Join us for the 175th Commemorative Celebration!
As many of you are already aware, Washington on the Brazos SHS hosts an annual celebration commemorating the signing of the Texas Declaration of Independence. The upcoming festivities will be even more special in that this is the 175th anniversary of not only the signing, but of the Texian War for Independence! As such we are currently planning a host of activities for the visitors and participants alike.
There are already several well known living history and reenactment organizations from across Texas and elsewhere in the United States participating with us, and we’d like to invite you to join us as well.Please look over the following preliminary information and if this is something you or your unit would be interested in give us a holler and we’ll get you registered!
Scenarios and Camps
-Revolution Comes to Washington
The interpretive staff of Independence Hall will be hosting first person interpretative scenarios portraying key moments in the convention, the raising of the Washington Guards as well as other vignettes related to the town and convention. Participants will camp along the “flats” near the historic Labahia Road crossing on the Brazos River. All participation in these scenarios will be juried and walk-ons will not be permitted.
-Texian War for Independence Camp/Timeline
This scenario will offer the various groups portraying units that fought in the revolution an opportunity to setup camp and promote their individual unit history to the public. From the Alabama Red Rovers to the Tres Villas Battalion, all are welcome and encouraged to participate in this camp. A designated camp area will be set aside along the main boulevard between the Star of the Republic Museum and the park Visitor’s Center. This is the perfect opportunity to get your organization public exposure and you never know, you might round up a recruit or two!
While some folks aren’t interested in perfecting their drill, many units pride themselves on their attention to detail and crispness of execution when it comes to 19th century drill. We are assembling a panel of three judges to oversee the competition which will be judged on knowledge of drill, crispness of execution, complexity of movements and unit cohesion. The winner of this competition will take home an award and will have bragging rights for the remainder of the 175th cycle! Participating units must field a minimum of eight men in the ranks and must use appropriate drill manuals of the period.
-Artillery and Musketry Demonstrations
The various camps will each be allowed time for demonstrating artillery and musketry in pre-approved areas at designated times. As any of you who participate regularly at reenactments know, this is always a hit with the visitors and the folks coming to Washington for the celebration are no different! Space is limited for artillery demonstrations and all crews must meet certain requirements so if you or your unit are interested in participating in this scenario please contact me as soon as possible. All weapons being used for demonstrations must pass inspection before being allowed on the firing line.
Lott’s Tavern was one of the places to grab a bite to eat and get caught up on the latest news in revolutionary Washington. Once again Lott’s will see the light of day in this special recreation of a mid 19th century grogery. Throughout the day participants and visitors will mingle in the confines of Lott’s establishment and will have the chance to whet their whistles after a long march or ride in to town! Lott’s will serve as the community center after hours and all are encouraged to gather for a game of monte or faro, a lively tune from a traveling fiddler or perhaps just to catch up with old friends!
While this particular activity is still in the planning stages, we are working towards a hosting a period dance, complete with a contra band and caller. The current plans are to host the dance either in Independence Hall or on the lawn in front of the Hall across Main Street. Don your finest 19th century clothing, slip on your best dance pumps and join us as we follow in the footsteps of our forefathers by celebrating with music and dance!
Once the event is over and the dust has settled you might want to stay over for a few days and visit the country around Washington. The historic town sites of Independence and San Felipe are both within an hours drive from Washington and both sites are a part of the story of the Texian War for Independence and the early Republic era. Also not far away is the Texas Ranger Museum and Ft. Parker, both near Waco and there’s always Austin and all that it offers. Waco and Austin are both approximately two hours drive from Washington.
Our event commemorating Texas’ independence also bookends a history filled week culminating with the Fall of the Alamo the next weekend in San Antonio. Come down and participate in a once in a lifetime event here at Washington and then stay over and commemorate the Fall of the Alamo with the DRT the next weekend… we’re all looking forward to having you join us!
Campsites are located in different areas, depending on which scenarios you register for. While there are no facilities in any of the camps they are only a short distance away, approximately 50 to 350 yards, depending on whether you want port-a-johns or inside facilities.
Most everyone is aware of the weather in Texas but just in case you aren’t… the weather at this time of year can be cold and wet or warm and dry, you never know until it get’s here! Historically the day before the convention opened it was unseasonably warm and the next day the temperature dropped to 33 degrees so it really hasn’t changed much over the last 175 years. It’s a safe bet that it will be cold at some point, so pack accordingly!
Washington on the Brazos SHS is located in Washington Co. between Brenham and Navasota just off of HWY 105 on FM 1155. Our physical address is 12300 Park Rd. #12 Washington, TX 77880. For some reason when you use MapQuest to find the park it gives you the wrong location however if you click on the up arrow you’ll see the park(indicated by a green shaded area) just above the map marker. The closest major highways are HWY 6 that runs North/South and HWY 290 that runs East/West.
To register for the 175th Commemoration event being held on the weekend of February 26th and 27th, 2011, please contact Scott McMahon at 936 878-2214 ext. 224 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. All participants must be registered under a unit name or individually if not a member of a participating unit. Walk-ins are strongly discouraged but we do understand that issues come up. If you are interested in attending but are not sure you can make the event we suggest registering anyway to avoid any difficulties later on. Registration deadline is December 31st, 2010.