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Log Cabins and Historical Homes

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The Witte's backyard has historic houses from all over San Antonio. Old San Antonio in the backyard

The Witte's backyard has historic houses from all over San Antonio. Walk around the homes to see what materials were used to build each one. Then try to build a your own log cabin in the hands-on "little log cabin." Only the log cabins are open to visitors—the other houses are used for staff offices and museum programs.

  • The Ruiz House was the home of the city's first schoolmaster.
  • The Twohig House was built in 1841 by John Twohig, an Irish
  • The Navarro House was built in 1835 by Jose Antonio Navarro.
  • The Log Cabin was constructed in 1939 by 30 youths participating in President Roosevelt's National Youth Administration program. The "dog trot" style cabin represents the type of cabin built by many Texas pioneers.

The Celso Navarro House (left), built about 1835 on present Camaron Street, was rebuilt in its original cut-limestone-block construction on the Museum grounds in 1948. Angel Navarro, Celso's ancestor, was alcade, in 1790, of the Canary Island settlement of 1731.

Music being played at the log cabinsThe "general type" log cabin (right) was built on the grounds in 1939 and moved to its present site in 1946. It is constructed in the classic frontier style: two rooms, a living room and a bedroom in front, separated by a "dog run" or "breezeway," each room with its own fireplace; and a lean-to kitchen. Another log cabin, Hill Country type, was started on the Museum grounds adjacent tothe first cabin in 1947, and completed in 1948. The two cabins furnish an excellent example of the variation in types of construction based upon the availability of materials.

The José Francisco Ruiz House, constructed of plastered rubble stones, was built in the mid-18th Century. The long front room was used as the first public school quarters in San Antonio about 1801. The house was rebuilt on the Museum grounds. Its historic importance includes the fact that its owner, José Francisco Ruiz, was one of two native Texans to sign the Texas Declaration of Independence on March 2, 1836.

The Twohig House, built of cut stone in the 1840's, was moved in 1941 and reconstructed stone-by-stone on the Museum grounds, exactly as it had been built by its owner, John Twohig, pioneer San Antonio merchant - the "Breadline Banker" known for his charity and patriotism.