“When a government has ceased to protect the lives, liberty and property of the people, from whom its legitimate powers are derived, and for the advancement of whose happiness it was instituted, and so far from being a guarantee for the enjoyment of those inestimable and inalienable rights, becomes an instrument in the hands of evil rulers for their oppression.”
Words from the mouths of the American colonists in Philadelphia? Revolutionists from Russia? Freedom fighters from France? Separatists from Northern Ireland?
No. In fact, these are words from a mix of Texans seeking independence from Mexico. The group of men, who originated from many different places, but considered themselves Texans, gathered in an unfinished frame building near the banks of the Brazos River. Here, at Independence Hall, on March 2, 1836, they met to write a declaration of independence. Thus, on this historic day, 59 delegates made Washington-on-the-Brazos the place “Where Texas Became Texas.”
“We, the People of Texas, in order to form a Government, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence and general welfare; and to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves, and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution.”And thus, the Republic of Texas was born on that spring day in 1836.
Students of history can detect numerous similarities between the declaration of independence and the Constitutions of Texas and those of the United States. Residents of Texas wanted to cut ties with Mexican dictator Santa Anna. They felt oppressed and denied basic freedoms by the Mexican government and the priesthood, and took action to declare their independence and live the free life they felt they deserved.
Star of the Republic Museum
The building that houses the Star of the Republic Museum is shaped like a star, proudly representing the lone star state. Texas was a sovereign nation from 1836 until 1845, when it became the 28th state. This museum focused on the time period when Texas was an independent nation. Blinn College, in nearby Brenham, administers this fascinating insight into this historical period.
In addition to the historical significance of the area, the 293 acres of rolling hills and lush park land are worth visiting. Bring a picnic lunch and take a leisurely stroll around the grounds. Head over to the scenic overlook on the Brazos, and read about the history of shipping and ferrying in the early days of Texas. The Museum is open to the public seven days a week, from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. It is closed on Thanksgiving Day, and from December 24 through January 1.
Barrington Living History Farms
Find out what it was like to live the farm life in the Brazos Valley in the 1800’s. Explore the original home of Anson Jones, the last president of the Republic of Texas. Join costumed members of the staff, watching and even pitching in to complete some of the many chores required on a working farm. Go back in time and learn about planting, cultivating, harvesting, and taking care of the livestock – it’s a great place for the kids.
Classic Rock Coffee Company
Where else but the Classic Rock Coffee Company could visitors innocently enjoy Sweet Emotions with Cinnamon Girl and Dirty White Boy? These are just a few of the unique names for the tasty flavored drinks patrons can try. Also on the menu are Haul ‘N Oats Oatmeal, the Strawberry Fields Forever salad, and the deli sliced turkey sandwich, Freebird.
The fun food and drinks are only part of the experience. Guitars, photos of famous musicians, t-shirts with band logos, and other reminders of classic rock memorabilia surround guests. Music is piped in with songs from legendary performers like Heart, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin and other megastars of that era.
The Classic Rock Coffee Company in Navasota is only 10 minutes from Washington-on-the-Brazos. It’s a great place to grab a bite and a drink, relax, and listen to some rock classics. There is also a gift shop where visitors can browse through old vinyl 45s and 33s, an assortment of guitars, and other cool stuff connected to classic rock.
In addition to the many activities and experiences in Washington-on-the-Brazos, there are many other fascinating attractions in the area. Travel to the Blue Bell Creameries, home of some of the best ice cream in the South. Or visit the Antique Rose Emporium, downtown Navasota, or historic Chapel Hill. Also, nestled in the hills off highway 1155 is the elegant enclave of the Inn at Dos Brisas. Guests are pampered at this 313-acre resort with the beautiful grounds, horse stables, infinity pool, and gourmet meals served in the only Forbes 5-star restaurant in Texas.
Find your own freedom and peace of mind amid the beautiful rolling hills of central Texas. Walk the land, check out the museums, and experience historic Washington-on-the-Brazos – where Texas became Texas.