Today is Texas Independence Day, and to celebrate the event thousands of people made the journey to the Washington-on-the-Brazos Historic Site just a few yards away from the spot where Texas received its independence from Mexico.
It may be 2014, but it sure felt like 1836 at the site as re-enactors dressed up as members of the Texas Army, Muzzle-loading rifles, powder horns, coonskin caps, and the rest.
The site, which sits just 30 miles south of College Station, spans a massive 293 acres and is the exact site where 49 delegates signed the famous Texas Declaration of Independence — which essentially cut ties with Mexico — on March 2, 1836.
There were a host of historians and children’s entertainers on hand to make the event even more vivid, as they told stories about the old days before independence.
Ed “Banjo Eddy” Ellis taught children about the waterproof, lightweight cow horns that were used to carry gunpowder, while Larry Newbern of Needville shaped steel hooks for hanging kettles and discussed blacksmiths.
At a mini-campsite which was set up nearby, Karen Verschoor, Deborah Russell and her husband made authentic beef and barley soup over an open fire for spectators to enjoy, “It’s a way to relax and escape modern technology,” Verschoor said.
The Lopez family from Bulverde were also at the Texas Independence Day celebrations. Jose Lopez, one of the family members, said, “Some people assume that because we’re Hispanic, our families just arrived here in the last 20 to 40 years, but we go back 16 generations that we can document.”
Lopez also spoke about the importance of knowing ones roots and not forgetting their heritage: “I feel it’s important to not forget our heritage, to know our roots,” he said.
The original Declaration of Independence followed six months of bloody battles between the Mexican Government and the Texas colonists, However, intermittent skirmishes continued between he two sides throughout the 1840s, resulting in the Mexican — American War.
This lasted from 1846 until 1848 when America finally annexed the State of Texas.
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