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Texas History

Texas History for Kids

Here are some great resources to help teach your kids about Texas including lesson plans, field trip ideas and more!

Interesting Sites

Texas Beyond History –  a public education service of the Texas Archeological Research Laboratory at The University of Texas at Austin. Texas Beyond History covers not only the prehistoric peoples – Indians or Native Americans – but also much of the early history of the Spanish, French, Mexican, and Anglo explorers, missionaries, soldiers, miners, traders, and settlers who lived and often died in Texas. And later history, too – German farmers, Black freedmen, and Mexican American laborers among others.

Texas State Historical Association –  mission to “foster the appreciation, understanding, and teaching of the rich and unique history of Texas and, by example and through programs and activities, encourage and promote research, preservation, and publication of historical material affecting the state of Texas.”

Texas Parks and Wildlife – Step through the doors of historic homes and inns, and imagine the lives of the people who inhabited these places. Information on state parks, outdoor events, lodging and more.

Texas Arrowheads and Indian Artifacts Online Museum – Indian Artifacts from prehistoric times to the early Clovis and Tejas Native American tribes.

Institute of Texan Cultures – Texas’ Native Americans – Information, curriculum and activities for 4th graders.

Barbed Wire Museum – Everything you want to know about barbed wire and fencing tools.

Great Texas Field Trip Ideas

The Alamo – San Antonio, Texas
The Spanish mission which has come to represent courage and the cause of liberty for all Texans.

Texas Capitol Visitor Center – Austin, Texas
The Capitol Visitors Center encourages educators to bring students for guided tours of its exhibits. Also available are lesson plans, classroom activities, vocabulary lists and research topics for all grade levels.

The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum – Austin, Texas
A dynamic educational institution that tells the “Story of Texas” with three floors of interactive exhibits and IMAX. A Teacher Curriculum Guide and poster is available for “Texas – the big Picture” – a film presentation of the wonders of Texas.

The Museum of Health and Medical Science – Houston, Texas
Take a fantastic, larger than life tour of the human body. The exhibit contains huge sculptures of human organs: take a seat on a giant tooth inside an enormous mouth, walk through a 10-foot brain alive with electrical activity, peer inside a colossal eyeball, or stand beneath a 22-foot-long backbone with ribs. There are interactive audio and video kiosks, hands-on exhibits, educational programs and science classes.

Battleship Texas & San Jacinto Battleground – LaPorte, near Houston
Step back in time to the days when the Battleship TEXAS was the pride of the U.S. Navy fleet and visit the world’s last Dreadnought. The San Jacinto Monument and Museum is dedicated to the “Heroes of the Battle of San Jacinto and all others who contributed to the independence of Texas.” Located on the site of The Battle of San Jacinto where General Sam Houston defeated General Santa Anna.

Space Center Houston – Nasa Road One, Clear Lake
Space Center Houston provides an educational experience that’s out of this world. Take a look behind the scenes of NASA’s Johnson Space Center, visit the many interactive exhibits, see the Astronaut Gallery with spacesuits, touch a moon rock and more! There are educational programs for teachers and homeschool.

Texas State Aquarium – Corpus Christi, Texas
You not only travel an aquatic journey from the shore to the depths of the Gulf but also have the opportunity to observe dive shows, feeding demonstrations, and have a “hands on” experience with sharks, stingrays, hermit crabs, and more!

Dinosaur Valley State Park – Glen Rose, Texas
Dinosaur Valley State Park contains some of the best preserved dinosaur tracks in the world. The dinosaur tracks are located in the riverbed, so please call ahead to check on river conditions. The park also has 15 miles of trails, picnic and camping facilities.

The Texas State Railroad – Rusk or Palestine
Passengers may board the historic steam powered trains at either Rusk or Palestine. Both ends of the line have Victorian style train stations. The trip takes 1 and a half hours to reach the opposite station. Once visitors have arrived, they have 1 and a half hours to enjoy lunch, browse through the depot’s train store or take a short nature hike. Passengers then re-board for the return trip home.

