Monday, March 24, 2008

Birthplace of Texas

On Friday, we went on a field trip with our local homeschool group. We had a great turnout with over 30 people. We went to the birthplace of Texas - Washington on the Brazos. While there, we made 3 stops - Barrington Farms (a working historical farm), the Star of the Republic Musuem, and then we went to Inpendence Hall.

This was an all day trip as we were up at 5:30 am and left the house at 6:40. And, we had to pick up my husband from the airport and then went out to dinner, so we didn't get home until 8:30 pm! I took almost 200 photos, so I can't believe I narrowed it down to so few.

At Barrington Hall, I noticed lots of these egg sacs. The tour guide confirmed they were spider sacs. I saw up to 8 at one time and they were almost the size of a golf ball! I wonder how many baby spiders will hatch???
Piglets!!! They were only 2 weeks old and SO cute! Since this is a working farm, they even raise their own meat. They cook their own meals. They do it all!
I love the scarecrow! Last time we were here, we saw gourds growing and learned they used them for drinking out of and many other things. I was suprised to see the scarecrow's face is a gourd!

One of the slave quarters - a recreation.

One of the tour guides showing us a photo of Anson Jones family just after his death. The following was taken from a sign at the museum:

Anson Jones arrived in Texas in 1833 virtually penniless, but soon developed a medical practice in Brazoria. His medical practice was interrupted when he served in the army at San Jacinto. Before being elected president in 1844, Jones served in the Congress of the Republic and as Secretary of State.

As the last President of the Republic, Jones supported annexation under the best possible terms, advocating a negotiable treaty. His motives being misunderstood, he was severely criticized and stripped of power.

Annexation was finally achieved on February 19, 1846, when Texas formally became the 28th state in the United States. President Anson Jones lowered the Lone Star flag, and raised the Stars and Stripes, stating, "The Republic of Texas is no more."

A fall from his horse in 1849 left one arm paralyzed and constantly painful. Jones wore a glove over his purple, withered hand. When morphine no longer dulled his pain, he became terrbily depressed, and took his own life in the early morning hours of January 9, 1858.

This is the lady who is actually making lunch for the workers on the farm. She was making potato soup, biscuits (shown in photo), and a cobbler-like pear dessert. She has to rotate these big iron pots every once in awhile. Cooking was the job of one of the slaves. We have it easy, don't we?
She had all of her ingredients laid out on the table and I loved this bowl of eggs. Then, one of the other moms noticed the green egg and asked out loud why it was green. I then had to tell her that you can tell the color an egg will be by looking at the chicken's ear lobes! Isn't it neat to use new knowledge?

Alexandra and several of the girls had lots of fun doing laundry. LOTS of laundry!

These are some of the spoons actually made by the tour guide/farmer at Barrington Farm. Some of the older boys got to try a little wood carving.

After the farm, we had lunch and then went to the museum. It is a great museum that packs a lot in a small space. We could have spent a lot of time there! And, I'll tell you a little more later. But, I thought this piece was interesting. It was in a display called "What is it?" Any thoughts??? (Answer at the bottom of the post.)

The Star of the Republic Museum is shaped like a star and at each indent is one of these circular "wells" that the kids like to play in. In front of Alexandra is her scavenger hunt sheet. The kids had a blast filling in the answers to this quiz - and learned so much!

Our last stop was Independence Hall where the Declaration for Texas Indepence was signed. This was done in the city of Washington, also known as Washington on the Brazos because it is on the Brazos River. The above sign showed how people crossed the river by a ferry just down the hill from Independence Hall.

This sign says, Washington was a raw, new town when delegates from all over Texas crowded in for the March 1816 convention. Santa Anna's army had moved into San Antonio de Bexar, and the Alamo was under siege. War was at hand and the Convention had to act.

Texas has an amazing history which we've studied some in the past, but I hope to study it more in the future.

And now, a couple of videos. Unfortunately, I'm so used to holding the camera side-ways, that I filmed these that way. Ugh! (Does anyone know how to turn them around???)

Alexandra making a shingle!!! How cool is that???

Alexandra playing with a toy. It has little grooves on one side and you have to run the stick on the grooves and your finger on the flat part. It takes a little practice. And, it is the vibrations that make it work.

Hope you enjoyed this trip into Texas history. Oh, and the "What is it?" item was used under the legs of chairs with some kind of liquid put in the outer circle to trap ants!


live4evermom said...

I went there a last year and it was neat. I loved the little museum they have. The grounds are nice for a picnic and looks like you had a great day there.

Makita said...

What a fabulous place! I would love to visit a working historical farm. :D

Teacher of One said...

egg sacks & piglets... Charlotte's Web in the flesh.

Rhonda said...

Looks like a wonderful day. I would have never guessed that the little gadget was for trapping ants! Hmmm not sure how to turn those videos around. Maybe check around on your camera and see if there is a menu that you can work with videos. Thanks so much for sharing.

Robin said...

Hahaha! I thought it was a chips and dip bowl... jk...... I had no idea. Pretty cool, though!
I loved your Texas History post. That's exactly the kind of field trip that GB and I adore. Wish we could have been there. He would have loved those little piglets!

Anonymous said...

Wow, I wanna go!!! I love History!! Good to see y'all had so much fun.

Sonia said...

Don't you just LOVE field trips? :-) Looks like you had a lot of fun. Almost too much fun to call it "learning". LOL ...Although those egg sacs look a little scary.

keri said...

My kids would love going there!
Those egg sacs are cool.
My daughter would enjoy the piglets.

Rachel said...


I just found your site while looking for GTG resources. I live in NW Houston but have only been here a few years so was unaware of the Houston festival! I am excited!
I am a member of a few local co-ops and I am wondering if we are both members of the same one? My girls are young still so I don't get to go on too many of the field trips... we went to a Sleeping Beauty Ballet presentation and are going to a festival in May. I'd love to talk to a fellow Houstonian about the resources used for GTG :-)

ilovemy5kids said...

My parents took my children there. It turns out one of my old teachers from jr. high is the tour guide. How funny is that?

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