Spring Break on the Back 40

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© Institute of Texan Cultures

Spring Break on the Back 40

ITC offers annual trip to 1800s Texas Frontier

 
SAN ANTONIO – There was no Spring Break in 1800s Texas. It took hard work for a pioneering family to get by. To get a taste of this frontier life, the Institute of Texan Cultures will open its Back 40 outdoor learning area March 11 – 15 for Spring Break on the Back 40.
 
The Back 40 features five period structures that typify the late 1800s on the Texas frontier, with structures typical of the piney woods, hill country and dry West Texas desert. Visitors will have the opportunity to visit a one-room schoolhouse, an adobe house, a dog-trot log house, a barn and a fort, and take part in activities associated with each structure.
 
Every day, the one-room school house will be open and visitors can experience daily lessons such as writing on a slate board, reading from a primer, arithmetic and penmanship with a quill pen. Schoolyard games follow, including hoop rolling, marbles, stilt-walking and other challenges.
 
Monday, the hill country barn will be open and visitors can try calf roping and making their own cattle brands. Tuesday is an exploration of the West Texas adobe house, where visitors can make “ojo de dios” crafts. Wednesday highlights the frontier fort and life in the Buffalo Soldier regiments assigned to Texas. The experience includes mock enlistment, marching drills and an on-site scouting expedition.
 
Thursday and Friday feature the dog-trot log house and gives visitors a look at homesteading and the chores required of each family member. Friday’s activities at the log house include a quilting bee with the museum’s quilting guild, and an opportunity to make a rag doll craft.
 
“Texas Frontier life was very hard and also very rewarding,” said Brandon Aniol, education specialist and coordinator for Back 40 activities. “These pioneer families didn’t get a spring break. They worked sun up to sun down to build the Texas of today. We appreciate opportunities like this to share the story of Texas in a hands-on kind of way.”
 
Spring Break on the Back 40 is included in regular admission. Activities begin at 10 a.m. and conclude at 2 p.m. each day.
 
The Institute of Texan Cultures is located on the UTSA HemisFair Park Campus, 801 E. César E. Chávez Blvd., a short distance from the Alamo and the River Walk. Regular hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Saturday; noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $8 for adults (ages 12-64); $7 for seniors (ages 65+); $6 for children (ages 3-11); free with membership, UTSA or Alamo Colleges identification. For more information, call 210-458-2300 or visit TexanCultures.com.
 
 
 

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©2014 Institute of Texan Cultures. University of Texas at San Antonio. All Rights Reserved.
 

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