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 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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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
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.
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.
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 Brenham Heritage Museum is currently operating out of the Brenham Bus Depot while the museum’s main building is undergoing extensive renovations.