Brazoria County Historical Markers

Texas Independence Trail Region

Map of Brazoria County Historic Sites

Topics (click on a topic to jump to that section).
Sinking Site of the Blockade Runner "Acadia" | Bell's Landing | Brazoria Bridge | Old Brazoria County Courthouse | Brazoria Townsite | Brown, Major Reuben R. | Caldwell, Major James Peckham | Near Site of First Capitol of the Republic of Texas | Columbia | Crosby's Landing, Site of | Damon, Samuel | Jones Creek, Battle of | The Lively | Long's Tavern, Site of Jane | Oyster Creek and Chocolate Bayou, Vicinity of | Old Quintana | Rounds, George | San Luis, Site of | Velasco | Velasco, Four Miles Southeast to the Original Town of

Museums
Sinking Site of the Blockade Runner "Acadia"

Marker Title: Sinking Site of the Blockade Runner "Acadia"
City: Surfside
County: Brazoria
Year Marker Erected: 1977
Marker Location: FM 332, 1 block south of Intracoastal Waterway
Marker Text: The sidewheel steamer "Acadia", owned by Canadians, set out on her maiden voyage in Dec. 1864 for Nassau, Havana, and vera Cruz. Loaded with food, hardware, and clothing, she braved the Federal blockade to bring the goods to suffering Texans. Early on feb. 6, 1865, in heavy fog she grounded in sticky clay 300 yards off this beach. Her crew and cargo came safely ashore. When the fog lifted, the foe sighted and shelled her, but could not board and burn the crippled ship, as Confederate Cavalry defended her from the shore. The "Acadia" then became a coastal landmark.

Bell's Landing

Marker Title: Bell's Landing
City: East Columbia
County: Brazoria
Year Marker Erected: 1965
Marker Location: Brazos and Front St.
Marker Text: Founded 1823 as Brazos River landing for Josiah H. Bell's plantation. Townsite of Marion laid out in 1824. Later named East Columbia. Army enlistment point and ferrying dock during Texas Revolution. Key river port and trade center during Republic of Texas days. (1965)

Brazoria Bridge

Marker Title: Brazoria Bridge
City: Brazoria vicinity
County: Brazoria
Year Marker Erected: 1991
Marker Location: SH 332 and FM 521 interchange, 1 mi. east of Brazoria in roadside park.
Marker Text: The town of Brazoria began in 1828 as a port and trading center in Stephen F. Austin's colony. Partially burned in 1836 during the Texas Revolution, it rebuilt and served as county seat until 1897. To escape floods and to enjoy a better life, the townspeople moved to "New Town" near the St. Louis, Brownsville, and Mexico Railway in 1912. This town became "Old Town." The first traffic bridge, built across the Brazos River in this historic region in 1912, provided a vital link between eastern and western Brazoria County. Falling victim to the elements and lack of maintenance, the wood-decked bridge fell into the river in the 1930s. Built in 1939, during the Great Depression, using local labor, county bond money, and funds from the Public Works Administration, this Brazoria bridge sustains the historic transportation route. Nicknamed "The Bridge That Goes to Nowhere" before the soil embankments were built, this 1124' concrete and steel bridge has three Parker through truss spans. It is supported by concrete-filled caisson and concrete piling, and approaches composed of 14 concrete-supported I-beams with steel guard rails. An important example of its style, this Brazoria bridge is a significant part of Brazoria County history. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1991 Recorded Texas Historic Landmark-1991

Old Brazoria County Courthouse

Marker Title: Old Brazoria County Courthouse
Address: 100 Cedar St.
City: Angleton
County: Brazoria
Year Marker Erected: 1983
Marker Location: currently Brazoria Co. Historical Museum, corner of Cedar and SH 288, Angleton.
Marker Text: Angleton's first permanent courthouse was built in 1897, a year after the city was chosen Brazoria County seat. Constructed from plans originally drawn for the Matagorda County courthouse, the structure was enlarged and extensively remodeled in 1927. After the building suffered some structural damage in a 1932 storm, the county erected a new courthouse but maintained offices here until the 1970s. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark-1983

