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June 26, 2012

New app brings Texas history alive

Washington-on-the-Brazos visitors can use mobile devices to see recreation of site in 1836

Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site and Star of the Republic Museum are using 21st-century technology to harken Texans back to 1836, the year Texas gained its independence.

The app, developed by Eduweb, Inc., allows iPhone, iPad and Android phone users to see what the town of Washington looked like in the year Texas won the Battle of San Jacinto and declared its independence. Visitors to the park can toggle between the full virtual world and the augmented-reality view that superimposes buildings and people against the modern environment. The app not only recreates the town, but allows users to interact with some of its citizens.

The software reveals Washington as it looked in 1836: a rugged frontier town of log cabins and dogtrot houses, witnessing an influx of people from throughout the region who came to create a new nation. Users can discover the town by walking around the historic site, meeting its citizens and exploring the buildings as they were in the 19th century.

 

To download the app, visit tx1836.net, which provides information about the app and allows users to choose between the Apple App Store or the Android store. The site will be active and the app will be available for download on the Fourth of July. Park visitors are encouraged to download the app prior to their arrival.

The project was funded by a grant from the Texas Pioneer Foundation with support from the Washington-on-the-Brazos State Park Association.

Star of the Republic Museum, located on Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site, was created by the Texas Legislature and is administered by Blinn College as a cultural and educational institution. Its purpose is to collect and preserve the material culture of the Texas Republic from 1836-1846 and to interpret the history, cultures, diversity, and values of early Texans.

Daily museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Star of the Republic Museum is located off Highway 105 on F.M. 1155 between Brenham and Navasota. For more information, call 936-878-2461 or go to www.starmuseum.org.