October is about more than football or Halloween – it’s a month where history comes alive in Texas state parks and historic sites. Throughout the month, visitors will be able to learn about ancient rock art left behind by the state’s earliest inhabitants, or experience what frontier life was like in the 1800s. Here’s a sampling of history-related events on tap in October:
- On Oct. 18, visit Independence Hall, where the Texas Declaration of Independence was signed in 1836, at Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site to see staff and volunteers re-enact what life was like in the early days of the Republic of Texas. Kids can write with a quill pen to sign a copy of the Texas Declaration of Independence or visit with militiamen traveling through town.
- In addition to exploring frontier times in early Texas, discover what life was like for earlier peoples through Texas’ rich archaeological history, celebrated in October as part of Texas Archaeology Month. Visit Seminole Canyon State Park and Historic Site for the Fate Bell Shelter pictograph guided tour every Wednesday through Sunday this month to explore prehistoric drawings. After the Fate Bell Shelter tour, discover the White Shaman Pictograph Panel on a guided hike every Saturday this month, also at Seminole Canyon.
- Take a guided history tour of Mission Espiritu Santo at Goliad State Park and Historic Site. Every Saturday afternoon this month, explore Goliad’s history of Native American culture, Spanish colonization with the construction of Mission Espiritu Santo, and the site’s restoration by the Civilian Conservation Corps.
- Meet ranchers who handle longhorns like those that once roamed the Texas plains at Copper Breaks State Park every Saturday this month. On Oct. 18, discover fun for adults and kids alike with chuck wagon tasting, branding iron demonstrations, covered wagon rides, ranch skills on horseback, antique tractors, a rocking horse rodeo and more at Hill Country State Natural Area.
- At Fort Richardson State Park and Historic Site during Civil War Weekend on Nov. 1-2, re-enactors will be performing living history demonstrations all weekend. Park visitors will see blue-coated infantrymen and horse soldiers in artillery drills and mock battles.
- The Texas State Park system continues to benefit from the hard work of the Civilian Conservation Corps crews that developed state parks and historic sites throughout the state in the Great Depression years of the 1930s and 1940s. See some of their lasting craftsmanship and enduring structures at Bastrop State Park, Longhorn Cavern, Indian Lodge, Palo Duro Canyon and 25 other Texas Parks and Wildlife Department sites.
For a full list of featured October state park events and their locations, visit TPWD’s activities calendar.