WHARTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Just northwest of Wharton lies an old historic swath of land that used to be known as Egypt Plantation.
This is where Bud Northington was raised and where he is working to preserve six generations of family history dating back to the 1830s when Stephen F. Austin granted his family a massive plot of land.
And behind his house is an old cabin where people were enslaved.
"It's not a slave house. This is the quarter house. A slave house is on the other side of the world," said Northington.
This is where he says his great ancestor Jemima Menefee Heard used to teach the enslaved workers how to read and write through the bible.
Heard broke the law in that era to teach them literacy.
"I drove by here for 30 years. I've always wanted to come and sleep in this slave house, but I didn't know the person that had this place," said Larry Callies.
Callies grew up working the ranches around the old Egypt Plantation and always felt a draw to this property and cabin.
And then he opened The Black Cowboy Museum in Rosenberg and discovered he did have a connection.
"When I heard what he was doing about Black Cowboy Museum, I said that's great to happen! I'm very happy," said Northington, who visited the museum where the two men discovered their shared past.
"I showed him where I was kin to an enslaver, and he said, I'm kin to him too. So we're cousins," said Callies.
The history buff and the history preserver are both descendants of the same plantation in Wharton County.
Side-by-side on the old cabin's porch, the two cowboys are on a quest to connect with the past. And pave a new future.
"I'm a history buff. I like to know about how people lived and what's the best way to do it? Is to come in and sleep in it."
And inside the small two-person home without electricity and plumbing, they'll spend one night this Juneteenth weekend.
"No comforts from home, just I'm going to have to take my contacts out. I don't think they wore them back then," said Callies.
The kinship they discovered has blossomed into a friendship that was generations in the making.
The Black Cowboy Museum is hosting a rodeo and celebration on Sunday, June 19 at the Kendleton Picnic Grounds. Gates open at 12 p.m., the show begins at 3 p.m. and the Ruben Moreno Zydeco Band takes the stage at 9 p.m.
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