The Sam Rayburn House in Bonham will be celebrating the history of farming and domestic life Saturday. Sam Rayburn’s Bonham farm, tractors, outbuildings, and gardening will be the subject of the upcoming farming heritage day event at the historic site.
The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“Mr. Sam grew up on a farm in Tennessee,” Sam Rayburn House Museum Curator Anne Ruppert said. “Farming was in his blood. He was not just a congressman and a speaker in Washington. We was more than that. Farming was a major part of his life.”
Ruppert said the Sam Rayburn House began hosting this event in 2010 not just to celebrate Sam Rayburn but to celebrate the farming history of Fannin County.
“Last year we had about 400 people attend and the year before we had about 300 people attend so we are growing every year,” she said.
Today, the Rayburn site includes components of an active farm: a Farmall tractor, historic outbuildings, a recently restored barn, chicken coop with live poultry, and an active vegetable garden.
“Mr. Sam was similar to the constituents that he represented,” Ruppert said. “He was in tune with the people of this area and knew their needs as he was working in Washington.”
Saturday’s event will include a cattle judging contest, livestock displays, antique tractors, implements and engines.
“We will have students from Texas A&M Commerce Ag fraternity on site with their mini cotton gin,” Ruppert said. “They will be showing the process of making cotton and the visitors will get to assist them. They will be able to take home the cotton that they make. They can even take cotton seeds home with them.”
There will also be a milk goat demonstration.
“Mr. Sam did not have goats. He raised Jersey cattle,” Ruppert said. “We have not been able to find someone locally that would be able to bring Jersey cattle here.”
A Texas A&M Commerce agricultural sorority will be on site with honey bees.
“They will bring honey for us to taste and will challenge people to see if they can taste the difference between honey made by bees and honey made in a laboratory,” Ruppert said. “People will get to use a scrubbing board to do laundry. They can grind beans to make coffee. They can husk corn and make corn husk dolls to take home. They can make ice cream. They can also make butter. That is some of the best butter you will ever taste.”
Patrons can also play a game of horseshoes, croquet, marbles or dominoes.
“This is a fun activity,” Ruppert said. “People might think a state house or a museum is boring. We have tractors, a house, a donkey, and more. This is a day to get dirty and touch stuff. This is not a stuffy experience where you have to be quiet and observe. These are the types of things that Mr. Sam would be doing. Learning history is just an added bonus.”
For more information, visit http://www.visitsamrayburnhouse.com or call 903-583-5558.