Tattered Jeans

A Long and special life: Festival honors the Mother of Texas — and so much more

A Long life: Festival honors the Mother of Texas — and so much more

Jane Long, the Mother of Texas portrait
A rare portrait of Jane Long. NPR.org
1 Katie Oxford Fifth Annual Jane Long Festival and Lecture Series September 2014
Mark your calendar for the Jane Long Festival on Oct. 11. Photo by Katie Oxford
Katie Oxford Fifth Annual Jane Long Festival and Lecture Series September 2014 Historian, Helen D. Mooty, as Jane Long
Historian Helen D. Mooty portrays Jane Long, the Mother of Texas. Photo by Katie Oxford
Katie Oxford Fifth Annual Jane Long Festival and Lecture Series September 2014 new historical marker for Jane Long on Bolivar Peninsula
The new historical marker at The Jane Long Pavilion at the entrance to Fort Travis Seashore Park, Bolivar Peninsula. Photo courtesy of Galveston County Museum
5 Katie Oxford Fifth Annual Jane Long Festival and Lecture Series September 2014
The six-petal "Jane Long" oleander. Photo by Katie Oxford
Jane Long, the Mother of Texas portrait
1 Katie Oxford Fifth Annual Jane Long Festival and Lecture Series September 2014
Katie Oxford Fifth Annual Jane Long Festival and Lecture Series September 2014 Historian, Helen D. Mooty, as Jane Long
Katie Oxford Fifth Annual Jane Long Festival and Lecture Series September 2014 new historical marker for Jane Long on Bolivar Peninsula
5 Katie Oxford Fifth Annual Jane Long Festival and Lecture Series September 2014

If you love Bolivar Peninsula and Texas history, you’ll love this event. Come Saturday, Oct.11, Bolivar Peninsula will be all abuzz, celebrating the Fifth Annual Jane Long Festival.  

Who was Jane Long?  History books call her the Mother of Texas, but, if you ask Helen D. Mooty, director of the Galveston County Museum, she’ll say more than this. She’ll darn near bring Long back to life.  

Long was a survivor, something that the current residents of Bolivar Peninsula can appreciate. 
Helen can tell you in detail —  almost as if she was there — Jane’s arrival on the wild Texas coast in 1820, her rugged years as a young wife and mother, dealing with the not so friendly native Karankawa Indians, the Buccaneers who raided the Texas coast, famine and the cruel Texas winter of 1821, basically alone.

Long was a survivor, something that the current residents of Bolivar Peninsula can appreciate. 

The festival is both a reminder and a celebration of Jane Long’s spirit, strength and ability to survive on the Bolivar Peninsula in the 1820s. It’s sponsored by The Bolivar Peninsula Cultural Foundation and held on the second Saturday in October of each year. Admission is free and will be held at Fort Travis Seashore Park near the Bolivar Ferry Landing on Bolivar Peninsula (11 a.m to 4 p.m.)

Activities are planned for all ages and sound as varied as they smack of old fashioned fun. The washer tournament (as in thin flat rings) being one.  

The festival includes a silent auction and some 30 to 40 vendors, offering paintings, photography, clothing, pottery, jewelry (be sure to check out the Bolivar bracelet), driftwood art, shells, custom fishing rods, birdhouses, shell/beach glass crosses, Christmas ornaments and plenty of good eats.  Burgers, snow cones, barbecue, pork kabobs just to mention a few.  

  In conjunction with the Festival and currently underway is also a lecture series, which continues every Tuesday evening through Sept. 30. 

 

The entertainment is varied, too —  3 Way Switch Band, Zumba dancers, Lighthouse Krewe bead throwing, Pirates and Petticoats (a play written and produced by Linda Elissalde) and music by Exodus.  Tours of the bunkers at Fort Travis will be ongoing, topping off the day with a costume contest (Jane Long period costumes) and finally, the announcement of the raffle winners.

In case you want to compete in the costume contest, awards will be given for the most creative! Pick any early 1800s style – be it Texian, Mexican American or from anywhere in the United States. 

In conjunction with the Festival and currently underway is also a lecture series, which continues every Tuesday evening through Sept. 30. The lectures start at 7 p.m. and are held at the Crystal Beach Fire Station in Crystal Beach, Bolivar Peninsula. Topics range from pelicans to pirates and last but not least (my favorite), Captain Cade’s Hotel, The Sea View, given by the Captain’s great granddaughter, also author, Melanie Wiggins.

For those of you who have never been to Bolivar Peninsula – it’s worth the trip.  Beyond the Festival, you’ll find another world in and of itself. Quiet and beautiful.