Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site

Quick Facts

Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site

Texas

(936) 878-2214

Map Directions

Things To Do

 

Overview

Visiting Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site is an enjoyable experience on two levels. First, the expansive park grounds along the Brazos River provide a beautiful setting for picnicking, sightseeing and birdwatching. And secondly, the Star of the Republic Museum, Independence Hall and Barrington Living History Farm, offer the visitor a unique insight into the lives and times of the men who fought and won Texas' independence from Mexico

This picturesque park is located on the Brazos River, Washington was the site of the 1836 General Convention which would decide the fate of Texas. Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site is revered as the site of the signing of the Texas Declaration of Independence on March 2, 1836. Washington remained a town of some prominence in early Texas until the eve of the Civil War. The park encompasses the site of the historic town (1836). Washington was the first county seat of Washington County in 1836, the capitol of Texas from 1842 to 1845, and the home of the last president of the Republic of Texas, Anson Jones. Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site, the seat of Texas Independence, is the center each year for the Texas Independence Day Celebration, under the direction of the Washington-on-the-Brazos State Park Association.

Washington-on-the-Brazos in Washington County consists of 293.1 acres. The land was acquired by deed from private owners in 1916. It was transferred to the State Parks Board from the State Board of Control by the Legislature in 1949. Then in 1976 and 1996, more land was acquired by deed from private owners.

Today the park is maintained by Texas Parks and Wildlife. The Washington-on-the-Brazos State Park Association assists the park and the Star of the Republic Museum in this effort. The museum's administration falls under the jurisdiction of Blinn College in Brenham.

Barrington Living History Farm, home of Anson Jones, last President of the Republic of Texas. Handcrafted reproduction log buildings and cropland demonstrate the working of a Brazos Valley farm, circa 1850. Interpreters in period costume work the farm as it was done long ago.

All facilities in the park and the museum are accessible to the physically challenged.

Map of Washington-on-the-Brazos (TX)

Latitude, Longitude: 30.325249, -96.157279

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Activities

  • Historic Sites

    The Last President of Texas

    The Washington area was the site of the final home of the last president of the Republic of Texas. Anson Jones had arrived in Texas in 1833. Settling in Brazoria, he practiced medicine and his business thrived. Like other prosperous men he was drawn into the political conflicts of his era. Actively serving the Republic of Texas, he was Congressman, Minister to the United States, Senator, and Secretary of State. In 1844, at the height of his political career, Jones was elected president of the Republic.

    It was a bittersweet legacy of Jones's short tenure as president for during that time the Republic of Texas ceased to exist. Instead, Texas became the 28th State of the United States. It was left to Jones to declare, "The final act in this great drama is now performed. The Republic of Texas is no more." -- Anson Jones, President, Republic of Texas February 19, 1846

    With these words Jones ended his public life and political career, retiring with his family to Barrington, the home he had built near the town of Washington. Anson Jones's star rose briefly with the Republic's "Lone Star" and faded quickly with annexation. Barrington Farm

    Anson Jones farmed near Washington during and after his presidency. Jones named his farm "Barrington" after his Massachusetts home, Great Barrington. There he lived with wife Mary, their four children, his sister, sister-in-law, and five slaves. The family home, two slave cabins, a kitchen building, smokehouse, cotton house and barn made up Barrington Farm. Barrington Living History Farm interpreters, dressed in period style clothing,

    The economy of the farm relied upon the work of the five slaves. Entries that Jones himself made in his daybook show the variety of the tasks, the efforts of the slaves, and ongoing nature of farm work. His words reflect a sense of good fortune and delight in the bounty of his farm.

    * March 1847 Peach and plum trees commenced blossoming this week. Continued planting corn on the east side of the field, Jerry and Mary breaking up cotton land with Oxen. * June 1850 Cucumbers from the garden & roasting ears from the corn field in abundance. * August 1852 Cotton opening freely, weather favorable all hands picking & at the rate of between two and three bales pr week. * November 1855 Set out Bermuda grass in S.E Quarter of the House Yard. Finished gathering corn crop of 2000 bushels. Finished picking Cotton. Dug Sweet Potatoes in house field. * December 1856 Finished the year at Barrington, superintending my farm & the education of the younger children.

    Barrington Living History Farm

    With Jones's daybook as their guide, the interpreters at Barrington Living History Farm conduct themselves much as did the earliest residents of the original farmstead. The Jones home is original; the outbuildings are replicas constructed by Texas Parks and Wildlife using Jones's own journal and drawings.

    Step into the lives of Barrington Farm's earliest residents. Experience the sights, smells, and sounds of the 19th century. The scene is complete with heritage breeds of livestock. Interpreters, dressed in period style clothing, help visitors better understand what life was like 150 years ago.

    You are encouraged to participate in the work of the farm and become a part of the exhibit. Learn how to drive oxen, help plant and harvest crops, and try your hand at spinning or making soap. Explore the farm and experience the daily lives of those who came before.

Directions

Driving

From Austin: Take Highway 290 East to Brenham. In Brenham, take Business Route 290 to Highway 105 East. Go 14 miles and turn right on FM 912 to Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site. From Brenham: Take Highway 105 East 14 miles and turn right on FM 912 to Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site. From Dallas/Waco: From Waco take I-35 to Highway 6 South. Come down Highway 6 South to Navasota. From Navasota take Highway 105 West 7 miles and turn left on FM 1155 to Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site. From Houston: Take Highway 290 West to Highway 6 at Hempstead. Take Highway 6 North to Navasota. From Navasota, take Highway 105 West 7 miles and turn left on FM 1155 to Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site. From Navasota: Take Highway 105 West 7 miles, turn left on FM 1155 to Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site. From San Antonio: Go I-10 East to Highway 77 North, then take 290 East to Brenham. From Brenham, take Highway 105 East 14 miles and turn right on FM 912 to Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(936) 878-2214

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