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TPWD News,, 512-389-8030

May 23, 2005

Sauer-Beckmann Living History Farm Celebrates 30th Anniversary

Stonewall, Texas — Since 1975, the staff at the Sauer-Beckman Living History Farm has been living in the early 1900s. From the ladies who sew their dresses and put up 300 jars of vegetables and fruits a year, to the men who wear leather suspenders and shear the sheep, the staff of four spends nearly every day of the year living and working in the past.

On June 17-18, the Texas Hill Country farm will celebrate its 30th anniversary of recreating early 20th century life on a German farm in Gillespie County.

“We want families to come help us celebrate years of education and service,” said farm manager Ricky Weinheimer. “It’s fun for everybody.”

Special events for the day will include candle making and rope making activities for kids, as well as chick petting. Blacksmithing demonstrations by James Honig and also antique farm machinery demonstrations will also be available.

For the most part, the two-day celebration will be a chance for visitors to experience the day-to-day operations of the park. The anniversary celebration will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday, June 17 and from noon to 4 p.m., Saturday, June 18.

A food vendor will be providing water, tea, sausage-on-a-stick and hamburgers, which can be purchased and enjoyed at the numerous picnic sites around the park..

Visitors can watch the making of butter and cheese, and also see and learn how they grow vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, and green beans. Demonstrations of soap making by cooking lard, water and lye in a cast-iron pot will also be available.

“We use cast-iron skillets and a wood-burning stove to cook everything we raise and produce,” Weinheimer said. “I stress to my group that this way, when visitors come in, they can capture the sight, smell and sound of a real farm. Smells bring back memories; if there were no smells, this would just be a museum.”

The windmill, which pumps water from a 50-foot well, supplies water for the farm. There is no running water or electricity in the farmhouse. But don’t worry, Weinheimer said, the two-seater outhouse is only for show. Public restrooms are available on park grounds.

The 30th anniversary will be celebrated in conjunction with the Stonewall Peach Jamboree, Parade and Rodeo. The jamboree will include a 5-10K fun run/walk near Stonewall at Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site, where the Sauer-Beckmann Farm is located.

The Sauer-Beckmann farm offers free admission year-round and provides tours for thousands of school kids each year. For more information please call (830) 644-2252.

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KD 2005-05-23

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