Brazoria Townsite

Marker Title: Brazoria Townsite
City: Brazoria
County: Brazoria
Year Marker Erected: 1964
Marker Location: intersection of Travis and Market, in front of county warehouse.
Marker Text: Established 1828 by John Austin, friend of Stephen F. Austin, "Father of Texas". Site of tavern of Jane Long, widow of Dr. John Long, who had tried in 1819 to free Texas from Spain. Port, social center, market for colony. Burned by enemy during Texas Revolution, was rebuilt. County seat, business center till 1897. (1964)

Major Reuben R. Brown

Marker Title: Major Reuben R. Brown
City: Jones Creek
County: Brazoria
Year Marker Erected: 1970
Marker Location: off SH 36 on Gulf Prairie Rd. in cemetery.
Marker Text: (February 3, 1808 - March 2, 1894) In Texas War for Independence, joined Matamoros Expedition of January 1836. In detachment that captured horses of Gen. Urrea of Mexican army. Brown was made captive in a counterattack, and spent 11 months in prison in Mexico, but finally escaped. In his old age, he lived at "Sur Mer", home of his daughter Mrs. James Perry Bryan, a great-granddaughter by marriage of Moses Austin, whose courage had led to colonization of Texas. Recorded-1970

Major James Peckham Caldwell

Marker Title: Major James Peckham Caldwell
City: Jones Creek
County: Brazoria
Year Marker Erected: 1970
Marker Location: off SH 36 on Gulf Prairie Rd. at Gulf Prairie Cemetery.
Marker Text: (January 6, 1793 - November 16, 1856) Adjutant of the Texas army in Battle of Velasco, June 26, 1832. Wounded there, he was guarding civilians at time Texas won independence in Battle of San Jacinto, April 21, 1836. A bosom friend of Stephen F. Austin, Caldwell received land grant from Mexico in 1824. In 1830s he had a sugar mill, said to be the first on the Brazos. He married Ann Munson, widow of his friend H. W. Munson. They had a son and a daughter. Recorded-1970

Near Site of First Capitol of the Republic of Texas

Marker Title: Near Site of First Capitol of the Republic of Texas
Address: 142 N. 14th St.
City: West Columbia
County: Brazoria
Year Marker Erected: 1979
Marker Text: About 1833 Leman Kelsey built a story-and-a-half clapboard structure near this location. When Columbia became capital of the Republic of Texas in 1836, the building was one of two which housed the newly formed government. The first Republic of Texas Congress convened in Columbia. Here Sam Houston took office as president and Stephen F. Austin as secretary of state. In 1837 the government moved to Houston. The 1900 storm destroyed the original capitol. The replica at this site was built in 1976-77. (1979)

Columbia

Marker Title: Columbia
Address: 301 S. 17th St.
City: West Columbia
County: Brazoria
Year Marker Erected: 1965
Marker Location: SE corner of 17th and Bernard.
Marker Text: In September 1836 Columbia, now known as West Columbia, became capital of the Republic of Texas. This took place with the removal of the ad interim government here from Velasco. After the election called by ad interim President David G. Burnet, the first permanent government of the Republic went into operation here in Columbia in October. Inaugurated were President Sam Houston and Vice-President Mirabeau B. Lamar. Under their leadership the first duly elected Congress convened and the first Constitution of the Republic was ratified. Citizens of this vicinity served the Republic. Henry Smith of nearby Brazoria prior of this time has been the first Anglo-American governor of Texas, in the 1835-36 Revolutionary provisional government. In President Houston's cabinet he was secretary of the treasury. Stephen F. Austin, colonizer and Father of Texas, was secretary of state; under the heavy demands of that office, his health broke and he died here on December 27, 1836. In April 1837 at the wish of President Houston, the seat of government was moved to more adequate quarters in the city of Houston. (1965)

