The Way Things Were: Texas Settlers and Their Buildings, 1860s–1930s

West Side Of The Square, Goliad, Texas. Photograph by Tom Prather.

The Way Things Were: Texas Settlers and Their Buildings, 1860s–1930s looks at the early Texas buildings for information about settlers’s visions of community and progress and their accommodation to the physical demands and economic realities of everyday life.


A pictorial essay on the family and community life of Texas settlers as reflected in old buildings, The Way Things Were: Texas Settlers and Their Buildings, 1860s–1930s has been abridged into a compact display well-suited to schools, libraries, and other cultural institutions. Panel topics include:

  • Log houses and dogtrots
  • Farm homes and barns
  • Country school houses
  • Outdoor churches
  • Stone churches
  • Country stores
  • Failed banks
  • Towns
  • Town square
  • Main street
  • Symbols of prosperity
  • Courthouses

The Way Things Were is an exhibition by Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Exhibition Format

Content6 double-sided panels (37.5” x 25.5”)
7 support legs (68” tall)
Space Requirements90 square feet of floor space (15’ x 6’)
Shipping Weight and DimensionsTravels in 2 plastic cases:
  • 44” x 32” x 11” - 89 lbs.
  • 76” x 10” x 11” - 31 lbs.
Rental Fee*$350*
Rental Period4 weeks

*Rental fees are based primarily on the cost of shipping. Prices may vary based on current fuel surcharges or venue location within the state of Texas. Out-of-state rentals are priced on an individual basis. Please call for a rental fee quote specific to your venue.

Print Materials

A specified number of print materials are provided with this exhibition at no additional cost. Additional copies of these materials may be obtained for a nominal fee:

  • 50 brochures featuring history as revealed through everyday lives
  • 10 posters featuring a sepia-toned image of a prosperous home, ca. 1900

Publicity Materials

Press release

The Way Things Were press release

Publicity image

A publicity image is available for promoting this exhibition at your venue. Please contact the exhibitions coordinator to request an electronic file of this image. Please allow 2-3 business days for the exhibitions coordinator to process your request.

Humanities Texas logos

Logo files are also available for download on the logo page.

Book Now or Receive a Quote

To book an exhibition or receive a quote, please complete the online rental form.

Questions and Rental Information

Call 512.440.1991 or email

2022-2023 Bookings

Golemon Library at Ranger College
Ranger, TX

The Interurban Railway Museum
Plano, TX

The Museum of Southern History
Houston, TX

Historic Upshur Museum
Gilmer, TX

McFaddin-Ward House
Beaumont, TX

On Display

William Wheeler House, Victoria, Texas, by Tom Prather.