Butter Churning

A butter churn sits on a table, surrounded by butter-making supplies.

Before it was a battlefield, this area of San Jacinto was part of a cattle ranch owned by Texas settler Peggy McCormick. Granted the land in 1824 by Stephen F. Austin, Peggy, her husband Arthur and their two sons hoped for a bright future in cattle ranching as part of the Old Three Hundred. When her husband died later that year, Peggy was left to run the family ranch alone with her two sons.

 On an active cattle ranch like the McCormick’s, the family would have churned butter a couple of times a week. Once the cows were milked, the milk was left to settle so the cream could rise to the top. The cream was then skimmed off and added to a churn, where the constant motion produced butter by separating the yellow fat from the buttermilk.

Try your hand at churning butter using both a dash churn and a shake jar. You’ll even get to take your butter home with you!

Suitable for kids aged 5 and up; younger children are welcome but will need to have an adult to help. This activity is free with purchase of an adult ticket to the San Jacinto Museum. On San Jacinto Family Day, kids are admitted for free when accompanied by a parent or grandparent.