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!
Barrington Plantation State Historic Site
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
Early Texas Home Tours
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.
Step into the Past Tours
Learn about Brenham’s importance in early Texas history. “Meet” Texas’ early forefathers and hear stories of their exciting adventures. See unique artifacts that will delight you. See how aristocrats lived in the days before plumbing and electricity. Learn about Brenham’s State Antiquities Landmark, a system of historic public cisterns.
STEP INTO THE PAST Tours are fun for groups of all sizes. Call in advance for arrangements to see historic sites around Brenham and Washington County. Friendly and knowledgeable guides tell fun stories, but some sites can be toured without guides.
Must be booked at least 2 weeks in advance.
Old Baylor Park at Windmill Hill
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.
Giddings Stone Mansion
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.
Texas Baptist Historical Museum
Bring your church group, school group or family to visit Texas’ oldest continuously serving Baptist church. The present church dates to 1872. The pulpit furniture dates to 1852. Sam Houston was baptized here and carved his and his wife’s initials in their family pew. Baylor University and the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor began here. This church has been called the mother church of Texas Baptists because of its significance to Texas Baptist history. The museum remains free, thanks to the generous support of Texas Baptists.
Star of the Republic Museum
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.
Independence Visitor Center & Old Baylor Park
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.
Glissmann’s Gift Gallery & Historic Drug Store
Glissman’s Gift Gallery is a unique, one-of-a-kind gift and collectible shop. Located in historic Downtown Brenham, in an 1860s two-story masonry building built by J.T. Parnell. Also housing the display of original items from Glissman’s Drug Store.
Chappell Hill Historical Society & Museum
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.