Experiencing the early days of Texas is usually only accomplished through reading historical books or spending two hours in front of a television or theater watching a western movie or documentary.

The second Saturday every October brings a once-a-year opportunity in Stephenville to experience pioneer life—up close and personal—when the Stephenville Historical House Museum hosts its annual By Gone Days on the Bosque.

This year will be no different when the gates open from 10 a.m.–3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 14, at the museum located at 525 E. Washington Street.

This free event encourages both locals and visitors to let go of modern cares and stresses while stepping back in time. Youngsters learn about their county’s history in a fun, hands-on fashion. The By Gone Days gunfighters roam the campus in period garb, engaging in occasional ‘confrontations’ with outlaws and no account villains. Saloon girls stroll through the grounds and engage visitors. Artisans demonstrate near forgotten skills of early settlers. The meeting room is transformed to host a quilting bee. Tram rides, complete with narration, take attendees along the historical streets downtown streets of Stephenville.

Sons of Confederate Veterans, United Daughters of the Confederacy, Sons of the American Revolution and Daughters of the American Revolution provide color and allows visitors to visit with those who know about our country’s past.

This year the old fashion chuck wagon will be back, complete with cooking demonstrations and food cooked on an open fire.

Vendors, set up throughout the grounds, will offer artisan and homemade items and goods.

New this year will be an old fashioned variety show in the chapel with acts that include poetry readings, vocals by a barber shop quartet, a harpist and much more. Lots of activities are planned for children of all ages, including blacksmithing, branding, corn grinding, rub board washing, two-man sawing and much more. Live longhorn cattle will be there for all to enjoy.

A silent auction will be hosted by the directors of the Stephenville Museum. A variety of items will be offered with the proceeds going to help in preservation and conservation of both the buildings and artifacts housed in the 13 structures on the grounds.

The event is free to attend.

Afterwards, join the fun around the town square at Sundown on the Square. Music, wine, fun and lots of activities will take place from 5-9 p.m.