Thursday, March 17, 2011

Griff Smith Exhibit and Sam Houston Complex

After Mardi Gras on Saturday I took a solo trip up to Huntsville to Sam Houston State University to see a photography exhibit of Griff Smith, photo editor of Texas Highways magazine. It was really amazing! And I liked the history museum, as well.

The Sam Houston Memorial Museum-Education Building was where the Griff Smith photography exhibit was held. Really amazing photos...Wish I had him as a mentor! Is attending an art institute in my future, perhaps?!?
The lobby of the SH Memorial Museum-Education Building.
When walking in, I paid my $4 (yes, in change, I had no cash) to the left and then walked in the museum. Wonderful pictures already on the wall got me instantly excited.
The exhibit...
This photograph was the first shot in the Texas Highways article on the exhibit. I love this shot. All of the photos were of Texas. Love my Texas!!
I had to take a picture of the Barbadilla, since I was here last summer in Abilene at the best burger place ever, Perini's. Have to tag my aunt in it! :)
After gawking at the photos for a while, and having that travel urge to explore Texas, I continued out the back museum door that led me to the SH Complex, including another museum, gift shop, and old homes/buildings of Sam Houston that were transfered here for the "complex."
The gift shop. :) Found a patch for my travel bag and a great childrens' book on Sam Houston for my classroom.
The Steamboat House where Sam Houston lived in his later years. He actually died here in 1863 and his funeral was held in the parlor room. The front door, at the top of those stairs is all glass windows where you can see a set up of his office. There was no entrance into the house, but the glass windows and doors helped see the inside.
The Sam Houston Memorial Museum (main building). The $4 entrance fee that I paid previously let me get in here too, with the little button they gave me to wear. In here were lots of great artifacts of Sam Houston, including his vest, cane, and other fun facts about him.
The lobby of the musuem. The employee sitting at the desk said he loved to talk about Sam Houston so after touring the museum I asked him about the information I learned in Washington, D.C.'s Masonic Lodge about both Sam Houston and Santa Anna being masons. He said it was merely a legend, as SH may not have even been a mason at that time. Interesting, though. He actually told me lots of interesting information about Santa Anna liking his opium, and the bodies of the head on the land after San Jacinto and how they were buried not very deep. An archeaologist can even get to them very easily (although I think they're mostly recovered now). Anyways, I was running out of time so I had to leave quickly so that I had enough time to see the old houses of Sam Houston.
I loved this plaque in the museum about Sam's mother giving him this ring before he went to war. It had the word Honor imprinted on the inside, as his mother said she would rather lose her sons' to war then be cowards. I would love to get my brother and sister-in-law one of these.
More of the museum....Again, a lot of wonderful artifacts.
Sam Houston's actual cane! He was shot in the ankle at the Battle of San Jacinto and never fully recovered from it.
The old homes of Sam Houston were moved into one general area. And they have replicas of the cabins that you can actually explore, and climb all up into. It was really interesting seeing how these could be two stories!
Those stairs were so steep. And no railings either, so it was quite tricky. Very cool to explore, though.
Sam Houston's house, "Woodland," where he lived while he was a US Senator for Texas from 1846-1859. His wife gave birth to 4 out of 8 children here. In 1859 he was then elected Governor (even though he opposed Texas joining the Confederacy/Civil War).
National Historic Landmark! Woohoo
The back of the house. You can see the stairs by the right pillar. You get to walk up and look through the glass windows where the rooms are set up in period time.
The outhouse was a good 20-30 yards from the house. Burrr on winter nights!
To the left of the houses is Sam Houston Park where the ducks and benches gave it a bunch of atmosphere.
Sam Houston's law building where he practiced law for many years which led to his political career.
Inside the gates of the law business structure. This was what "doing business" looking like in the early 1800s.
Then I walked around the park. It was the perfect afternoon to do so. Wish I had brought some bread for the ducks, though!
Taking a picture of the area... Gotta love the random chickens/roosters there. I have no clue why?!?
"Whatcha doin down there, Earl?" I ended up watching the ducks do some interesting things for a while and as 5:00pm on the Sunday school night approached I ended up heading back home. Another great travel weekend down!

Next, comes the Spring Break pictures :)

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