I took a car trip to the East Coast awhile back, and I happened to fall onto a very interesting museum in Illinois. What made this museum so unique to me was that it not only was the site of the house in which Abraham Lincoln used to live, but it was a living history museum in which all of the docents dressed up in historical costumes, and they spoke with visitors as if everyone was living in the early nineteenth century. A similar concept has taken hold in Texas at the Barrington Living History Farm.
Mary G. Ramos, in her online article for the Dallas News.com website called “Fast Break; Barrington Living History Farm in Central Texas”, describes the Barrington Living HIstory Farm as a place where children of all ages can participate in ” hands-on” activities to learn more about life on an early nineteeth century farm. According to Ramos, the docents are all dressed in time-specific costumes, and they instruct visitors on how a farm in the early history of Texas, particularly the 1800’s, operates. There is also what Ramos mentions as a “discovery center” where children can also get a taste of history through personal experience of participating in “hands-on activities.”
It is my own experience that through the interactions with the docents and actual participation in the activities, that one will learn more about history in a more immediate manner through active particpation. This was true for me at the museum I went to in Illinois, and I don’t see why it wouldn’t be so at the Barrington Living History Farm”, which is why I have placed this at the top of my to do list when I go to Dallas in the future.
Another day trip through time that one must take when one is visiting Dallas is the Bosque Museum in Clifton. Ramos writes on the Dallas News.com website that the Bosque Museum in Clifton is the site where the first humans arrived in Texas. This is a definite must-see during one’s walk through time into Texas history.
When one embarks on his or her journey through time into the Texan past, he or she must include a visit to the W.K.Gordon center for the Industrial History of Texas in Thurber. This is a site for learning about the coal mining activities of the past. I have visited a similar museum in Virginia City, Nevada, and I can tell you that this is a very interesting and well worthwhile adventure. Dallasnews.com also reports that there are two restaurants in close proximity to the Gordon Center, where one can partake of local food if he or she so desires.
In the town of Hempstead, which is near Houston, there is a site called the Liendo Plantation, which Dallasnews.com says is the site of the earliest cotton plantations in Texas. For more information on this site, one can go to its website at www.liendo.org, or one can call (979) 826-3126.
Traveling through history can sometimes be exhausting, so one can relax at the Hodges Gardens State Park, which according to DallasNews.com was once a ” quarry.” Here one can hike, canoe, kayak, or even ride a horse. There are even places to camp on this site. I would love to get into a canoe or kayak on top of the site’s waters.
As one can see, there are many places near Dallas where one can go to learn about early Texas history; The Barrington Living History Farm, the Bosque Museum, the W.K. Gordon Center for Industrial History of Texas, and the Liedo Plantation. For those who aren’t so much into history and wish to stay in the 21st century passage of time, one can visit the Hodges Gardens State Park. Since I am a history buff, I one day plan to pack my bags, so that I can go back into the time of early Texas and learn more about its history. After all, one can only learn so much from history books.
Mary G. Ramos ” Fast Break; Barrington Living History Farm in Central Texas.” www.dallasnews.com