Spend your Summer at Washington-on-the-Brazos

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Texas is synonymous with independence and Washington-on-the-Brazos is where Texians declared their independence.  This is why we say it is Where Texas Became Texas.

I feel very honored to be President of the Washington on the Brazos Historical Foundation, especially at this time.  Major renovations and exciting new historical interpretation areas within the State Historic Site are being planned.  The first visible upgrades will be a new gateway, signage, and landscaping at the site entrance.

We are only a little more than 10 years from the 200th anniversary of the declaration of independence and Texas winning its freedom from Mexican rule.  Honoring the 59 signers of the declaration, their families and descendants is one of our core missions.  Many other people and places in Texas played crucial roles in the birth of the Republic of Texas, but the signing of the declaration of independence and drafting of its first constitution are unique to Washington-on-the-Brazos.

Everyone should visit Independence Hall and witness a live vignette of the signers debating the details of the constitution while receiving dispatches from the besieged Alamo, where their friends and some close family members were bravely doing everything possible to win freedom for Texas.  The next best thing to experiencing a living history performance is to view the new film Independence, A Lone Star Rises.  It was recently filmed at Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site and splendidly portrays the unique story of 59 men and 17 days in late winter 1836.  Please watch it now on the Texas Historical Commission YouTube channel and share the link on social media.

The visitor center and magnificent Star of the Republic Museum are key to telling the story also, with a variety of exhibits and artifacts.  Children and adults will certainly find unique connections to the history and unique story of Texas.  Barrington Plantation is a hands-on, 1850s living history farm, centered around the original home of Dr. Anson Jones, the last president of the Republic of Texas.  Fanthorp Inn State Historic Site, just 17 miles up the La Bahia Road in Anderson, is closely associated with the Washington-on-the-Brazos SHS and managed by its staff.  It is an original Republic of Texas stagecoach inn with period furnishings and a real stagecoach.  There are special event days throughout the year at Fanthorp and the stagecoach is often giving rides through town on these days.

At almost 300 acres, Washington-on-the-Brazos is the largest State Historic Site operated by the Texas Historical Commission.  There are many special events each year, but any day is also great to visit, stroll the grounds, farm and exhibit galleries that tell the story of Where Texas Became Texas.

Henry Mayo
President, Washington on the Brazos Historical Foundation

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