Fort Worth Museum of Science and Natural History – Fort Worth, TX
Dedicated to lifelong learning and anchored by our rich collections, the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History engages our diverse community through creative, vibrant programs and exhibits interpreting science and the stories of Texas and the Southwest.

George Ranch Historical Park – Richmond, Texas
Step back in time to experience more than 100 years of Texas history. A wonderful place for a field trip, this living history ranch has educational activities for kids of all ages. See and Learn about the skills of working cowboys, the role of black cowboys, early pioneers to Texas, a working blacksmith and more!! Call ahead to schedule a time for your group or attend one of many special events.

Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame – Fort Worth, Texas
The newest attraction in the Fort Worth Stockyards is the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame, which pays tribute to 58 of the top cowboys and cowgirls in Texas.

The National Cowgirl Museum – Fort Worth, Texas
The museum has five galleries of exhibitions featuring western artifacts, photographs and art work, three theaters, a children’s area, research library, gift shop and more.

The Museum Of Western Art – Kerrville Texas
The Cowboys, the Native Americans, the Settlers, the Mountain Men and others who tamed the West… share their adventure through the rotating exhibits on display at the Museum of Western Art where the legend of the American West lives on.

Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center – Athens, Texas
This Center houses a hatchery, laboratory, aquarium, and educational center focusing on underwater wildlife in the state’s freshwater streams, ponds, and lakes. Features also include a wetlands trail, alligator exhibit, an opportunity to fish and picnic areas.

Vanishing Texas River Cruise – Lake Buchanan, north of Austin
Explore the awesome beauty of the Colorado River at Canyon of the Eagles – seasonal wildflowers, wildlife, waterfalls, cliffs and more!!

 
 
Nature Centers in Texas

Amarillo – Wildcat Bluff Nature Center

Austin – Austin Nature and Science Center

Bellaire – Nature Discovery Center

Brownsville – Sabal Palm Audubon Center and Sanctuary

Boerne – Cibolo Nature Center

Dallas – Dallas Nature Center

Fort Worth – Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge

Houston – Armand Bayou Nature Center

Kerrville – Riverside Nature Center

Midland – Sibley Nature Center

Orange – Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center

Padre Island – South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center

Weslaco – Valley Nature Center

Wichita Falls – River Bend Nature Works

Categories
Texas Travel

Texas Gulf Coast

The Texas Gulf Coast has miles of beaches, state parks, historic sites, Wildlife Refuges, NASA’s Space Center and even tales of pirate treasure. There something for everyone from water sports and fishing, shopping to bird watching and cultural events. Warm tropical waters, delightful seaside communities and numerous venues make the Texas Gulf Coast a perfect place for a fun vacation.

From the Sabine river to the Rio Grande river valley, there are over 600 miles of beaches, bays, harbors, bayous and a chain of barrier islands that forms the Inter-Coastal Waterway. For those who love fishing and water sports of all kinds, the Gulf Coast is perfect for exploring the warm waters, tidal dunes and pristine beaches.

Galveston Island is full of fun things to do and see. Play on the beach or go running, cycling or walking along the beach front and seawall. Take a leisurely ride in a horse drawn carriage or trolley to the numerous shop on The Strand and tour the 1877 Tall Ship Elissa. Attractions include the Moody Gardens Aquarium and Rain Forest Pyramid, Lone Star Flight Museum and Rail Road Museum, etc. There are beautiful homes to tour – 1859 Ashton Villa, 1886 The Bishops Palace, 1895 Moody Mansion and more.

Further inland is the home of NASA’s Johnson Space Center. Visitors can see astronauts train for missions, touch a real moon rock, land a shuttle, and take a behind-the-scenes tour of NASA.

Port Lavaca marks the center point of the Texas Gulf Coast. Favorite area attractions are the Half Moon Reef Lighthouse and beach, Formosa Wetlands Waterway and Matagorda Island State Park. Indianola is the town site of a fort built by French explorer, Robert LaSalle. It is here that he shipwrecked in 1684 and artifacts from on of his ships, La Belle, can be seen at The Calhoun County Museum in Port Lavaca.

