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Step Back in Time With McCulloch County Early Days Celebration

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Photos courtesy of the McCulloch County Historical Commission

Cowboys and Indians, the Wild West, a settler’s life on the Texas frontier — what was it like to live that life? Join the McCulloch County Historical Commission (MCHC) as they honor this unique time in Texas history during the McCulloch County Early Days celebration.

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On Friday (student day) and Saturday (general public day), April 7 and 8, 2017, MCHC will present the McCulloch County Early Days living history event at Richards Park in Brady, Texas. McCulloch County, formed in 1856 just five years prior to the outbreak of the Civil War, holds an interesting bookmark in the history pages written about the Civil War. Not only were the settlers focused on the events transforming the nation at the time, but also they experienced a more immediate concern – surviving the western frontier in a newly minted county in which Indian attacks, drought, and isolation were battles they must be prepared to fight daily.

Step Back in Time With McCulloch County Early Days Celebration

Step Back in Time With McCulloch County Early Days Celebration

The Early Days celebration intends to give festival-goers a sense of what life was like for the settlers living on the Texas frontier before, during, and after the Civil War. Camped along the banks of Brady Creek, authentically costumed Civil War and frontier-era military living historians will depict the daily camp life of soldiers during the mid-to-late 1800s.

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Included in their demonstrations will be military drills (including a display of cavalry skills), the firing of period weaponry including hand-held weapons, artillery, and cannons, and frontier survival skills. Not only will visitors get a close-up look at the weapons of the time and how they were used, they will also experience the sounds and the smells of military life.

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Dressed in period clothing, other living historians will depict how settlers and townsfolk spent their days. Pioneers will demonstrate the household and everyday skills needed to take care of a pioneer family, illustrating that harnessing and developing the Texas frontier required full-time effort. Townspeople will sell their wares and services, and, in a classic street gunfight, the age-long conflict between law and order will be resolved.

Step Back in Time With McCulloch County Early Days Celebration

As they enjoy the bustle of frontier life, visitors can watch quilters as they work on an heirloom quilt, learn about the patience and skill of a horseshoer, smell and taste samples of Dutch oven cooking, and thrill to the sight of the Sahawe Indian Dancers celebrating the Native American culture in undulating feathered costumes as they high step to rhythmic drumbeats.

Step Back in Time With McCulloch County Early Days Celebration

Step Back in Time With McCulloch County Early Days Celebration

Additional features will include artifact and weapons collectors, children’s activities, live musical entertainment, Texas longhorns, and food vendors.  All presenters will share the area’s history from a different perspective while depicting the lives of settlers, frontiersmen, Native Americans, and soldiers who lived their lives on full-time high alert.

The strength, tenacity, and courage of that adventuresome and stubborn group continue to flow through the veins of Texans today.  McCulloch County Early Days is a tribute to their dedication to settling this land and creating the foundation on which the Lone Star State today stands.