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Christmas past at LBJ state and national parks

Sauer-Beckmann Living History Farm, part of Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site, welcomes visitors to Christmas past. Photo courtesy of LBJ State Park

Visit President Lyndon B. Johnson’s boyhood home in Johnson City and a historic living farm in Stonewall to experience holiday traditions of the early 20th century.

At the LBJ National Historical Park, the staff decks the halls of the home where Johnson grew up with cedar boughs and berries, a cedar tree, and homemade ornaments. Lamplight tours are available on four Saturdays: Nov. 27 and Dec. 4, 11, and 18. The home is located at 200 E. Elm St. in Johnson City.

The LBJ State Park and Historic Site’s Sauer-Beckmann Farm, 501 Park Road 52 in Stonewall, is just a few miles away and depicts Christmas during the time of World War I.

At the farm’s annual Deck the Halls event from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 27, volunteers help decorate by stringing popcorn, icing Christmas cookies, and dipping candles during the event.

Staff continues decorations in the following days until they are complete, around the time of the annual LBJ Tree Lighting, which is at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 19, at the park’s headquarters, 199 Park Road 52 in Stonewall.

The farm is open for tours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, and the last Tuesday of every month. The park itself is open until dark.

Johnson’s family moved from a farm in Stonewall much like the Sauer-Beckmann Farm into the Johnson City home when he was 5 years old. He lived there until his graduation from high school in 1924.

The Johnson family farm is part of the LBJ National Historical Park, which includes what became known as the Texas White House during Johnson’s presidency. The house itself is closed due to structural concerns, but the LBJ driving tour is still available. The Hangar Visitor Center is open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday. Park grounds in both Johnson City and Stonewall are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

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