Monday, March 19, 2012

LBJ Tours: Part 1, Boyhood Home

Tuesday, March 28, was tourist day for us. We have passed through this part of the state for years and years and have never really visited the LBJ facilities available in Stonewall and Johnson City, so we decided we would do so today.

The park service has done a wonderful job telling the story of President Johnson, our 36th president. And by telling his story, they have also told the story of all Texans -- and particularly those in the Hill Country. LBJ was probably the last president to be born in "frontier" type conditions, and his life serves as a transition from the 19th century into the 20th century.

Our first stop for the day was the National Park Service Visitor Center in Johnson City. Within this facility, permanent exhibits are arranged to showcase the lives of Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson.

Lady Bird exhibit at the Visitor Center

In addition to the exhibits and displays, the Visitor Center is a good place to get information to plan the rest of the LBJ tour.

From the Visitor Center, it is a 1 block walk to the LBJ Boyhood Home, where LBJ lived from age 5 until he graduated from high school. The home has been well maintained, and offers a glimpse into life in this part of Texas in the early 20th century. The tour guide we had also did a marvelous job revealing the influences during these years that led LBJ into a life of politics.

LBJ Boyhood Home in Johnson City, Texas

Kitchen in LBJ Boyhood Home
Back of LBJ Boyhood Home
Just a block or so west of the Visitor Center and LBJ Boyhood Home is a trail leading to the Johnson Settlement where LBJ's grandfather and great-uncle established a homestead in the 1860s. Several original buildings still stand in this area on the edge of Johnson City.

Cabin and other original buildings in the Johnson Settlement. The cabin belonged to Sam and Eliza Johnson, LBJ's grandparents
Barn and cabin in Johnson Settlement

In Part II, we'll tour the Texas White House and other places in Stonewall.

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