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Palo Alto Battlefield Prepares for Next Season

One of the many war items on display at the Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park in Brownsville. Photo: Tony Vindell/LFN

by Tony Vindell/LFN

Few national or state parks or historical places are free to the public due to the maintenance required and the personnel hired to run them.

But Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park in Brownsville stands alone.

It’s probably one of the few of the country parks system that has no entrance fee despite its historical significance.

The park is where U.S. and Mexican troops began a two-year war that began on May 8, 1846.

The park, located along FM 1847 or Paredes Lane Road, has a visitor center where people can learn some of this country’s history.

An average of 75,000 people stop by the park yearly, compared to 30,000 a few years back.

The park has a staff of eight, including two part timers and is open 362 days a year, except on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Douglas Murphy, the park chief of operations, said they have been making some improvements in part of the park to make it more accessible to visitors.

Right now, a crew has been working on what is known as the U.S. Battle Line and next to it is the Mexican Battle Line, he said.

Murphy said the park will start having Live Historical events during the first Saturday of the month, starting Sept. 1 and going through May 2018.

Clara Morales, of San Antonio, said this is their first time they have stopped at the park and was impressed with what she saw and learned.

“I have been coming to South Padre Island since I was six years old,” she said. “But neither our parents nor myself have done a little research on what the area has to offer – until now.”

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