Visiting Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site is an enjoyable experience on two levels. First, the expansive park grounds along the Brazos River provide a beautiful setting for picnicking, sightseeing and birdwatching. And secondly, the Star of the Republic Museum, Independence Hall and Barrington Living History Farm, offer the visitor a unique insight into the lives and times of the men who fought and won Texas' independence from Mexico.
This picturesque park is located on the Brazos River, Washington was the site of the 1836 General Convention which would decide the fate of Texas. Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site is revered as the site of the signing of the Texas Declaration of Independence on March 2, 1836. Washington remained a town of some prominence in early Texas until the eve of the Civil War. The park encompasses the site of the historic town (1836). Washington was the first county seat of Washington County in 1836, the capitol of Texas from 1842 to 1845, and the home of the last president of the Republic of Texas, Anson Jones. Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site, the seat of Texas Independence, is the center each year for the Texas Independence Day Celebration, under the direction of the Washington-on-the-Brazos State Park Association.
Washington-on-the-Brazos in Washington County consists of 293.1 acres. The land was acquired by deed from private owners in 1916. It was transferred to the State Parks Board from the State Board of Control by the Legislature in 1949. Then in 1976 and 1996, more land was acquired by deed from private owners.
Today the park is maintained by Texas Parks and Wildlife. The Washington-on-the-Brazos State Park Association assists the park and the Star of the Republic Museum in this effort. The museum's administration falls under the jurisdiction of Blinn College in Brenham.
Barrington Living History Farm, home of Anson Jones, last President of the Republic of Texas. Handcrafted reproduction log buildings and cropland demonstrate the working of a Brazos Valley farm, circa 1850. Interpreters in period costume work the farm as it was done long ago.
The pecan grove near the river offers 26 free picnic sites and two covered rental pavilions. The pavilions may be reserved through the Customer Contact Center. Large groups can rent a newly renovated Conference Center. The hall accommodates up to 300 banquet-style, and 400 auditorium-style. For smaller groups, the park's Education Center is available. For reservations, contact the park staff at (936) 878-2214. Restrooms and water fountains are located in the Visitor Center, the park picnic area, and in the Star of the Republic Museum.
* From Austin: Take Highway 290 East to Brenham. In Brenham, take Business Route 290 to Highway 105 East. Go 14 miles and turn right on FM 912 to Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site.
* From Brenham: Take Highway 105 East 14 miles and turn right on FM 912 to Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site.
* From Dallas/Waco: From Waco take I-35 to Highway 6 South. Come down Highway 6 South to Navasota. From Navasota take Highway 105 West 7 miles and turn left on FM 1155 to Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site.
* From Houston: Take Highway 290 West to Highway 6 at Hempstead. Take Highway 6 North to Navasota. From Navasota, take Highway 105 West 7 miles and turn left on FM 1155 to Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site.
* From Navasota: Take Highway 105 West 7 miles, turn left on FM 1155 to Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site.
* From San Antonio: Go I-10 East to Highway 77 North, then take 290 East to Brenham. From Brenham, take Highway 105 East 14 miles and turn right on FM 912 to Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site.
Scenic Route: La Bahia Scenic Highway The 28-mile La Bahia Scenic Highway (Farm-to-Market Road 390) arches toward the northern boundary of Washington County. Its eastern terminus intersects Texas 105 about 10 miles north of Brenham and roughly that distance south of Washington-on-the-Brazos. Its western terminus lies in Burton, 12 miles west of Brenham and about 80 miles east of Austin. For more details, call the Washington County Convention & Visitors Bureau at (979) 836-3695, or write to them at 314 S. Austin, Brenham, Texas 77833.