Institute for Texan Cultures

San Antonio city slickers go back to the Wild West

Trail bosses, pioneers and U.S. Cavalry soldiers visiting from the 1800s descended on HemisFair Park this summer to show guests what it was like to work and play on the Texas frontier.

The Texas Trails and Tales summer season at the Institute of Texan Cultures invited the community to visit re-created period buildings and learn about the lives of the Texans who made these places their homes.

Costumed junior docents led guests through the daily lives of early settlers of the Wild West, making stops at the one-room schoolhouse, frontier fort, adobe house, log house and barn. Each stop offered a demonstration; inside the one-room school house, for example, junior docents showed students a typical school day, with slate board writing and reading aloud from a primer.

In addition to the frontier's Spanish settlers, the United States Army built forts to house infantry and cavalry units commonly known as the Buffalo Soldiers. At the Back 40's frontier fort, guests learned map reading and flag etiquette skills and they heard stories about life in the regiment.