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    25th Anniversary Celebration Events

    The Friends of the Texas Historical Commission is celebrating it's 25th anniversary in 2021! We will be holding events throughout the year to celebrate--both virtual, and in-person later in the year at the Texas Historical Commission's state historic sites. We hope you are able to join in helping us celebrate 25 years of serving as a critical nonprofit partner to the Texas Historical Commission!

     

    Upcoming events:

     

    SATURDAY, APRIL 24: CELIA'S BAKE OVEN AT VILLA DE AUSTIN
    Virtual Food History Discussion and Demonstration

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    Join us on Saturday, April 24 at 2:00 PM for a virtual food history discussion and cooking demonstration as we make tavern biscuits at the San Felipe State Historic Site! This event will offer online viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the soon-to-open Villa de Austin outdoor exhibit--a recreation of one block of the colonial town, the 1823 headquarters of Stephen F. Austin’s colony. We will meet virtually at "Celia's Bake Oven", a part of this new exhibit that tells the story of Celia Allen, a freedwoman who lived and worked in the town of San Felipe. 

    Please check back for information regarding what historic recipe we'll be making. We'll also share a list of ingredients so that you can bake along with us!

    Date: Saturday, April 24, 2:00 PM CDT
    Platform: Virtual (registrants will receive the link to the event via email closer to event date)
    Cost: Free (Donations in support of the Friends of the Texas Historical Commission are welcome and appreciated!)

    About Villa de Austin and Celia's Bake Oven:The Villa de Austin exhibit at San Felipe de Austin State Historic Site will be open to the public in summer 2021 and will offer a view into what was happening in one part of the town of San Felipe de Austin around 1830.

    Celia Allen, an enslaved woman at San Felipe de Austin, assisted business partners Laughlin McLaughlin and John M. Allen at their outdoor brick bake oven. McLaughlin oversaw the duties of the brick oven serving as baker, and Celia assisted him in baking items such as pilot bread (or hardtack), wheat bread, corn bread and cakes. 

    In 1832, McLaughlin and Allen ended their business partnership over Allen's desire to manumit, or free, Celia. In that year, Allen signed an act of manumission for Celia and her children before Alcalde Horatio Chriesman.  McLaughlin refused to recognize the manumission and in 1833, Celia retained San Felipe resident lawyer William Barret Travis to defend her. After legally winning her freedom, Celia and her children - Ann, George, and Sam - took the last name Allen.

    In 1836, as the Texians retreated from San Felipe ahead of the advancing Mexican army, Mexican soldiers took control of the brick bake oven, placing their cannons behind it and punching holes to make openings, or  embrasures, for their cannons. Mexican soldiers fired at the Texians on the opposite side of the Brazos River while Santa Anna debated options to cross the river. According to family lore, Celia and her children met Santa Anna during the Mexican occupation of San Felipe. 

    Celia Allen died in 1842 and is buried in the old cemetery at San Felipe de Austin. 

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    SATURDAY, MAY 8: HUNGRY FOR HOT SAUCE
    Virtual Cooking Class and Food History Discussion

    Join us on Saturday, May 8 at 11:00 AM CDT for a virtual food history discussion and cooking demonstration focused on the long history of hot sauce! Whether you are a fan of the show "Hot Ones," or the song "Formation" by Beyoncé, there is no denying that hot sauce is a hot commodity these days! But this spicy condiment has a long history that stretches across centuries, cultures, and continents. Join the site educators from Casa Navarro State Historic Site and Landmark Inn State Historic Site to learn about the origins of hot sauce and how to make your very own.

    Date: Saturday, May 8, 11:00 AM CDT
    Platform: Virtual (registrants will receive the link to the event via email closer to event date)
    Cost: Free (donations in support of the Friends of the Texas Historical Commission are welcome and appreciated!)

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    THURSDAY, MAY 27: Harris Who? Intriguing Texans Who Have Slipped Out of the History Books (Or Were Never There)
    Virtual Presentation and Discussion with author and Houston Chronicle columnist Joe Holley

    Date: Thursday, May 27, 6:00 PM CDT 
    Platform: Virtual (registrants will receive the link to the event via email closer to event date)
    Cost: Free (donations in support of the Friends of the Texas Historical Commission are welcome and appreciated!)

    Join us on Thursday, May 27 at 6:00 PM CDT for a discussion with writer and Texas history enthusiast Joe Holley! Joe Holley has been the “Native Texan” columnist for the Houston Chronicle since 2013. A native Texan himself – from Waco – he’s been an editorial-page-editor in San Diego, Calif., a contributor to Texas Monthly, a speechwriter for Gov. Ann Richards, a staff writer for The Washington Post and an editorial writer for the Chronicle from 2012 to 2017. He was a 2017 Pulitzer Prize finalist for a series of editorials on gun control and the Texas gun culture.

    He’s the author of six books, including Hometown Texas, a collection of his weekly “Native Texan” columns; Hurricane Season: The Unforgettable Story of the Houston Astros and the Resilience of a City; and Sutherland Springs: God, Guns and a Small Texas Town, published in 2020 and recipient of the 2021 Carr P. Collins Award, presented by the Texas Institute of Lettters in recognition  of the year’s best work of nonfiction. The book explores the aftermath of the mass shooting at the Baptist church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, on Nov. 5, 2017.

    Joe and his wife Laura Tolley (yes, Tolley, not Holley), a former journalist with the Associated Press, divide their time between Austin and Marathon.

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    Saturday, June 12, 2:00 PM CDT: Ida Eisenhower's Kitchen
    A Virtual Food History Discussion and Historic Recipe Demonstration at Eisenhower Birthplace State Historic Site 

    Join us virtually at Eisenhower Birthplace State Historic Site as we learn about mealtime in the Eisenhower household! We'll be making fried corn mush--a historic recipe--and hope that you will cook alongside us! A list of ingredients will be provided along with the link to join the event.

    Date: Saturday, June 12, 2:00 PM CDT
    Platform: Virtual (registrants will receive the link to the event via email closer to event date)
    Cost: Free (donations in support of the Friends of the Texas Historical Commission are welcome and appreciated!)

    REGISTRATION COMING SOON!