Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site

By: Christopher Long

Type: General Entry

Published: July 1, 1995

Updated: August 6, 2020

Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site is on Farm Road 1155 seven miles southwest of Navasota in Washington County. The 293-acre park occupies most of the site of the old town of Washington, commonly called Washington-on-the-Brazos, which served as last capital of the Republic of Texas. The Texas Declaration of Independence was signed at the site on March 2, 1836. The legislature appropriated funds to purchase about fifty acres of the old townsite in 1916 and subsequently erected a replica of the hall where the Declaration of Independence was signed. In 1936 the state acquired additional land, built an amphitheater, and moved the home Anson Jones built at his Barrington plantation to the site. In 1949 the Texas Legislature transferred the land from the State Board of Control to the State Parks Board, one of the forerunners to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. In 1955 a number of local people formed the Washington-on-the-Brazos State Park Association which has raised money for numerous improvements, including a better replica of the Independence Hall. Additional land was purchased from private owners in 1976 and 1996. Operational control of the site was officially transferred from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to the Texas Historical Commission by the Eighty-sixth Texas Legislature. The transfer took effect on September 1, 2019. Facilities at the park include picnicking areas, two pavilions, restrooms, a visitor center, and the Star of the Republic Museum. The Barrington Living History Farm, also at the site, includes the restored Anson Jones home and features farming demonstrations by interpreters in period costume.

Ray Miller, Texas Parks (Houston: Cordovan, 1984). Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site (https://www.thc.texas.gov/historic-sites/washington-brazos-state-historic-site), accessed April 30, 2020.

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Christopher Long, “Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed July 07, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/washington-on-the-brazos-state-historic-site.

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July 1, 1995
August 6, 2020