Old Washington, better known as Washington on the Brazos, began with a ferry crossing on the Brazos River along the La Bahia road. The convention of 1836 would cement Washington’s place in Texas history. In an unfinished building, donated to the convention for free, the Texians declared independence, elected a government and drafted a constitution. In this episode you’ll hear from Texas Historical Commission site manager Jonathan Failor as he describes what you can see and experience when you explore the Texas revolution at Washington on the Brazos.
Stephen F. Austin chose to set up the capitol of his colony on the banks of the Brazos River where the El Camino Real crossed the river. He envisioned a major metropolitan area as the center of immigrant activity in his colony. He named the town San Felipe. San Felipe de Austin became the second largest town in Texas before Sam Houston ordered it burned in advance of Santa Anna’s army in 1836. It was at San Felipe that land titles were issued, commerce thrived and politics was done. Today, it is a very interesting historic site at which you can get a feel for life in pre-revolution Texas. In this episode, learn more about the San Felipe State Historic Site with site manager Bryan McAuley.
Texas has 254 wonderful counties. But we might have 284, or maybe we did but are down some. Or are we? What??? Learn about counties of Texas that were created, disappeared, were repealed, or maybe still exist. Oh yeah, we gave a couple to the USA (you’re welcome, New Mexico) and Oklahoma stole one. Learn more in the latest episode of Wise About Texas.
Fredericksburg Texas has a very interesting history. Created during the massive German immigration to Texas in the middle 1800’s, Fredericksburg was not intended to be the city it soon became. A treaty with the Comanche Indians and the California gold rush made Fredericksburg a prosperous place to set up a store. John Hunter did just that. Hunter supplied his patrons with everything they need, including whiskey. He was also the county clerk. But Hunter’s temper got the better of him, his store, and the entire early history of Fredericksburg. Learn more in the latest episode of Wise About Texas.
Asa Borger was a town builder with an eye for opportunity and a nose for the Texas oil fields. He came to the panhandle in 1926 and made millions establishing the boomtown of Borger. But the thousands of residents weren’t all of the best sort. Drinking, gambling, prostitution and violence were rampant. “Booger Town,” as it came to be known needed law enforcement. Unfortunately, the towns chief law enforcement officer as well as the mayor encouraged the crime and profited handsomely. Even the famous Texas Rangers Frank Hamer and Tom Hickman couldn’t control it. After the District Attorney was murdered because he wasn’t corrupt, the law and order Governor Dan Moody brought in the National Guard and declared martial law. Even after the dust settled there was one more shooting…find out the rest in the latest episode of Wise About Texas.
Virginia Point was a transportation hub, civil war fort and cotton producing town on the shores of Galvesston Bay. It was part of Austin’s “coast colony” and was considered as an early port of the Republic. The Confederate forces launched the attack that recaptured Galveston from Virginia Point. Learn more about this Texas town in the latest episode in the Texas Towns series of Wise About Texas.
In the first of a new series on Texas Towns we take a look at the town of Texana, once a booming Texas port city, now claimed by the water she once commanded.