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Texas Independence Day celebration held at Washington-on-the-Brazos state historic site
by Rita Arnst
Mar 25, 2009 | 558 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The 173rd anniversary of the signing of the Texas Declaration of Independence was commemorated Feb. 28 and March 1 at Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site.

The two-day celebration at the 293-acre park along the Brazos River transported visitors back to the time when Texas was a sovereign nation. Costumed re-enactors and members of the Texas Army, along with skilled craftsmen and talented musicians, filled the park as Texas commemorated its inception.

Re-enactors portraying statesmen of the era, such as Sam Houston, Stephen F. Austin and Anson Jones, were on hand to explain the importance of Texas independence.

A web project title “The Spirit of Independence” was previewed at the park’s Visitors Center. The project was designed to increase awareness of the unique place Washington-on-the-Brazos holds in Texas history. The interactive website is still under construction. It will allow teachers and students access to the historic site’s wealth of information and primary sources. In the meantime teachers and students may access some historical information at: http://www.birthplaceoftexas.com/.

The Star of the Republic museum at Washington-on-the-Brazos opened a new exhibit titled “Texas Transformed: Early Maps of Texas” during Independence Day weekend. On display was the largest map of Texas, on loan from the Texas General Land Office. It measures roughly eight feet square; Charles W. Pressler, who worked for GLO for 50 years, drafted the map in 1879. The Pressler map will be exhibited through March 22. Other rare maps, including the first to identify “Tejas” as a place, will be on display through Aug. 31.

Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site features three attractions that are open year round: Independence Hall, the Star of the Republic museum and the Barrington Living History Farm.

On March 28-29 the Barrington Living History Farm will host “True Texas Women” from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Explore the lives of women such as Mary Jones, who helped settle Texas. Relive those hectic days as Texas evolved from a Mexican colony to an independent republic and ultimately the 28th U.S. state. Admission is $4/adults, $2/students, 6 & under/free.

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