Brazos Valley Bucket List: Sam Houston Memorial Museum

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We all know about General Sam Houston from the battle of San Jacinto... and the leader of troops that gained independence for Texas.

At his namesake park in Huntsville, you can get an up-close look at what Houston's life was like.

Kristen Guilfoos had a chance to visit the park, kicking off another summer of our "Brazos Valley Bucket List".

Stoic and proud - one of the most important historical figures in Texas history stands tall on the side of I-45, welcoming you to Huntsville.

Kimm Thomas, Huntsville's Director of Tourism, says, "You can see the Sam Houston statue from 6 miles away if you're traveling on I-45 from the South to the North. "

It's no wonder, considering the statue itself is 67 feet tall and it's sitting on a 10 foot base.

Thomas says, "It's 10 times as wide and as tall as Sam Houston was."

Just down the street from the statue, you'll find the Sam Houston Memorial Museum Complex, where things are a big more life-size. You'll get to see how the Houston family lived, worked and played. "

Mac Woodward, the museum director, says, "We have the original home that he built when they moved to Huntsville in 1848."

You'll also see the home he died in, as well as his law office and his hunting cabin.
They're all decorated in period pieces, some of which actually belonged to the Houston family.

We can't forget the museum, the biggest building on the property.

Woodward says, "It now houses the best collection of artifact, of historical artifacts that tell the life of Sam Houston."

But if that's not enough to give you can idea of what life was like back then, stop by on a weekend.

Woodward says, "We periodically have demonstrations of period crafts, period pottery, wood-working. we have those set up on Saturdays for people to come and see and enjoy."

While not technically part of the historical experience, you'll find plenty of ducks wandering around.

Woodward says, "They have been here for many many generations. we kind of think of them as our museum staff. part of our museum staff."

The ducks have a lot of room to wander. The park is 15 acres, each one more beautiful than the next.

A lot of time and money is spent keeping the landscaping pristine, and it shows.

What it also shows is how great it can be to occasionally step away from the TV, put down the cell phone, and just enjoy being outside.

Thomas says, "We're back in nature. We are so stuck in our homes and don't get out to experience the fresh air like we should. i think this museum opens up a lot. You can walk. You can have a picnic here. You can feed the ducks."