Our area is rich in Texas history! Washington County is where the Texas Declaration of Independence was signed on March 2, 1836! Visit Toubin Park in Downtown Brenham and see the fully restored underground cistern from the 1800‘s, originally used to collect rainwater and battle fires. It is a State Antiquities Landmark!
Founded in 1853, this country cemetery is the final resting place to many “Texians,” Confederate soldiers, local residents, and the children and grandchildren of Alamo hero William B. Travis. Set on 4 1/4 acres, filled with beautiful trees throughout, the cemetery is open all year.
We have a walking and driving tour where you can see and learn much more about this historic community. See website for maps and details.
The Chappell Hill Historic District includes the restored Providence Baptist Church parsonage, the Museum displaying historical exhibits and the Swearingen folk art collection, the Rock Store, century-old churches, Masonic Cemetery, library and the oldest continually operating bank in America. Groups are invited for tours of the historic sites with advance reservation. If you are having a group event or wedding, Chappell Hill may be the place for you! Providence Church is a quaint location for a wedding ceremony – the church holds 130 people. The Museum is ideal for parties up to 120, and the Rock Store can seat 40 people for a more intimate gathering in historic downtown.
The Brenham Heritage Museum is a local history museum located in Downtown Brenham. Exhibits and collections reflect a focus on the history and culture of Washington County. Originally serving as the United States Post Office, this magnificent building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was eventually transformed into the museum you see today.
NOTE: The museum is currently closed for renovations.
Fully restored, the carousel is one of eight that exist in Texas today and is the only example of a C.W. Parker carousel with Herschell-Spillman horses. Manufactured prior to 1910, it is housed in a unique 16-sided WPA building in the heart of Fireman’s Park. Open weekends March 1-October 31.
On the east side of FM 50 (next to the Antique Rose Emporium), interpretive signage and a reconstructed bell tower mark the archeological ruins of the Baylor campus for males. A well-marked walking and/or driving trail with 19 interpretive signs relates the history of the village of Independence. On the west side of FM 50, ruins mark the site of the original Baylor University and its female department, one of the best places in the state to enjoy springtime bluebonnets. Adjacent to the John P. Coles homes, this park features picnic tables and a playground area.
The Brenham Fire Museum – a.k.a. Brenham Fire Company # 1 Fire Museum, was designed to house Samanthe, the 1923 American LaFrance Type 38 that the Brenham Fire Department owns. Purchased April 2, 1923 from the manufacturer in Elmira, NY, Samanthe is one of only three left of its kind. Only 34 fire engines of this type were produced between early 1900 and 1930.
The museum is also home to a 1950 American LaFrance, the Invader, and houses fire artifacts from the department’s long history.
Tours of the Museum can be arranged by calling the Fire Department at 979-337-7300.
Beneath Brenham streets is a State Archeological Landmark, a large system of historic cisterns. The cisterns were built in the late 1800s to store rainwater for public fire fighting. Private cisterns were also abundant throughout early Washington County, used for bathing, drinking and cooking. Enjoy the Wild West story of why these cisterns were built. It’s a tale of an early railroad, a rough Boom Town, and colorful characters who shaped Washington County’s history. Self-guided tours through this historic Downtown Brenham pocket park can be enjoyed any time of the day.
The Brenham Heritage Museum is currently operating out of the Brenham Bus Depot while the museum’s main building is undergoing extensive renovations.
The Heritage Society of Washington County is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of historic buildings and artifacts, and to promoting education and interest in Washington County,Texas. Established in 1970, the Society owns and operates two historic properties: The 1843 Giddings Wilkin House Museum and the 1870 Giddings Stone Mansion. Ideal for weddings, receptions, business luncheons and dinners, the Giddings Stone Mansion features four spacious rooms on the first floor and four on the second, with a wrap-around porch on both floors and beautifully landscaped grounds.