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!
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.
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.
Historic Masonic Cemetery
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.
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.
Brenham Heritage Museum
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
Brenham Fire Museum
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 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
Texas Cotton Gin Museum
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
Burton Heritage Society & Railroad Depot
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.