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“Great place to learn more about Texas becoming a republic”

Washington-on-the-Brazos
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Washington on the Brazos State Historic Site is the lush, 293 acre park where the Texas Declaration of Independence was signed in 1836, creating a new nation. Independence Hall, a re-creation of the drafty building where the 59 delegates met to hammer out the document, stands on the original cornerstones. The Star of the Republic Museum tells the story of the decade that Texas was a sovereign nation. Barrington Living History Farm includes the homestead of Texas' final president, Anson Jones, and is a working cotton farm. The vistor's center houses a unique gift shop and a Texas History timeline. Picnic areas are available along the Brazos River.
Useful Information: Wheelchair access, Activities for young children, Stairs / elevator, Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children
Reviewed September 6, 2012

As a native-born Texan who's lived here all but four years of my life, I am pretty familiar with the events surrounding the settling and establishment of Texas, but this modest, beautiful state historic site - much of which is free - fills in the gaps. For my wife, who grew up in Virginia, the information presented was mostly new and fascinating.

The park has several parts:
- visitor center and gift shop: contains an exhibit highlighting the details of the founding of Texas during Spanish and Mexican ownership; the establishment of Washington, at one point one of the largest towns in what would become Texas and later known as the "Philadelphia of Texas," events leading to the creation and signing of the Texas Declaration of Independence and constitution; the war of independence from Mexico, the decade of Texas as an independent country, and, finally, annexation by the US and the decline of Washington post-Civil War.
- recreation of Independence Hall, where the declaration was created and signed by representatives from what is now the eastern third of the state (the western two-thirds were basically wild, unsettled lands)
- the town site of Washington, with walking trails leading to overlooks of the Brazos and the historically significant Robinson ferry crossing of the Brazos, the impetus for the creation of the town
- picnic areas

All of the above are available without charge. Other facilities on-site, well worth a visit despite a small admission fee, are:
- Guided tour of the townsite: park rangers provide a great deal of information about the township and the tumultuous times surrounding the creation and declaration of independence
- Star of Texas Museum: two story museum including a theatre and exhibits with more detail about Texas, pre- and post-independence
- Barrington Living History Farm: Anson Jones' farmstead, restored/re-created with historical re-enactors to show you what a typical day in the 1840s would be like. Jones was the last president of the Republic. Authentic clothing, tools, farming techniques, crops, and farm animals enhance the experience.

At this time, each of the above are $5 for adults, with an "all event" pass for $9.

We spent most of a day here on Labor Day weekend. The park was never crowded, though more people arrived in the early afternoon. Everything is in easy walking distance, and there is parking available close by for those for whom walking is an issue. The staff and re-enactors were all friendly and willing not only to share their knowledge but to answer any questions you might have.

This is not a fancy, Disney-like attraction, but if you want to get a better feel for the founding of Texas, the Washington-on-the-Brazos state historical park is a superb way to get it.

2  Thank Middle-aged_Madman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (149)
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121 - 125 of 149 reviews

Reviewed July 31, 2012

Went here with my kids on an off football weekend & this place is full of Texas history - this is a must for any Texas history buff or parents looking to spend some quality time with their Aggies student off campus.

1  Thank BigDogWillie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 30, 2012

Learning and seeing where Texas signed thier independence from Mexico was a great thing to see. I was really impressed with the Texas State History Museum! One of the best museum's I've ever been to. Very historic artifacts and well organized history of Texas from learning about early battles in Texas to learning about what life was like in the 1800's, showing both the wealhy and ordinary people's living conditions. For any semi-enthusiastic history person, this is a great place to learn a lot of history.

1  Thank killeenslc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 9, 2012

We enjoyed our visit to the park. There are a lot of trails to walk and a lot of historical artifacts in the museum. The gift shop is very nice, too.

Thank Meggera
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 28, 2012

This out of the way place was very educating in knowing how the events leading up to and the signing of Texas as an independent nation. Their visitor center/gift shop along with their historical information displays is worth visiting. We took a quick tour of the park (on foot) and enjoyed the Brazos and the plaques that described the events that had taken place there. I found out just how little I knew about Texas history. Very interesting!

1  Thank Don W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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