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LYNDON B. JOHNSON STATE HISTORICAL PARK

LYNDON B. JOHNSON STATE HISTORICAL PARK. Lyndon B. Johnson State Historical Park is a strip of land bounded on the north by the Pedernales River and on the south by U.S. Highway 290, 1½ miles east of Stonewall in eastern Gillespie County. The park, which is two miles long and a half mile wide, comprises 718 acres. It commemorates the life and career of Gillespie County's most famous citizen, Lyndon B. Johnson, whose birthplace and ranch just across the river are part of Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department accepted 269 acres along the Pedernales from various friends of President Johnson in 1967 and, after various improvements funded in part by a federal land and water conservation grant, opened it to the public on June 1, 1969. The park was officially dedicated on August 29, 1970, in a ceremony attended by Johnson and his wife, Lady Bird. By 1975 the state had expanded the park to its current size at a cost of more than $1 million.

The area was the home of as many as ten different groups of primitive peoples between 5000 B.C. and A.D. 1500, and the 25,000 artifacts found at the park indicate that it was once the site of a stone quarry and midden. Besides the visitors' center, which houses a display of Johnson memorabilia and a 250-seat auditorium, the park includes the Behrens Cabin, built in the 1870s by German immigrant Johannes Behrens and furnished with typical nineteenth-century furnishings; the Sauer-Beckmann Farmstead, a historical farm operated as it was in 1918; and a nature trail through wildlife enclosures with buffalo, white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, longhorn cattle, and other native fauna. Other facilities at the park are an outdoor amphitheater, a swimming pool, tennis courts, a baseball diamond, and a number of picnic areas. In its first five years of operation the park attracted over 3½ million visitors.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Dallas Morning News, June 22, 1975. Lyndon B. Johnson State Historic Park (brochure, Austin: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, 1977).

Martin Donell Kohout

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Martin Donell Kohout, "LYNDON B. JOHNSON STATE HISTORICAL PARK," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/gkl19), accessed December 22, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.