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Lone Star State History Comes to Life at Texas State Parks
AUSTIN – As autumn arrives and leaves begin to turn, the colorful and unique story of Texas – from its prehistoric times through, Spanish colonialism, the republic’s fight for independence from Mexico, post-Civil War era and into the 20th century – unfolds through guided tours and special events at more than 50 historic sites within the state parks system. And, there’s no better time to experience that history than October.
October is Texas Archeology Month, which celebrates the state’s archeological heritage through demonstrations, lectures and dozens of public events held at historic sites throughout the state, including a number of Texas State Parks. Those state parks feature not only some of the best Native American pictographs in the nation at such places as Big Bend Ranch State Park, which on Oct. 12 is hosting a guided hike to one of the Big Bend region’s best rock art panels, but also compelling presentations on archeology (Lockhart , Oct. 5), flintknapping (Copper Breaks, Oct. 5) and 19th century pioneer and ranching life (Caprock Canyons, Oct. 19).
On Oct. 4, Houston area families, friends, veterans and others can play air/sea/land games aboard the historic Battleship TEXAS. Others who prefer a more literal “taste” of living history in the outdoors can experience a slice of early Texas farm life at such historic sites as Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site’s Barrington Farm, Lyndon B. Johnson State Park’s Sauer-Beckman Farm and Cedar Hill State Park’s Penn Farm.
Many state parks and historic sites this month also offer guided tours of 19th century missions, military frontier forts and Civilian Conservation Corps structures or host special history events reflecting such topics as state’s ranching heritage. On Oct. 19, Hill Country State Natural Area near Bandera will host its annual Ranch Heritage Day and Copper Breaks State Park near Quanah invite the public to “Meet the Longhorns,” member of the official State Longhorn Herd.
For a full list of featured October state park events and their locations, visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s activities calendar.
The Texas State Park system continues to benefit from the hard and skilled work of the Civilian Conservation Corps crews that developed dozens of state parks and historic sites throughout the state in the Depression years of the 1930s and 1940s. See some of their lasting craftsmanship and enduring structures at Bastrop State Park, Longhorn Cavern, Indian Lodge, Palo Duro Canyon and 25 other TPWD sites.
To view interactive, online CCC exhibits, visit the Civilian Conservation Corps page that includes the interactive online exhibits and education resource, “The Look of Nature: Designing Texas State Parks during the Great Depression” and “A New Deal for Texas Parks.”
Go online to the “history” News Roundup to view news images, videos, radio episodes, social media posts, regional content, public service announcements and an Outdoor Activity of the Month topic calendar, go to: http://tpwd.texas.gov/newsmedia/releases/news_roundup/oam_history/
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