Site of Crosby's Landing

Marker Title: Site of Crosby's Landing
Address: 4810 CR 400
City: Freeport
County: Brazoria
Year Marker Erected: 2000
Marker Text: Thomas Phillip Crosby (1799-1860) came to Texas from New York in 1830. After surveying sections of land along the Colorado River in 1830, he settled on this tract along the Brazos River with an eye toward building a landing for lower Brazos River plantation owners. He knew that a site on the water itself was crucial to the success of the business venture he had in mind. Wounded in the Battle of Velasco (1832), Thomas returned home to establish his docks, shipping and receiving goods for local landowners from such places as Galveston and New Orleans. Mary Austin Holley referred to Crosby's Landing in an 1835 journal entry written during the first of her three visits to Texas. When Stephen F. Austin died in 1836 his body was carried by the steamboat Yellowstone to Crosby's Landing and delivered to his brother-in-law's Peach Point plantation for burial. Though he already was providing postal service, Crosby's post office was officially approved by the Republic of Texas government in 1836. Also on the landing site were a general store and, by virtue of the post office location, a voting precinct and tax collection place. Thomas Phillip Crosby was elected sheriff of Brazoria County in 1860, but died before taking office. After his death, Crosby's son and grandson in turn served as postmaster. Among those served by Crosby's landing were Peach Point plantation, the Jack plantation, and the Abner Jackson plantation. The Crosby family also operated one of four ferries that crossed the Brazos in Brazoria County, connecting plantations on both sides of the river. Although most of the 1,000 acres owned by Thomas Phillip Crosby were sold over the years, the Crosby's landing site remained in the Crosby family at the turn of the 21st century. (2000)

Samuel Damon

Marker Title: Samuel Damon
City: West Columbia
County: Brazoria
Year Marker Erected: 1970
Marker Location: Damon Cemetery, Damon - 7 mi. north of West Columbia.
Marker Text: (1809 - 1883) Born in Massachusetts. Came to Texas in 1831. Served in Texas Revolution at Siege of Bexar as wagonmaster for Stephen F. Austin, "Father of Texas". Stole the bells of Mission Concepcion (property of Mexico, Texas' enemy) to melt into bullets. Also aided Gen. Sam Houston in 1836 campaign Received a land grant from Republic of Texas, 1838. In this county, gave name to mineral-rich Damon Mound and to town where he was brickmaker for 50 years. Recorded-1970

Battle of Jones Creek

Marker Title: Battle of Jones Creek
City: Jones Creek
County: Brazoria
Year Marker Erected: 1965
Marker Location: SH 36 at Peach Point Rd.
Marker Text: Fought by Texan army of 23 men under Capt. Randal Jones (1786-1873), sent out 1824 by Stephen F. Austin to the lower Brazos to fight cannibal Karankawa Indians. Scouts found the camp here. Attack at dawn found Indians ready with spears. Jones' guns got 15 Indians, dispersed the rest. (1965)

The Lively

Marker Title: The Lively
City: Surfside Beach
County: Brazoria
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: Surfside Beach, corner of Jettyview and Monument Dr. (US Coast Guard Station).
Marker Text: First vessel with emigrants to Austin's colony landed here December 23, 1821. The Battle of Velasco was fought here June 26, 1832. Public and secret treaties of peace between the Republic of Texas and General Santa Anna were signed here May 14, 1836. Dedicated May 14, 1936 The Battle of Velasco was fought here June 26, 1832. Public and secret treaties of peach between the Republic of Texas and General Santa Anna were signed here May 14, 1836. Dedicated May 14, 1936.


Jane Long
Site of Jane Long's Tavern

Marker Title: Site of Jane Long's Tavern
City: Brazoria
County: Brazoria
Year Marker Erected: 1986
Marker Location: Main St. near China, across from Brazos River.
Marker Text: Jane Herbert Wilkinson (1798-1880) was born in Maryland and moved to Natchez, Mississippi, in 1812. There in 1815 she married physician and soldier James Long (c. 1793-1822). Jane was granted land in Austin's colony in 1827, and opened a boarding house on this site in 1832. The busy port and tavern became a popular center of Anglo political activity. Here Jane hosted a benefit for stephen F. Austin in 1835, upon his release from Mexican prison, and a ball in October, 1836, attended by President Sam Houston and the adjourned Congress. She moved to Richmond in 1837 to operate a popular hotel there. Texas Sesquicentennial 1836-1986

