Go Back in Time at the Washington-On-The-Brazos Park with New App

By: Shane McAuliffe Email
By: Shane McAuliffe Email

When you step onto the grounds of the Washington-on-the-Brazos Historic Park, you understand what a significant role the town played in Texas independence.

"It's one of the most historic sites in Texas yet nothing remains. The entire town has been gone for over a 100 years," said Houston McGaugh, Director of the Star of the Republic Museum.

McGaugh wanted to show people what Washington actually looked like back in 1836. So they made an app for it.

"You get an idea of what kind of clothing they had, what the clothing looked like," said McGaugh.

As you stand on the site where the declaration was signed, the app puts you in the room with the founding fathers of Texas or you can see what a ferry boat looked like as it docked on the Brazos River.

"Anytime you can make a middle school student say something is cool, then I think we've latched onto something that will help us teach a little bit of Texas history," said McGaugh.

Teaching the next generation of Texans is the application's main goal.

"Each generation of children, it makes it more and more difficult for them to relate to something that happened 150 or 180 years ago," said McGaugh.

It's hard to imagine what Washington looked like back in 1836 but this app lets you go back in time and see just what the La Bahia road looked like. You can even take a picture that puts you back in time.

"With a push of a button, you go to what is called augmented reality so the people and the buildings are still there but they're projected onto today's scene," said McGaugh.

The Texas 1836 application was funded by the Texas Pioneer Foundation and will be here in time for our nation's birthday.

The application will be released over the weekend and will be available on the iPad, iPhone, and Android.

The Washington-on-the-Brazos Historic Park will celebrate the July 4th holiday with the official release of the application with a free fireworks show in the evening and free Blue Bell ice cream during the day.

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