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!
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.
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.
The Official Cotton Gin Museum of Texas keeps the legacy of cotton alive for all generations; open Tues-Sat, 10am-4pm. Home of the 1914 Burton Farmers Gin – the oldest operating cotton gin in America; tours daily at 10am and 2pm. *Leashed pets allowed
Travel back in time to 1850 and explore the original home of Dr. Anson Jones, the last President of the Republic of Texas. The Jones family lived at the farm for over a decade, building a successful cotton farm with enslaved labor after Texas joined the union. This living history farm is complete with period costumed interpreters using 19th century farming practices for planting, cultivating, harvesting and working with livestock. Explore the sights and smells of farm life and experience the daily lives of those who came 150 years ago.
Located within Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site. Entrance fees apply. Open Wed-Sun 10am-4:30pm
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.
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.
Independence Historical Society offers tours of two of the earliest homes in Washington County, as well as a rural one-room schoolhouse. John P. Coles House provides an opportunity to experience Colonial Texas life. Free tours on selected March and April weekends; other times by appointment. Admission fee.
Step into the Past Historical Tours are great for mid-week groups and individuals on Saturdays. Start out at the Visitor Center for a short film about Brenham’s history, shown by reservation for groups. Visit historic sites on a guided walking tour of Downtown Brenham with your group, or have a step-on guide join you on a visit to neighboring historic sites around the county. Must be booked at least 2 weeks in advance.
The Star of the Republic Museum was created by the Texas Legislature and is administered by the Texas Historical Commission as a cultural and educational institution. Its purpose is to collect and preserve the material culture of the Texas Republic (1836-1846) and to interpret the history, cultures, diversity and values of early Texans. The Museum strives to inspire interest, understanding and appreciation of Texas heritage for students, teachers, scholars and the general public through exhibits, tours, programs, web activities, and outreach.
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.