Sam Rayburn, the 43rd Speaker of the House of Representatives, was a North Texas farmer and his land which operates as a historic site, will be celebrating farming heritage day next weekend.
The free event includes livestock exhibits, a classic automobile display, antique tractors, vintage farming implements and hands-on activities. There will also be 30 minute guided tours of the home.
The site will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Sam Rayburn House State Historic Site, 890 W. State Highway 56, Bonham.
“He believed very strongly in supporting farmers,” said Site Manager John Akers . “People should be self sufficient and grow their own food. It is an event that supports 20th century farming.”
There will be FFA, 4H clubs on site. Also, patrons will notice cattle, chickens, and other animals around the farm house. Mr. Sam’s donkey, the site mascot, may also make an appearance.
“We have free tours of his 1916 house,” Akers said. “We will have hot dogs and ice cream there. It is a free event. We celebrate the 20th century farms and Sam Rayburn.”
This is our biggest event of the year, he said.
“It has been going on at least ten years,” Akers said. “I don’t know how long. The site has been open since the 1970s. We get to bring out a lot of community partners to celebrate farming.”
While the Sam Rayburn House State Historic Site has remained as historically accurate as possible, the 20th century farm it is a more modern place.
“He had electricity as soon as he could,” Akers said. “He sponsored rural electrification. He was about providing modern benefits to farmers around Texas.”
“You get a sense of how people produced their food in North Texas from the early part of the 20th century to the 1960s.”
Farming heritage day normally sees 400-500 people throughout the come-and-go event.
“”We see Sam Rayburn as a highway or a toll way,” Akers said. “But, he was a really important politician in North Texas. He gave us farm to market roads. He was a big benefit to people on North Texas and the farmers that live there. It is neat to see his historic house and learn about his legacy.”
The Sam Rayburn House State Historic Site is one of 30 historic attractions operated by the Texas Historical Commission. For more information, visit www.visitsamrayburnhouse.com.