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Texas Trails and Tales
Texas Trails and Tales
"Texas Trails and Tales" at UTSA's Institute of Texan Cultures

ITC's 'Texas Trails and Tales' shows pioneer life

By Alison Beshur
Public Affairs Specialist

(July 14, 2006)--Life may have been less complicated for pioneer families, but it certainly wasn't easier. To make a quilt or pillow, for example, early pioneers had to first sun-dry feathers from a chicken, wait until they had enough gathered and then sew the blanket, mattress or pillow by hand.

Through July 29, visitors to UTSA's Institute of Texan Cultures can sample life of early Texas settlers during "Texas Trails and Tales" at the museum's Back 40 outside grounds.

Visitors will take a step back in time to explore a barn, log cabin, one-room schoolhouse, cavalry fort headquarters and adobe house. They also can pet a baby goat named Oreo and an older goat named Billy Bob.

Karen Sanchez, education specialist at UTSA's Institute of Texan Cultures, said the month-long "Texas Trails and Tales" activities provide a learning environment for visitors. "Each of the buildings has a hands-on activity," she said. "Visitors learn about the history of South Texas."

There is marching at the fort, real chuck wagon demonstrations and old-time schoolyard games such as marbles, hopscotch, jump rope and hoop rolling. There also are simple lessons in roping.

The young enthusiastic guides, who are between the ages of 12 and 17, wear uniforms and dresses typical of the 1800s and captivate visitors with historical interpretations of everyday activities. "It's kids teaching kids," Sanchez said.

"Texas Trails and Tales" activities run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and are included with admission to the museum. Tickets to the museum are $7 for adults; $4 for children, seniors age 65 and older and military personnel with ID card; free for children age 2 and younger and for UTSA students, faculty and staff.

For more information, call (210) 458-2330.

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