'A Teacher Before a Speaker' Walking Tour of Willow Wild Cemetery
By Stacie Flood, Assistant Site Manager, Sam Rayburn House State Historic Site
Oct 19, 2022
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Fannin County, Texas -- When Sam Rayburn paused his studies at East Texas Normal School (now Texas A&M Commerce) in 1901, he wanted to earn money to pay for his education rather than go into debt. So, he earned a teaching certificate and taught at schools in Hunt County, Texas, until he had earned enough to return to school. After graduating in 1903, Rayburn became a teacher in the Fannin County area. An oral history with one of his students at the Dial school recalled a field trip where students sat by a fire in the woods and the boys went possum hunting.

The Sam Rayburn House State Historic Site invites you to join us on Saturday, October 29 for our fourteenth annual walking tour of Willow Wild Cemetery in Bonham, Texas. The program will offer a guided tour featuring teachers and educators from the Bonham area. After the guided tour, feel free to explore a self-guided tour of influential Bonhamites highlighted on past tours.

The walking tour is free. Those who would like to attend are invited to meet Texas Historical Commission staff at Sam Rayburn's grave near the front entrance of Willow Wild Cemetery, located at 1220 W. 7th St. in Bonham. The guided tour will begin at 10:00 a.m., and staff will remain on site until noon to provide maps and directions for the self-guided tour and to answer questions. Bring your smartphone to utilize our QR codes or be sure to pick up a guide when you check in. Please be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes and dress for the weather.

After the Cemetery Walking Tour, you are invited to join us back at the Sam Rayburn House from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. for a celebration of Texas Archeology Month, with a special display of some of the items found on the site and free archeology-themed crafts for all ages!

Tours of the Sam Rayburn House will also be available at 1:00, 2:00, and 3:00 p.m. Admission for house tours is $4 for adults and $3 for veterans, seniors, and children 6-18. Children 5 and under and active duty military (with ID) are free. We also have special family rates of $8 for a family of three, and just $1 for each additional child.

The Sam Rayburn House State Historic Site tells the real story of Sam Rayburn, one of the most powerful and influential politicians of the 20th century, in his authentic 1916 home. Preserved as a period time capsule, the two-story home contains all original Rayburn furnishings and housewares. The Sam Rayburn House State Historic Site is one of 34 historic attractions operated by the Texas Historical Commission. For more information, visit www.VisitSamRayburnHouse.com or call 903.583.5558.