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Summer Nights in Texas

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Summer Nights in Texas

  • A new exhibition at Liberty’s Sam Houston Center revisits the past

Two different scenes from past Texas summer nights stir our imagination and lead to new adventures. You can visit these scenes in person and through artifacts and documents available at the new museum exhibition at the Sam Houston Center (SHC) in Liberty.

The exhibition explores the life, culture and history of the Atascosita region. Documenting the roughly 10-county area from prehistoric times through early settlement periods, the Republic and Civil War eras, and modern times, the exhibit tells the story of southeast Texas through artifacts, images, archives and interactive media.

Texas treasures on display include the base of two fluted projectile points that come from the Wood Springs site, located just south of the SHC. These two points mark the first reported occurrence of Clovis people in Liberty County and push the date from the first occupation of the area back to at least 13,000 years ago.

From documents of Sam Houston to archival records from the people of the Atascosita area, the museum exhibit explores the vast and rich history of the region and captures the interaction and development of people and the land they inhabit — then and now.

Summer Sailing

Imagine slowly sailing down the Trinity at sunset, listening to the calls of the warblers and sparrows. As golden light reflects from the moving river, you gaze along the banks of the shore during peaceful dusk. Sailing the Trinity River in the 1870s could be a voyage of leisure or business.

The Mary Conley sailed the Trinity River, delivering essentials to various ports on the riverbanks. The ship was the largest steamboat to regularly travel the Trinity, comparable in size to steamboats on the larger Mississippi River. In 1872, it ran aground and sank 25 miles north of Liberty. The log book is now on display at the SHC, as are other artifacts from vessels known to have sailed the Trinity, including the Black Cloud and the Cleona, which is believed to be the source of the huge anchor now hanging in the exhibit gallery.

Lemonade on the Veranda

Nothing is more classic in Southern life than enjoying lemonade on the veranda. The SHC, which is a campus of historic buildings and research facilities, encompasses a three-quarter size replica of the Governor’s Mansion in Austin. The Jean and Price Daniel Home and Archives structure includes building wings.

Although the Mansion in Austin had been slated for wings, none were ultimately included due to budget constraints. The Daniel building (along with the land and other substantial historical gifts) were donated to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission by Governor Price and Jean Daniel. The facility includes a stately ground floor veranda framed by Ionic columns.

About the Sam Houston Center

The Sam Houston Center is a component of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) and houses local government records, rare books, manuscripts, archival materials, photographs and other media format covering a range of southeast Texas history. Four historic buildings and the Jean and Price Daniel Home and Archives are located on the SHC’s grounds. These buildings document 19th and 20th century southeast Texas history.

Tours of the SHC and its historic buildings are available by appointment. We recommend booking your tour at least two weeks in advance.

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