Day Trip to Brenham: Washington-on-the-Brazos

Having not grown up in Texas, my local history is somewhat lacking.  I must admit, I didn't even know the significance of this place when we arrived. The Washington on the Brazos state park is devoted to informing visitors about the signing of the Texas Declaration of Independence.  And it does a wonderful job.

On site, there are a number of attractions, some are free, some are not.  We purchased the multi-site pass which allowed us to view all, and it was well worth it. 

There is a visitors center, with a large walk-through display of Texas history.  The boys and I probably found this section the least interesting. 

A short walk from the building is a replica of the original building where the Declaration of Independence was signed.  Walking on the wood floors, even the boys fell hushed, as you could almost feel the time past.

Because all we had eaten since breakfast was a scoop of ice cream (see Bluebell creameries post), we first hit the picnic area for some lunch. 

The picnic area is beautiful, with large trees, lots of picnic tables, restrooms and a small playground area. 

Within a short walking distance, you can see the previous location of Robinson's ferry on the Brazos and the location of the old town of Washington, originally capital of Texas.

We then viewed the Star of Republic Museum, which was very helpful, interesting and informative. 

The museum starts with a twenty minute film explaining the significance of this location to the revolution. 

There is then a very nice museum to walk through with a discovery center with activities for children of all ages and lot of interactive displays.  It definitely kept the interest of all ages. 

We would have stayed longer, but the day was getting late, and we still hadn't made it to the Barrington Living History farm.

Barrington Living History farm is a reproduction of a Texas cotton farm in the 1850's, complete with the home of Anson Jones, last president o the Republic of Texas. 

The home was, unfortunately, closed the week we visited due to roofing repairs.  But the barn and slave quarters were still open. 

The park provides an 'interpreter' to guide visitors through the farm.  Our guide met us in the hundred degree heat and entertained us for at least forty five minutes. 

If I was amazed at how many people packed the halls of Bluebell Creameries, I was somewhat dismayed at how few people there were in the park.  Our interpreter said we were her only visitors of the day!

Our interpreter was very informative, friendly and kid-friendly.  She let the kids feel the weight of an oxen yoke. 
The boys got to pick cotton from the fields, lift a thirty pound bag of cotton and check out the pig pens, baby turkeys and chickens.

We really enjoyed our visit and learned a lot about Texas history. 

Combined with our trip to Bluebell creameries, this was a perfect day trip from Austin!

1 comment:

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