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.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Fort McKavett's Old Stories, New Voices

Year two of the Old Stories, New Voices Intercultural Youth Camp at Fort McKavett State Historic Site came to a close last week. The week-long camp is the second of a three year program, where kids from year one returned to learn about farm and ranch skills, the roles of pioneer women, horse safety and animal care, historic wood working and many more hands-on activities. The kids, ages 9-13, came from Austin, Fort Worth, Tyler, Houston, San Antonio and the local communities of Menard, Eldorado and Fort McKavett to learn the value of preserving historic sites such as Fort McKavett.

The highlight of the camp was a 2 1/2-day trail ride to Fort Concho in San Angelo, during which the kids received a small taste of what life was like for soldiers who once made similar journeys. Year three of Old Stories, New Voices will bring the kids back for a two-week bus tour of Civil War battlefields, ending at Gettysburg, Pa.

Old Stories, New Voices is made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities as well as support from the Texas Historical Commission, Texas State Historical Association, Texas Parks and Wildlife Urban Outreach Program, Friends of Fort McKavett, Texas Equestrian Trail Riders Association and Fort Concho National Historic Site.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Fort Griffin Wins First Place in Fandangle Parade

Congratulations are in order for Fort Griffin, whose float took home top honors in the Fandangle Parade last month in Albany, TX! The parade was a part of the annual Fort Griffin Fandangle celebration, held the last two weekends of June to highlight the history of the area. Four living historians from Fort Griffin — dressed in 1870s military uniforms and showcasing a period cannon — rode aboard the float commemorating Fort Griffin’s heyday in the 1870s.

In production since 1938, the Fort Griffin Fandangle is an outdoor musical based on the pioneer chronicles of West Texas. Its six annual performances are attended by more than 10,000 people each year.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Varner-Hogg Plantation Offers Historic Setting for Weddings

Having trouble finding an affordable, unique and gorgeous setting to celebrate the big day? Visit Varner-Hogg Plantation and discover beautiful grounds backdropped by a majestic mansion, perfect for a ceremony and/or reception. The site is located in West Columbia, only 60 miles from Houston, providing an affordable option to big city venues.

For more information or to schedule a tour, contact the site today!

Varner-Hogg Plantation is located approximately 60 miles south of Houston and is part of the Texas Independence Trail Region.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Heading to the Coast? Stop by a Historic Site.

Heading to the beach this summer? Stop by at a Texas Historical Commission state historic site on the way.

Is Corpus or Rockport your destination? Check out Fannin Battleground, located 20 miles outside of Victoria. The site is the location of the 1836 Battle of Coleto Creek during Texas' War for Independence. Col. Fannin and 284 of his men surrended at this location after the Battle of Coleto Creek. The site is open daily, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Take a break from the beach and head to the air-conditioned Fulton Mansion, situated right on the Aransas Bay in the resort town of Rockport-Fulton. The 1887 home is an impressive Victorian villa complete with mansard roof, ornate trim work and other luxurious refinements. Guided tours are provided Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Sunday, 1-4 p.m. Tours begin on the hour with the last tour at 3 p.m.

Enjoy a shady retreat on your way to Galveston at the Varner-Hogg Plantation. The grounds of this plantation are covered in pecan orchards and magnolia trees and feature a majestic antebellum mansion. Guided tours are provided Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Or just bring a picnic and enjoy the shade of pecan orchards and magnolia trees.