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TPWD News Release — Dec. 13, 2004

Public Help Sought To Name Oxen at Living History Farm

WASHINGTON, Texas – The staff at Barrington Living History Farm is seeking the public’s help in naming twin Pineywoods bull calves born at Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site.

The deadline is Jan. 2 and the winner will get a Texas State Park Pass, donated by the Washington-on-the-Brazos State Park Association. A $60 value, the parks pass provides a year of free entry to more than 120 state parks and historic sites and discounts for camping, state park store merchandise, recreational equipment rentals and other perks.

The brown and white twin bulls were born at the living history farm between Brenham and Navasota on Nov. 14. The rare Pineywoods cattle breed, which is similar to the Texas longhorn, is unique to the Gulf Coast of the United States, according to Bill Irwin, Barrington’s manager.

“Barrington staff will be training these two calves to be our next team of oxen,” Irwin explained. “Oxen were the farm’s “tractor” in the 19th century that provided the power to plow, harrow and haul. Teamsters and oxen work closely together and it is important that an ox knows his name and responds to commands.”

Found from East Texas to Florida, where they have adapted to heavily wooded areas and coastal wetlands, this hardy, compactly-built breed developed from cattle brought to the new world from Spain, Irwin said. Pineywoods cattle, he said, have developed a tolerance to heat, humidity and natural parasites and made an excellent cross with other breeds that were introduced, such as the Brahma.

This once plentiful breed has almost disappeared. Today, the breed survives because of a few dedicated breeders, interest from historic sites such as Barrington and museums that use them for educational purposes. Horn shape and size very in the breed, as does the color, though Pineywoods cattle tend to be white-spotted in varying patterns.

Barrington Farm is located at Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site. Tour fees apply. The calves can be visited from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays.

Here are the rules for naming the oxen:

Contestants should submit entries along with their name, address and phone number to Barrington Living History Farm. Entries can be sent to: “Pineywoods,” Barrington Farm, P.O. Box 305, Washington, TX 77880.

The park is located off Texas Highway 105 between Brenham and Navasota on FM 1155. Admission is $4 for adults, $2 for students and children ages six and younger enter for free. For additional details, please call (936) 878-2213.


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