The ninth annual By-Gone Days on the Bosque will take place Saturday.

“We will have something of interest for the entire family. The events will portray the colorful history of the Cross Timbers area,” said Robin Ritchie, president of the Stephenville Museum board of directors.

The event will take place at the Stephenville Museum grounds on East Washington Street beginning at 10 a.m. and continue until 4 p.m. Food and soft drinks will be available for purchase throughout the exhibits.            

“Since its beginning in 2001, By-Gone Days on the Bosque has grown in popularity and attendance. We are so pleased with the increased interest from citizens in this area,” Ritchie said.

Individuals, who have a crafts or wares from the area’s past and wish to demonstrate them at By-Gone Days, are encouraged to contact Kerri Fleming, office manager of the Stephenville Museum, at 965-5880 or Ritchie at 965-2689.

Included among the activities and exhibits are a cake walk, a spelling bee (if interested in participating contact museum office), cowboy gunfights, horse shoeing, wheat grinding and bread making, blacksmithing, demonstration of the game of bocce ball (similar to croquet being played without a mallet) by personnel from the Tarleton State University’s W.K. Gordon Museum at Thurber, antique tools, corn grinding, quilting, soap making, rub-board laundry, handmade paper and crafts, treadle sewing machine demonstrations, antique tractors, hay bailing, basket weaving, story telling, historical tours, homemade jellies and jams, hand crafted floral cards, antique coins and currency. Connie Fox of Stephenville will display some of her decorated gourds and items and her brother Norman Fox will display many of his hand crafted knives.

The Boy Scouts will demonstrate the art of Dutch-oven cooking and will serve cobbler and stew. The Tri-Beta Sorority from Tarleton State University’s biology department will serve cold drinks and sandwiches in the concession stand. The Mac Donald’s Country Store will sell various homemade baked goods.

Entertainment will be plentiful. The Chapel on the Bosque will be the live entertainment center for musical groups and guest speakers. Local authors Sherri Knight and James Pylant will speak concerning their current books on local historical events and characters. Jeanne Crane will be the storyteller. Fiddle Stix, a local group of young fiddle players ages 5-15 will perform and Richard Coates will play his banjo. Also, making their annual appearance will be the Bosque River Boys.

Free parking will be available immediately east of the museum grounds and in the area behind the Stephenville Senior Citizen’s Center at 164 East College Street. Free tram service from the center to the museum grounds will be offered by the Erath County Antique Tractor Association.

The tram will make its first trip from the museum grounds to the center at 10 a.m. Historical tours will also be available though the tram service. Historical tours will begin at 11:15 a.m. and run every hour after the hour. These tours will travel to several historical buildings in the downtown area. A brief description of various structures will be made by Glenda Stone.

One of the most popular events, especially with the youngsters, is the staged Old West gunfights provided by the By Gone Days Gunfighters. This group is unique because each member is a military veteran or a member of a veteran’s family. 

“We have a fun-filled day planned for the entire family. The occasion will give individuals a chance to see how our ancestors lived in this area of Texas many years ago. Our board members will be available for tours inside some of the log cabins and tell about our grounds and local history,” Ritchie said.