Monday, January 16, 2012

Lyndon B. Johnson State Park

This is the visitor center for the L.B.J. State and National Parks. The building on the right is where you pick-up your free driving tour c.d., and houses a nice gift shop. The building to the left has a nicely done museum and theater.

Here's a glimpse of the museum. It gives an overview of life in the hill country of Texas in the early 1900s with some focus on President Johnson.

This school desk was donated to the museum, as having been Lyndon B. Johnson's. Check out the initials carved along the center front edge of the desk. They are just above the 3 dark spots on the desk edge. Nice printing skills!

The main focus of the state park is the Sauer-Beckmann Living History Farm. Costumed interpreters carry out the daily activities of life from 1900-1918.

Here is an overview of the farm The buildings are the original ones built by the families that settled here. If you look at the map at the beginning of the last blog, you will note that this farm is located across the Pedernales River directly in front of the Texas Whitehouse. The Sauer-Beckmann Farm was home to the midwife that assisted with the birth of L.B.J..

Johann and Christine Sauer, along with their four children, came to this area in 1869. They were immigrants from Germany. It appears that they started out in the log cabin on the right and eventually added the limestone cabin. The log cabin is interesting in that it seems to have limestone blocks in the chinking between the logs. I haven't seen that before. Nice touch!

This is the view to the right, as you enter the log cabin. Don't the jars of food look fresh and tasty! The ladder must have gone up into a loft for sleeping. I can't imagine how hot it must have gotten there during the Texas Summer heat!

The pots and pans are on the left side of the same room! The opening above the table would have just been a window to the outdoors until such time as the limestone cabin was built. You can see the nice limestone chinking.

This room is attached to the previous room, but may have been an addition, as it is all limestone. This is the right side of the room. The area appears to be set-up for processing grains.

This is the left side of the same room. Looks like an area for pickling.

This room is in the limestone cabin, and a doorway has been made to it from the pickling area in the above picture. Looks like another workroom ladies! From right to left I see canning, a fireplace for cooking, a butter churn, and jugs of some drink. Whew, I'm tired from looking at that much work!

This is the room you walk into, as you enter the limestone cabin. It's the one with the square opening between the two cabins.

By 1885 several stone buildings were built near the original log and limestone cabins. The tall limestone building to the right of the cabin was said to house bedrooms for the Sauer's now 10 children! One of those 10 children, Augusta Sauer Lindig, is the one who served as midwife at the birth of President Johnson.

This is an overview of the continued additions to the original structures. The Beckmann family acquired this property in 1900. A good cotton crop in 1915 allowed Emil and Emma Beckmann to build a new barn, to add a frame room onto the old rock structure, and to construct porches connecting to a lovely Victorian house covered with fashionable pressed tin. Note the small square stone building out front. That is a laundry room. I think the large barrel on top must be for collecting rain water.

Here's Roy giving it a try. Can you imagine doing laundry for your family of twelve this way, along with all the other work there was to do? Makes life today seem pretty easy, doesn't it?

This is the entry to the Victorian home. Coming through the doorway and turning right you enter the living room or would they have said parlor?

This is the right side of the parlor toward the front of the house.

This is the left side of the parlor.

Across the Victorian home entry way from the parlor is a bedroom. The side door pictured goes across a dogtrot to the tall limestone building that housed the Sauer family children. The Beckmann's had the first floor, as a kitchen. Roy likes the ceiling oil lamp, as it has a system of chains and mechanisms that allows the lamp to be pulled down away from the lampshade for lighting. It must have seemed like quite a convenience for the times. Seemed pretty cool even today!

This is the bedroom pictured above looking back at the entry way, and the doorway to another bedroom on the right.

This must have been the parent's room.

This is the back of all the homes and additions from 1869-1915. On the right are the log and limestone cabins, the tall limestone Sauer children's bedroom addition, and the Beckmann Victorian home.

This is the barn that was added in 1915. We completed our tour feeling a connection to the early years of life in Texas.