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!
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.
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
See rare antique fire engines. Learn why Brenham was burned. Hear the stories behind Maifest and Washington County Fair.
The Brenham Fire Museum was formed in 1867, to protect lives and property in the face of adversity. Shortly after, an extensive system of public cisterns was built under the streets to provide water for fighting fires. Hence, Brenham became the first Texas city to provide public services. Brenham’s historic public cisterns are a Texas Antiquities Landmark.
See Brenham’s rare Silsby Fire Engine that operated with cisterns as its water source. You’ll also see Samanthe, purchased in 1923, one of only three in the world today. Invader, purchased in 1950 is also on display.
The Brenham Fire Museum is open on Saturdays in October and November from 11am – 2pm, and is free entry.
If you would like to schedule a private tour of the Museum on a day we are not open to the public, those can be arranged by calling 979-337-7580. Private tours must be scheduled at least a week in advance, and a cost will be associated with this. $5/person (free for children 6 years and under). Minimum of 5 people.
For continuous hours and updates, please check the Brenham Fire Museum Facebook Page! https://www.facebook.com/brenhamfiremuseum
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.
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.
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.
People revere Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site as the site of the signing of the Texas Declaration of Independence on March 2, 1836. Thereafter, despite great personal risk, the delegates continued meeting until they had drafted a constitution and established the new nation’s first lasting government.
Picturesque Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site is located on the Brazos River. Expansive park grounds provide a beautiful setting for picnicking, sightseeing and bird-watching. The Star of the Republic Museum, Independence Hall and Barrington Plantation offer the visitor a unique insight into the lives and times of the men who fought and won Texas’ independence from Mexico.
Conference center provides a beautiful view of the park. Glass doors, windows and patio overlook the historic grounds and provide a perfect location for receptions, rehearsal dinners and weddings. Maximum capacity 400.
History lives, thanks to the Burton Heritage Society! Since 1973 devoted members have maintained and preserved the Burton Railroad Depot and Mt. Zion Cemetery. Both sites are vital to area history. The depot transports visitors to 1870 when Burton was a terminal on the Houston and Texas Central Railroad while the cemetery honors some of the earliest and more notable inhabitants. Open first Saturday of the month and by appointment.
Accessible Pet Friendly Parking Available Wifi Available
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.
Hours are Wed through Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Beneath Brenham streets is 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. The large system of public cisterns in early Brenham was a rarity. 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.