DANIEL CLIFTON • PICAYUNE EDITOR
BURNET — While the tweets of cell phones and blips of blogs have become the norm of the day, people can slow down a bit and reflect on what it was like in Burnet County long before the concept of an iPhone, or even a phone, existed.
Christmas at Ole Fort Croghan is 5-8 p.m. Dec. 14 at the Fort Croghan Museum, 703 Buchanan Drive (Texas 29.) Museum volunteers are decorating the cabins and grounds just as the area’s early settlers did for Christmas.
“It’s a Christmas stroll through an old timey community,” Milli Williams said in describing the event. “We’ll have costumed families in all of the cabins acting as if it was Christmas. We’ll have Christmas trees in each of the cabins, and there will be a fire in each of the fireplaces. And, as folks go around, they can visit with the folks in costume and each other. It’s just a fun way to celebrate Christmas.”
Fort Croghan was one of the forts on the line along the Texas frontier. It started in 1847 with a company of Texas Rangers and was called McCulloch’s Station. But when a company of U.S. soldiers arrived in 1849, it became Fort Croghan.
“The reason for Fort Croghan was so that a community could form,” Williams said. “That community was the beginnings of what would become Burnet.”
The Fort Croghan Museum includes several authentic buildings from the settlement era. These aren’t replicas. So a walk through the museum grounds, cabins and pavilions will give visitors a true sense of the early days of the Burnet area.
People can stroll along the luminary-lit trails as they make their way to the cabins, the Adjutant’s Office, the blacksmith’s shop and the pavilion. David Bohmfalk will be portraying his great-great-great-grandfather John O. Jinkins, an early Burnet County pioneer, in the Adjutant’s Office. He will speak with people and share some of the area’s history.
Visitors also can make their way to the local schoolhouse, where children can try out the seats as the school teacher looks on.
While it’s not actually a living-history production, where re-enactors demonstrate activities and crafts, Williams said it will give people a good sense of Christmas during those times.
The only “working” demonstration will be at the blacksmith’s shop.
Revelers also can enjoy live music as the Goble Family Band performs in the Vanderveer Cabin and a group of dulcimer players sets up in the pavilion.
The event is free as are the drinks and refreshments.
“This is just a little gift to the community,” Williams said.
For more information on the fort and the event, go to www.fortcroghan.org or call (512) 756-8281. The museum grounds are closed for regular visits until April.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Christmas at Ole Fort Croghan
WHEN: 5-8 p.m. Dec. 14
WHERE: Fort Croghan, 703 Buchanan Drive (Texas 29) in Burnet