Washington, TX: Down on the farm

One day during our visit to Austin, we decide to venture out. You already heard about our trip to the Blue Bell Ice Cream Factory. After the tour, we drove a few miles down the road to Washington-on-the-Brazos State Park, which houses the Barrington Living History Farm.The former home of Anson Jones (the last President of the Republic of Texas) was built in the 1850s and in the 1930s it was moved to this site from it’s orginal location nearby. Park volunteers keep the farm going as it did back then, based on the entries from Jones’ daybook. We learned what it was like to live in Central Texas during this time period, and even participated in some of the chores. The highlight of the day was probably driving the oxen, but if I had to do it all the time as they did back then, I am certain the novelty would wear off pretty quickly.

We learned how to carve wooden tools, feed chickens, steer oxen, “do” the corn and all sorts of other useful tasks. Because there was only one other small family there at the time, we were able to get a lot of attention and ask many questions, getting many interesting answers. If we ever return some day (which I would love to do) at another time of the year, we may have the opportunity to harvest the fruits of our labor.

Feeding the chickens

Even the little ones plowed the field

Ethan helped me plow too.

“Shorty” poses for a photo with Caleb. “Slim” can be seen in the background.

Little hands working on the corn

The main house, with the detached kitchen closest, and the smokehouse/slaughterhouse further back.

One of the two slave quarters on the farm.


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