It was March 2, 1836 when 59 delegates bravely met at Washington, Texas to do something few have ever done: found a nation and make a formal declaration of independence from Mexico.
From 1836 until 1846, the Republic of Texas proudly existed as a separate nation. Washington on the Brazos is, indeed, “Where Texas Became Texas.”
Washington on the Brazos State Historic Site has many onsite amenities open daily, as well as an incredible schedule of events and programs.
On the grounds of this 293-acre, TPWD-run state park, stories of this tumultuous time in Texas history live on and can be experienced at Independence Hall (the site in 1836 where the representatives met to write the declaration of independence and craft the first constitution); the Star of the Republic Museum (collections honoring the history, cultures, diversity and values of early Texans; administered by Blinn College); and Barrington Living History Farm (where interpreters dress, talk, work and farm as the earliest residents of the original farmstead did).
The site’s Visitor Center features interactive exhibits which present a timeline of the Texas Revolution and highlight the historic attractions located within the park; it also houses the spacious Washington Emporium Gift Shop, which offers snacks and a wide range of Texas-themed items and keepsakes.
The Fanthorp Inn State Historic Site is a wonderfully preserved example of a 19th century stagecoach inn, located nearby in Anderson, TX. The entrance to the park grounds, Visitor Center and parking is always free; fees apply for access to Barrington Farm and the Star of the Republic Museum, and for tours of Independence Hall.
Extra Special Events
March 3 and 4, 2018: Texas Independence Day Celebration; 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. “Texas Independence Day Celebration”—presented by H-E-B—is an annual two-day living history celebration on Saturday and Sunday, March 3 and 4, 2018 on the 293-acre Washington on the Brazos State Historic Site to commemorate when 59 delegates bravely met in 1836 to make a formal declaration of independence from Mexico.
After all, there is no better place to celebrate Texas independence than on the very spot “Where Texas Became Texas.” The free event features live music, food, traditional crafts, musket and cannon firings, Texas A&M University Singing Cadets, the Kids History Zone, “The Birth of a Republic” historical play about the signers of the declaration, Brenham Children’s Chorus and other commemorative programs.
Historical reenactors set up a bonafide 1836 Texas Army camp where visitors can wander freely to learn how the soldiers and their families lived then.
Admission fees are waived for the site’s attractions (Independence Hall; Star of the Republic Museum and Barrington Living History Farm) for that weekend celebration. Admission to the grounds, on-site shuttles and parking are also free.
“Texas Independence Day Celebration” is presented by H-E-B and coordinated by the Washington on the Brazos State Park Association.
Washington on the Brazos State Historic Site is halfway between Houston and Austin at 23400 Park Road 12, Washington, TX, 77880—off of State Hwy. 105. From Hwy. 105, follow either FM 912 or FM 1155 to Park Road 12.
March 3, 2018 through January 2019 – So Others Could Follow: Four Centuries of Maps That Define Texas – Star of the Republic Museum: The new museum exhibit will illustrate the evolution of Texas’ distinct shape, recognized around the world, is the result of four centuries of exploration and cartography. These maps from the Museum’s collection illustrate the evolution of the state, both topographically and politically.
April 21, 2018 – Sundown Social: 6 p.m., Rockin’ Star Ranch, Brenham, Texas. Dubbed the silver pompadoured, Lone Star beer drinkin’, honky-tonk baritone by the Austin Chronicle, Dale Watson will be the showcase entertainment. Featuring a gourmet dinner, cocktails, concert and auctions filled with Texian treasures, all proceeds from this Texas-size party will benefit Washington on the Brazos State Park Association and its educational programming, events and maintenance of park grounds. Corporate/individual sponsorships available.
Permanent Exhibit – Pioneer Playroom – Star of the Republic Museum: The Museum’s Pioneer Playroom simulates an early Texas frontier homestead that allows participants to immerse themselves in the role of pioneers through role-playing, interactive experiences and a variety of learning styles.
Children can load and sit on a buckboard wagon, dress in clothing characteristic of the period, build a log cabin, wash and hang laundry, haul water, milk a cow, gather eggs from a chicken coop and more. Free with paid admission to the Museum. For more information, contact Donna Barker at (936) 878-2461 ext. 245 or email@example.com.
Unless noted otherwise, programs are open to all ages, but an adult must accompany any children. Visitors should dress appropriately for the season and be prepared for the weather as the events take place in 1850s period settings, with some portions outdoors.
Visitors should call the park at (936) 878-2214 to confirm these dates and times; events subject to change based on weather, etc.
For additional information, call (936) 878-2214 or visit the site’s website at www.wheretexasbecametexas.org.