Vicinity of Oyster Creek and Chocolate Bayou

Marker Title: Vicinity of Oyster Creek and Chocolate Bayou
City: Alvin vicinity
County: Brazoria
Year Marker Erected: 1968
Marker Location: SH 35 about 6 mi. south of Alvin in roadside park
Marker Text: Most early Texas homes and towns were built along streams that provided water for people and livestock, and travel for boats said to be capable of "floating on a heavy dew". Oyster Creek served, 1822-1861, as such a homesite-highway. Its boat landings were piled high with sugar, cotton, cane and other products of some of America's richest plantations. Chocolate Bayou was an area of early-day cattle raising. These were 2 of 50 streams and 10 bays that made this coast a network of useful waterways. (1968)

Old Quintana

Marker Title: Old Quintana
City: Quintana
County: Brazoria
Year Marker Erected: 1964
Marker Location: Burnett St. west of Quintana Park
Marker Text: Named for a Mexican general. Early as 1532 a thriving village. Port of entry in Republic of Texas. Strategic port in Civil War. Industrial area, cattle and cotton shipping point, 1870-1900. Fashionable summer colony, 1884 and afterwards. Largely destroyed in 1900 storm. Now a resort and fishing center. (1964)

George Rounds

Marker Title: George Rounds
City: West Columbia
County: Brazoria
Year Marker Erected: 1976
Marker Location: Old Columbia Cemetery, Jackson at 16th St.
Marker Text: (1805 - 1855) New Yorker George Rounds served in Col. James W. Fannin's regiment in the Texas War for Independence but escaped the Goliad Massacre. He settled in Columbia, where he operated a tavern. Just before his death, he drew up a will devising his estate to "educating poor and orphan children" in the community. Discoveries of oil and gas on the Rounds property during the 1930s increased the value of the fund. Rounds' philanthropy continues to aid local students today. Recorded-1976

Site of San Luis

Marker Title: Site of San Luis
Address: 14001 CR 257
City: Freeport
County: Brazoria
Year Marker Erected: 2000
Marker Location: in San Luis Park
Marker Text: Located on an island owned by Stephen F. Austin in 1832, the town of San Luis was established by the early 1830s. In 1836 the Follett family opened a boardinghouse and established a ferry service between Galveston and Brazoria County. Developers such as George L. Hammeken laid off town lots and planned for a major rail and canal connection to local plantations for shipping cotton and other local products. By 1840 San Luis was a thriving community with a population of 2,000. There were plans to build a bridge to the mainland, and a plat filed with the county clerk in 1841 outlined a city with more than fifty blocks. Storms, harbor sanding and a depressed economy made San Luis a short-lived community. By the end of the 20th century, most of the original townsite was under water due to shoreline erosion. (2000)

Velasco

Marker Title: Velasco
City: Surfside
County: Brazoria
Year Marker Erected: 1965
Marker Location: SH 332, 1 block south of Intracoastal Waterway
Marker Text: Here was fought a battle-- the first collision in arms between Texas colonists and the Mexican military-- a conflict preliminary to the Texas War for Independence. On June 26, 1832, when Texans under John Austin and Henry Smith came down river with cannon for use against Mexican forces at Anahuac, they ran against the resistance of Lt. Col. Domingo de Ugartechea. As commander of Mexican forces at Velasco, Ugartechea refused passage through the mouth of the Brazos River to the vessel bearing the cannon to Anahuac. Some 112 Texans attacked the port at midnight, and after 9 hours under the fire of Texas rifles and cannon, the Mexican garrison was forced to surrender. The Battle of Velasco, brought on by a customs quarrel at Anahuac, was unknowingly fought after the dispute at Anahuac had been peaceably settled. After the victory at San Jacinto 4 years later, President David G. Burnet moved the capital of the Republic of Texas temporarily to Velasco. Here the Treaty of Velasco, ending hostilities between Texas and Mexico, was signed on May 14, 1836. (1965)

Four Miles Southeast to the Original Town of Velasco

Marker Title: Four Miles Southeast to the Original Town of Velasco
City: Freeport
County: Brazoria
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: Ave. B and Skinner St. (Velasco Community Center).
Marker Text: Landing place of the "Lively" first vessel bringing immigrants to Austin's colony in 1821. There the Battle of Velasco, between Texas colonists and Mexican troops, was fought June 26, 1832. A treaty of peace between Texas and Mexico was signed there May 14, 1836, by Presidents David G. Burnet and Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna but was never ratified by Mexico.


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