Pioneer Cloth Dyeing at George Ranch Historical Park

Living historian J.R. Thomas, known as "Henry Jones," grinds cochineal bugs as a base for one of his pioneer dyes.

Fort Bend County Museum Association has planned hands-on activities for adults and kids of all ages to enjoy in September.

Families are invited to visit Fort Bend Museum on Saturday Sept. 26 between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. to learn and play like the original Texas colonists during its “Playing in the Past” program.

Ongoing activities will include butter churning, corn grinding, historic laundry, making cornhusk dolls, cabin-building and historic games.

All are welcome and cameras are encouraged.

“Playing in the past is a really fun opportunity for families to come experience the same activities that children in Texas have been enjoying since colonists began arriving here,” said Outreach Coordinator Merritt Peele.

Children of all ages are welcome, explained Peele.

“We want it to be something that kids of all ages can come to and enjoy,” he said.

Cost is a $2 supply fee per person. Admission is extra, though members of the Fort Bend County Museum Association receive free admission.

For more information call the museum at 281-342-6478 or visit

The George Ranch Historical Park is also hosting a special hands-on activity on Sept. 26 featuring historic cloth-dyeing techniques.

The event will be held at 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the 1830s log cabin area.

Living history interpreters “Henry” and “Nancy Jones” will teach participants about pioneer cloth dyeing and offer suggestions for dyeing cloth with items purchased from a regular grocery store.

“For instance, modern people might not find it too appealing to find and then grind up cochineal ugs to make a red or purple dye- but they could save an onion skin to make a brilliant yellow scarf the pioneer way,” said Director of Marketing Jennifer Farrell.

The “Jones’” will teach participants about period deyes such as indigo, osage wood and even arsenic and will lead demonstrations on how to properly pre-wash, dye and set a color using everyday ingredients.

Families are encouraged to attend and children of all ages are welcome.

The cost is free with general admission and no reservations are required.

For more information on this event, call the park at 281-343-0218 or visit

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