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Party on the Fourth Like It’s 1900 at LBJ State Park

The Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site is holding an early 1900s’ Fourth of July celebration. The event features a setting people would have enjoyed on Independence Day back then. Staff photo by Daniel Clifton

STONEWALL — It might resemble a modern Independence Day celebration with friends, family, fun, and food, but it will take you back 117 years.

"Basically, (a celebration back then) was like we do (today),” said Iris Neffendorf, the Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site superintendent. "They got together with friends in the backyard, played games, and celebrated. It was a time to break from work in the field and on the farm."


The park hosts its annual July 4th at the Farm from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday on the facility's Sauer-Beckmann Living History Farm.

"It's a 1900 farm family setting," Neffendorf said. "There will be games like they played: washers, horseshoes, and stick horse races."

Kids can even make cornhusk dolls to take home with them.

Interpreters and volunteers at the Sauer-Beckmann farm don period clothing and carry on as if they were working in a rural community in the early 1900s.

Visitors can enjoy the July 4 picnic and entertainment as well as see typical 1900-era farm family activities such as harvesting and canning vegetables.

The Sauer-Beckmann farm boasts a full garden like one a family would have grown in the early 1900s. Neffendorf pointed out that families raised or produced most of what they needed to eat, so canning would help fill the shelves for the rest of the year.

After checking out the farm, visitors can enjoy the rest of the park, which features a swimming pool, a dog-trot cabin, the Pedernales River, and wildlife viewing opportunities. The park is home to part of the official Texas Longhorn herd.

LBJ State Park and Historic Site is located 2 miles east of Stonewall and 14 miles west of Johnson City on U.S. 290. Admission is free.

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