A variety of special events and activities are planned throughout the year at the Star of the Republic Museum and Washington-on-the-Brazos. The following descriptions provide a glimpse of the many ways visitors can step back in time and experience early 19th century Texas. For additional information on these or other activities, please contact the museum at 936-878-2461. Check back often as more events will be added to the calendar as information becomes available!
2015 Calendar of Events
Registration deadline for Brazos Valley Regional History Fair, January 16, 2015
Students who qualify for the Regional History Fair must be registered by 5:00 pm. For instructions on registering, contact the Regional Coordinator.
Texas Pioneers: Girl Scout Day, January 10, February 14, March 14, September 12, October 10, November 14, 2015
On selected days during the school year, the museum will host a three-hour interactive event for Girl Scouts to earn a "Texas Pioneer" patch. The goal of the event is to promote an awareness of how living has changed from pioneering days to modern times. Activities will include making butter, constructing a broom, and cooperatively doing daily chores. The event will take place from 1:00 to 4:00 pm and cost $8 per scout. Interested troop leaders should email or call (936) 878-2461, ext. 245 to register.
Exhibit opening: "Enduring Spirit: African Americans in 19th Century Texas," February 1, 2015
“Enduring Spirit: African Americans in 19th Century Texas” will open Feb. 1, 2015, and be on display through Feb. 15, 2016. It will describe the challenges African Americans faced in Texas in the 19th century. While the first African Americans in Texas were free men and women seeking opportunity and advancement, the laws of the newly-formed Republic of Texas forced them out and opened the door to thousands of enslaved people who served as the backbone of the labor force for almost 30 years. Finally gaining their freedom after the Civil War, they discovered their struggle was far from over. Artifacts on displaywill include slave records, freedmen contracts and an oath of allegiance. Stoneware pottery made at Wilson Pottery near Seguin, the first African American business in Texas, will be exhibited, as well as an example of the intricate Pine Burr pattern quilt.
No admission will be charged on opening day Feb. 1.
Black History Month Events:
February 7, 2015-
Dr. Fred McGhee, adjunct professor of anthropology at Austin Community College, will speak at 2 p.m. in the museum theatre about the 1836 Texas Rebellion. Free admission all day.
February 14, 2015-
The museum will present the first and second episodes of the PBS series, “African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross” at 2 p.m. Free admission all day.
February 21, 2015-
The museum will host Dr. Bernadette Pruitt, professor of history at Sam Houston State University, for a 2 p.m. presentation titled, "The Other Great Migration: The Movement of Rural African Americans to Houston, Texas." Free admission all day.
Brazos Valley Regional History Fair, February 13, 2015
Students from a five county region will compete for advancement to Texas History Day in Austin under the guidelines of National History Day. Students in Grades 6-12 create projects related to an annual theme, which in 2015 is "Leadership and Legacy in History." Project categories include: historical papers, exhibits, performances, documentaries, and websites. For more information, click here.
Texas Independence Day Celebration, February 28- March 1, 2015
Every year Washington-on-the-Brazos is the site for a giant party celebrating Texas birthday, bringing thousands of visitors out to join in the recognition of the adoption of the Texas Declaration of Independence. Festivities, sponsored by the Washington-on-the-Brazos State Park Association, include traditional crafts and music demonstrations, living history presentations, firing demonstrations, historical encampments, and commemorative programs.
Hands-on History, Summer Saturdays through August 15
Attention kids! Can you make a cornhusk doll? Can you tie square knots? Learn these and other skills at the Star of the Republic Museum’s “Hands-On History” programs every Saturday this summer. The programs will be offered throughout the day while supplies last. Each Saturday will focus on a different skill or craft to take home. While you are here, spend some time in our Discovery Room to learn more about life in the Republic of Texas!
June 6: Knot Tying
June 13: Corn Husk Dolls
June 20: Basket Weaving
June 27: Beading and Weaving
July 4: Uncle Sam Patriotic Pins
July 11: Tissue Paper Flowers
July 18: Quill Writing
July 25: Knot Tying
Aug. 1: Embroidery
Aug. 8: Buzz Saw Toys
Aug. 15: Corn Husk Dolls
African American Genealogy Workshop, July 18, 2015
Join us at Washington-on-the-Brazos for a genealogy workshop led by members of the H-Town Chapter Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, Inc.! Click here to register and here for a schedule of events.
"H-E-B Fireworks on the Brazos," July 4, 2015
Celebrate our national independence at the "Birthplace of Texas!" Sponsored by HEB, the annual 4th of July celebration at Washington-on-the-Brazos includes a fun-filled day of family activities. The highlight of the celebration will feature a fabulous fireworks show in the park presented by HEB!
Admission to the Park is free. Visitors can also tour the historic sites within the Park during the day, including Star of the Republic Museum (10:00 am-7:00 pm), Barrington Living History Farm (10:00-8:00 pm), and Independence Hall; regular admission fees apply. Food vendors will offer a variety of festival food choices on-site. Visit the arts & crafts booths for a special souvenir. Visitors may wish to bring picnics, blankets or lawn chairs, and flashlights. State park rules apply; alcohol prohibited.
Free concert in amphitheater by Cody Bryan Band from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. Fireworks begin around 9:15 pm. Join us!
School Daze-Education in Early Texas, August, 2015
Teachers, this is your month! All sites offer you free admission with a school ID or business card. Find out what learning opportunities are available throughout the year at the Park.
Home School Days in October, 2015
On Thursdays in October, beginning on October 8, the staff at the museum and the farm will present Childhood in Early Texas, an interactive, hands-on program for the entire family, targeting students ages 5-12. Discover what life was like for a child in the mid-19th century during a visit to this historic site. In the museum, learn about childhood chores, clothes, and schools, and then make some old-fashioned toys to take home. Enjoy your picnic lunch in the pecan grove along the Brazos River. At Barrington Farm, experience life on an 1850s era farm to learn more about the crops, livestock, and daily life of early Texans. No minimum group size required.
Hours: 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Cost: $8/child, $6/adult
Lunch not provided, picnics welcome!
Reservations and payment in advance required:
Call 936-878-2461, ext. 245 for reservations, after September 1.
Night at the Star of the Republic Museum, November 7, 2015
Between 7:00 and 9:00 p.m., the lights will go down and the museum’s exhibits will come to life! Explore the museum by flashlight—but BEWARE of what’s around the corner! Discover the history of Texas in a different light! This will be a fun way to learn about Texas history as real live characters step out of the exhibits to tell the story of the Texas Republic! Come anytime between 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Don’t forget to bring a flashlight! Adults/$5, Students/$3. Children ages 6 and under are free! Anyone with a current Blinn College ID is also free
Christmas on the Brazos, December 12, 2015
Start the holiday season by spending the day at Washington on the Brazos with holiday activities for all ages including period music, craft making, readings, food samplings and sale of artisan gifts. This event features modern and historic activities throughout the site; standard admission fees will apply to the daytime activities. Christmas crafts will be available at the museum throughout the day until 5 p.m. At 5 p.m., activities will shift to Barrington Farm for Candlelight Christmas, the evening event. This special program features timed vignettes, offering glimpses into 1850s festivities through a candlelit tour of Barrington Farm. The event will include live 19th century music and dancing, bonfires and Christmas readings, 1850s Santa Claus, musket firing, cookies and hot cider. Please allow at least one hour to complete the full experience. Groups will enter the site at timed intervals and reservations are highly recommended and will be accepted starting October 1.