Corpus Christi has many visitors attractions including the USS Lexington Museum, the Texas State Aquarium & Dolphin Bay, Museum of Science and History, South Texas Institute for the Arts, Botanical Gardens and Nature Center, and more.

Nearby Padre Island and Mustang Island State Park boasts 113 miles of beautiful beaches. South Padre Island was named one of the top ten best beaches in the world and as as a top fishing destination. Padre Island was home to pirate Jean La Fitte and it is rumored he may have buried gold and treasure there.

The Texas Gulf Coast is home to a wide variety of wildlife. Swampy bayous, hardwood forests, coastal prairies, marshy wetlands, mud flats and sandy beaches makes a perfect habitat for many species. There are bobcats and coyotes, mink, nutria, raccoon, rabbit, opossum, skunks, river otter, muskrat and even alligators.

Bird watching is a favorite activity year round due to the numerous local birds as well as migratory visitors. Species of waterbirds such as the Whooping crane, whistling duck and roseate spoonbill – birds of the prairies include the Atwater prairie chicken, White Tailed Hawks and Crested Caracara – shore birds along the beach, gulls and more.

For wildlife viewing on the upper Gulf Coast visit Big Thicket National Preserve, Sea Rim State Park and Anhuac National Wildlife Refuge. Visitors to the lower Gulf Coast are will want to visit Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, Matagorda Island, Padre Island and the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge in the Rio Grande area.

Categories
Texas History

The History of Saint’s Roost

Back in 1878 the Reverend Lewis Henry Carhart had an idea to establish a town where Christian values would be promoted. Activities such as drinking and gambling were looked down upon and there were no saloons allowed. The local cowboys nicknamed the town “Saint’s Roost.”

Named for his wife Clara, Clarendon sprang to life along the banks of Carrol Creek. This Panhandle town was promoted by the Rev. Carhart and his brother in law to settlers back east and was backed by an English Investment and Land agency.

Clara Carhart never really took to her namesake and spent most of her time living near Dallas. The Reverend also didn’t stay long in Clarendon. He served as a Methodist Minister in Dallas, left and went to England, lived in Arkansas and finally moved California.

Saint’s Roost town moved in 1887 to be closer to the railroad and have the advantages of a railroad town. Clarendon prospered and eventually became the county seat of Donley County. In it’s heyday Clarendon boasted the first newspaper in the panhandle, a college, public school, photography studio, many business and even a 2 story hotel.

When the Greenbelt Reservoir was built in 1868, the original townsite of Saint’s Roost was flooded by water. The original cemetery was moved.

If you plan on visiting nearby Palo Duro Canyon, stop by and visit Clarendon. You will love seeing the 1894 stone courthouse and be sure to visit the Saints Roost Museum! There is a lot to see and do in the Clarendon area and the people are very friendly.

Categories
Texas Travel

Dallas Cowboys Stadium

Cowboys Stadium, the world’s largest domed stadium was completed on May 27, 2009 at a total construction cost of $1.3 billion. The stadium seats 80,000, making it the third largest stadium in the NFL by seating capacity, however the maximum capacity of the stadium, including standing room, is 110,000.

Located in Arlington, the stadium also has the world’s largest column-free interior and the 2nd largest high definition video screen which hangs from 20 yard line to 20 yard line. The facility is utilized for a variety of other activities including concerts, basketball games, boxing matches, college football and high school football contests, soccer matches, and motocross races.


Photos © Cliff Base, All Rights Reserved. View more of Cliffs photos at his site, TheCreativeGap.com.

Categories
Texas Photos

Possum Kingdom Lake Sunset Photo

Known for the famous Hell’s Gate, a sheer break in the cliffs around the lake, Possum Kingdom Lake is a 17,000 acre reservoir located primarily in Palo Pinto county on the Brazos River.  It is mentioned in the popular 1990s song “Possum Kingdom” by The Toadies.

Possum Kingdom Lake Sunset
Possum Kingdom Lake Sunset

 

 

 

 

 

 

This photo is © Cliff Base, All Rights Reserved.  View more of Cliffs photos at his site, TheCreativeGap.com.