From western forts to Victorian mansions and pivotal battlegrounds, the Texas Historical Commission's 20 state historic sites exemplify a breadth of Texas history. Come explore the real stories at the real places.

Monday, May 18, 2009

May Merriment at the Fulton Mansion

Every year, the Fulton Mansion State Historic Site hosts a May Fest event to celebrate May Day. A celebration of spring, May Day's origins aren't entirely known, but it is believed to have started as a Germanic or Celtic celebration. A resurgence of May Day occurred in the late 1800s and early 1900s as part of the labor movement. In May 1886, large labor unions worked to establish the eight-hour work day. Since then, the holiday became synonymous with International Workers Day. The celebration is probably best known for dancing the Maypole, crowning the Queen of May and the making and giving of May Day baskets.

This year's event was full of traditional May Day activities, plus much more. Locals and tourists came out to enjoy maypole dancing, lawn croquet and pie eating contests. The young and old shook tambourines to the period beat of the Celtaires, negotiated the mansion's circle drive on pony carts and decorated Victorian-inspired hats. Missed the festivities? Mark your calendar for next year!

Fulton Mansion is located in the resort area of Rockport-Fulton, 30 miles north of Corpus Christi. The historic site is located in the Texas Tropical Trail Region.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Don't Forget! Free Admission on Sunday

Don't forget more than 30 state historic sites are offering free admission this Sunday. Sponsored by the Texas Historical Commission and Texas Parks and Wildlife, the free day celebrates Preservation Month. For a complete list of participating sites click here. Get out this weekend, celebrate history and see the sites!

Here's a small sampling of some of the sites.

Fort Griffin State Historic Site in Albany

Fulton Mansion State Historic Site in Rockport

San Felipe State Historic Site outside Sealy

Magoffin Home State Historic Site in El Paso

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Fort Lancaster Featured in Heritage Tourism Travel Guide

Last week, the Texas Historical Commission (THC) launched its newest travel guide, the Texas Pecos Trail Region. Highlighting heritage tourism attractions in West Texas, the guide explores the region's frontier spirit and Texas mystique. One of the sites featured is the THC's own Fort Lancaster State Historic Site, an 1855 fort that was established to protect the military route between San Antonio and El Paso. The guide features a wide spectrum of heritage tourism attractions from unique state parks to Native American rock art to oil and petroleum museums. Download the travel guide or request a free copy on the THC web site.

Fort Lancaster is located off I-10, 120 miles south of Midland-Odessa in the Texas Pecos Trail Region.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Celebrate Preservation Month and See the Sites for Free!

Did you know May is Preservation Month? Sponsored by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the endeavor encourages community members to celebrate and become involved in local preservation projects and historic sites. This year's theme is This Place Matters. The Texas Historical Commission and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department think our state historic sites matter so much we're offering free admission to more than 30 of them on Sunday, May 17. From military strongholds to house museums, plantations and Native American settlements, these historic sites offer the opportunity to truly experience the real places of Texas and the stories they preserve. So get involved in your local history and visit a historic site!

For a complete list of participating sites click here.