At Pioneer Farms, you’ll find five themed historic areas to explore: a Tonkawa Indian Encampment, a German Emigrant Farm, a Texian Farm, a Cotton Planter's Farm and a rural village called Sprinkle Corner. In each area you can see real Texas history. Explore our more than 90 beautiful, wooded acres, and discover exciting, memorable ways to experience Texas' past with your family. Don’t miss the Scaborough Barn where you can get up close with your favorite farm animal friends!

Hover on the images below for brief descriptions of each historic site. More historical information is available in our special Guided Walking Tour booklet, patterned after an 1890s guide with a map and rich historical details. Click here for a printable version, narrated by noted Texas storyteller Thomas Burkhardt.

 

Sprinkle Corner, a recreated rural village on the Blackland Prairie, features a general store, exhibits, houses and other original town-site buildings that either are restored or are in the process of restoration. Jump in and help with chores at the Jackson & Giles General Merchandise shop, sit in the town square, lend a hand to the town carpenter or visit with the town folk and trade stories. Exhibits are available for a quick lesson in Texas’ past. Stop by the period-appropriate store for souvenirs and other must-haves.

1899 Sprinkle Corner

Experience what life was like for early settlers on the Pioneer Farms site, the family of Frederick and Harriet Jourdan. They homesteaded the property in the 1850s, after coming to Texas from Tennessee and Kentucky. Like many settlers from the Eastern States, the lifestyles reflected their origins and their architecture of log-and-board homes their middle-class status. Visit the chicken house, corrals and barns to see how their livestock lived. On many such farms the barns and corn cribs were built first, owing to their economic importance, and were later turned into cabins.

1873 Texian Farm

Dance to the sound of the water drum and gourd rattle in our earliest historic site, a real Tonkawa Indian campsite that dates back centuries. Experience what life in Central Texas was like in the days when Texas was still a Republic. The centerpiece of the site is a massive, centuries-old oak tree that once shaded the Native Texans who camped beneath it. Just down the hill, if you listen closely enough, you can almost hear horses and cattle fording Walnut Creek at a spot where the Chisholm Trail crossed through the area in  the 1870s, long after the Tonkawa were gone.

1841 Tonkawa Encampment

 
 
 

Discover the lifestyle of a wealthy family in the day when cotton, not oil, was king in Texas. Stroll through the sprawling house built just before the Civil War began and experience what life was like during the Victorian era. Those enticing smells of dinner are wafting from the separate kitchen, a nod to the threat of fire. Next door is a spinning room where loons and wheels are kept busy making thread and yarn for clothing and other essentials. Walk with the James Bell family around this site and help do the chores in the livestock corrals out back.

1886 Cotton Planter’s Farm

Peek into the life of the Fritz Kruger family, not long after they emigrated to Texas from the Dessau region of Germany. Thirteen children were raised in the one-room log cab in, with the girls slee ping in the loft and the boys in the yard and barn. Meals were prepared in the outdoor kitchen, where you can smell biscuits baking in the Dutch Oven and a meaty stew bubbling in the large cast-iron pot. The stacked cedar-post fence that rings the yard contains a Devil’ s Gate, a gate without hinges whose colorful name is only part of its history.

1868 German Emigrant Farm

Meandering beneath cedar-rimmed limestone bluffs, the historic creek that took its name for the Black Walnut trees that line it is a throwback to the day when early settlers rode through in search of campsites and game. The pastoral greenbelt is teeming with native animal life, from deer and raccoons to bobcats and coyotes, and features a mowed walking trail. You can almost see men on horseback riding through the native grasses onto the Blackland Prairie. A native stand of Texas Pecan trees, along with live oaks and walnuts, shade the creek bottoms which has remained little changed for centuries.

1853 Walnut Creek Greenbelt