HOUSTON – Experience frontier-era baseball and learn about the history of black soldiers who helped protect settlers on the nation’s westward expansion in the late 1800s at Buffalo Soldiers Day on Saturday, May 24, at Treehouse Ranch in southeast Houston.
Families and youth are invited to join in the outdoor event being hosted through the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Buffalo Soldier program, in cooperation with the National Buffalo Soldiers Museum, 9th and 10th Horse Cavalry Association and Galveston Bay Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club. Food will be available for purchase, but all other activities are free.
“You will be able to participate in archery, frontier baseball, orienteering and geocaching as part of the day’s activities,” says Luis Padilla, TPWD’s Buffalo Soldiers program coordinator. “Participants also will have a chance to see a horse and saddle station, fish with the buffalo soldiers, practice animal tracking and more.”
The event is part of a “Blazing New Trails” program offered through the Buffalo Soldiers program to teach and encourage outdoor skills through heritage interpretation.
“We teach outdoor skills while making connections to history and the outdoors,” Padilla explains. “Our goal is not only to share history, but also to share Our Story.”
Buffalo soldiers, so-called by Indians because the black soldiers’ hair reminded them of bison, were former slaves and freedmen who comprised the 9th and 10th Cavalry and 24th and 25th Infantry Regiments formed in 1867 after the Civil War. Buffalo soldiers, reputed to be fierce and skilled fighters, served at frontier military posts from Texas to the Dakota territories.
Buffalo Soldiers Day, as well as other outreach programs, are being offered throughout Houston this spring. Those interested in more information, are encouraged to visit www.texasstateparks.org/buffalosoldiers to learn more and find out about upcoming Buffalo Soldiers events. Volunteer opportunities also exist. Learn more, by visiting TPWD’s Texas Buffalo Soldier website.
For information about Buffalo Soldiers Day, call (512) 389-8569. Treehouse Ranch is located at 10740 Mykawa Road in southeast Houston.