series on PBS takes viewers back in time to experience the Fort’s and Texas’ history. Annie Ellison.

We are giving visitors an opportunity to see what life was like back when this fort was operational. They get to see the soldiers in action and to see what activities might be available to the children who lived in the fort back in the day, it makes that connection to their history.

Having that multi-sensory experience helps to connect visitors to the fort’s history, and helps them to understand why it is important to conserve that history.

Fort Richardson is really unique. And to keep it alive just as long as we possibly can, I think it is the best possible way to honor what has gone on out here and all the diverse cultures that have come through here and helped build this place.

The segment on Fort Richardson airs on the Texas Parks and Wildlife TV series the week of November fifth through eleventh on PBS. Check your local listings.

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

New Pictographs Discovered

Monday, August 21st, 2017
Pictograph at Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site.

Pictograph at Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site.

This is Passport to Texas

For thousands of years, people have trekked to the rock hills in far west Texas where they found rainwater pooled in natural basins called huecos.

Today, visitors to Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site enjoy the rock hills for bouldering, which is a form of rock climbing, and the rock paintings, or pictographs, left by those ancient people.

After a year-long survey using D-stretch image enhancement technology, researchers discovered previously unknown pictographs in 29 locations. These areas will remain closed to recreational activities to protect the fragile artwork from potential impacts.

A list of closed climbs has been provided to the guides and to visitors on the North Mountain.

The majority of the pictographs are in the Jornada style, named for the prehistoric Jornada Mogollon culture of western Texas, southern New Mexico and northern Mexico.

These Native Americans were the first farmers in the region, and it’s believed they created the paintings about 550 to 1,000 years ago for use in prayers for rain. Some things never change.

Hueco Tanks is a significant cultural resource in the El Paso area that reflects at least 10,000 years of history. Find more information about the site at

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.

LBJ — In His Own Words

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017
LBJ and Lady Bird enjoying the wildflowers in his beloved Texas Hill Country.

LBJ and Lady Bird enjoying the wildflowers in his beloved Texas Hill Country.

This is Passport to Texas

Even though Lyndon Baines Johnson spent many memorable years in Washington DC, the Texas Hill Country held a special place in his heart.

Here is where I would always return, to the Pedernales River, the scenes of my childhood. There’s something different about this country, from any other part of the nation.

LBJ often credited these pristine surroundings of his youth as a major influence in his life and presidency.

It is impossible to live on this land without being a part of it. Without being shaped by its qualities. This molds the character of the people here. But it is also a bold and beautiful land, where the air is clear and the water is pure and the wildflowers flashing in the sun

And it is where he returned when he left the White House.

I guess every person feels a part of the place where they were born, he wants to go back to the surroundings that he knew as a child and this is my country, the Hill Country of Texas.

The LBJ State Park and Historic Site, located near Johnson City, gives visitors a chance to experience the land which President Johnson held dear.

There’s something about this section that brings new life and new hope and really a balanced and better view point after you have been here a few days.

Learn more about the LBJ State Historic Site, log on to the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

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

Historic Bison at Caprock Canyons State Park

Tuesday, July 11th, 2017

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

This is Passport to Texas

History walks on four legs at Caprock Canyons State Park. It’s where descendants of southern plains bison, from a herd started by rancher Charles Goodnight, roam free.

It’s the official bison herd of the State of Texas. It’s a herd started by Charles Goodnight back in 1878; these animals are direct descendants of those that he captured in the wild right here in this area.

Donald Beard is park superintendent.

These are the last true remaining example of the southern plains bison. Animals that were captured by him [Goodnight] in these canyons. Kept in these canyons and never had any influence from any other animals [bison] outside of this area. So, their genetics are basically the same as they were back in the 1870s.

No fences separate visitors to Caprock Canyons State Park from the approximately 150-plus bison on site.

Awe, it’s amazing. You have to wait for them to cross the road. They can wander through your campsite. Go down to the lake while you’re fishing and take a drink. They’re just like any other wild animal in the park. You can experience them as they were – not behind a fence in an exhibition.

September 23 the 7th Texas State Bison Music Fest takes place in Quitaque. Find the music lineup and ticket information at Money raised funds bison research and conservation.

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

Celebrating a Pivotal Moment in Texas History

Wednesday, April 19th, 2017

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

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