2000 Census - 1,729
East Bernard Texas History:
The community was established around 1850 on the east side of the San Bernard River when Jethro Spivi built the town’s first residence. The town grew slowly until the 1859 arrival of the Buffalo Bayou, Brazos and Colorado Railway. The post office was established in 1866. A San Bernard River bridge was built, and in 1869 the train depot was moved to the west side of the river on the future Main Street. An influx of influx of German and Slavic immigrants arrived in the 1890s. By the mid-1890s the farming town had two general stores, a steam gin, a gristmill, a telegraph office and 150 residents. In 1906, the Czechs built the Holy Cross Catholic Church. It was replaced in 1924 with a building featuring stained glassed windows crafted by Moravian craftsmen in Brno, Czechoslovakia, a statue of St. Anthony from Italy, and statuary carved in the German Tyrol. The church members also built the Riverside KJT Hall. Riverside Hall was built in 1927 on the east bank of the river, it became a popular dance pavilion, where Paul Whiteman was once featured. The East Bernard Chamber of Commerce was established in 1960. Because the town is unincorporated, the chamber performs most of the duties of a city government. The community swimming pool hosts the annual May splash day featuring free swimming and refreshments. East Bernard is located at the intersection of SH 60 and U.S. 90A, 16.7 miles slightly southeast of Eagle Lake, 20 miles southeast of Sealy, 8 miles south of Wallis, 52 miles southwest of Houston, 16 miles slightly west of Rosenberg, 24 miles northwest of Needville, 40 miles north of Danevang, 16 miles north of Wharton, 10 miles north of Hungerford, 58 miles northeast of Edna, 42 miles northeast of Louise, and 25.5 miles northeast of El Campo, Texas.
Historic Holy Cross Catholic Church, 1925:
The parish was established by Catholic Czechoslovakian immigrants in 1900. In 1905, Valentine Kozelsky constructed a small frame church building on two acres of donated land. It featured a 70 foot belfry and imported Czechoslovakian statues, painted copper wall hangings, and 10 large stained glass windows of the Roundel design. . A rectory was built in 1921, and a school was organized in 1922. The 1925 church building was designed by Houston architect M.J. Sullivan in Colonial revival style. This is the oldest Catholic church in continuous use in Wharton County. (979) 335-7551.839 Church Street.
Wharton County Library East Bernard Branch:
The library provides traditional library programs, children, youth and adult programs, summer programs, public access computers with internet connections, and free Wi-Fi. Open Mon, Wed & Fri, 1:30pm-5:30pml Tue, 10am-6pm; Sat, 9am-12 noon; closed Sunday. (979) 335-6142. 746 Clubside Drive. Email
Riverside Hall, Wenceslaus KJT Society No.40:
This society was organized on June 16, 1905 in Middle Bernard. The first year’s meetings were held in the Middle Bernard schoolhouse. Later they were held in August E. Morris’ dance hall. In 1913, a new hall was constructed on Church Street. The structure was built on a “shares” basis and cost “4,000. Members donated $770 in shares and $810 shares were sold to outside individuals. The remainder was gradually paid off from the lodge treasury. The lodge was enlarged in 1929; a stage and stage curtains were added. After the lodge burned to the ground in 1939, the society immediately purchased Riverside Hall, a round wooden structure located on the banks of the San Bernard River. The facility had a few owners over time, and was the center of many community functions. Many famous bands performed there, including the Guy Lombardo Orchestra, the Bennie Goodman Band, Paul Whiteman and Sammy Kaye. The Hall hosts the annual June Czech Kolache Klobase Festival. (979) 335-4875. 14643 Buls Road. The hall is located on the banks of the San Bernard River at 14643 Buls Road. Facebook
Houston Rodeo Mission Trail Ride, San Antonio Mission Espada to Houston:
The 235 mile mission ride was established in 1991. This two week ride begins at the Mission Espada in San Antonio to Memorial Park in Houston. The 2015 ride began on February, 14, and included 65 riders and 8 wagons. Saturday night was spent at the Cross J Ranch in Rock Island. Sunday lunch was in Altair on SH 71 at U.S. 90A, and the night was spent at Taco Tony’s in Eagle Lake. The wagon train traveled 14.5 miles on Sunday. On Monday the wagon train rode 18.6 miles and spent the night at Riverside Hall (U.S. 90A at Bulls Road. Tuesday night was spent at the Fiesta Parking Lot in Rosenberg. Wednesday night was spent at METRO Park and Ride on Fondren at W. Orem. Thursday was a rest day. On Friday, they spent lunch at the Petco/Home Depot parking lot at 5445 W. Loop South, Houston. (832) 375-4473. (832) 202-5825. (832) 335-2655.
Annual Holiday Express Train, Kansas City Southern Railroad, Kendleton 2015, Dec:
This is an absolutely fabulous train. I sincerely hope the Kansas City Southern Railroad does not cancel this annual Christmas train run. The Holiday Express was created in 2001 after volunteers dedicated over 8,000 hours to the rigorous transformation of the retired freight train. The train was built on the tradition of the former Gateway Western (GWWR) Santa Train, which made stops in small towns from East St. Louis, Ill. to Blue Springs, Mo. (GWWR was purchased by KCS in 1997.) In 2000, KCS employees noticed that the Santa Train was the only Christmas some kids had, and that some did not have essential items such as coats, hats and gloves. The employees were so touched that they committed to elevating the project to the experience that communities throughout KCSR's service area enjoy today." The Holiday Express train distributes gift cards to the Salvation Army to provide warm clothing and other necessities for children in need at stops along the Holiday Express route. Donations are accepted. The six-car train with Santa Claus and his elves makes stops in 25 or more communities in seven U.S. states. Access to the train is free and open to the public. Led by KCS’ Southern Belle business train, the Holiday Express train includes a smiling tank car “Rudy”; a flat car carrying Santa’s sleigh, reindeer and a miniature village; a gingerbread box car; the elves’ workshop; the reindeer’s stable; and a little red caboose. New in 2010 was the addition of a G-gauge Holiday Express model train that will run around the flat car during Holiday Express stops. The route varies slightly each year. The 2015 Holiday Express Schedule includes the Texas Cities of Beaumont (28 November at KCS Yard, 4095 South Martin Luther King Parkway), Beasley near Kendleton (29 November at KCS Intermodal Shipper Facility), El Campo (Evans Park on 30 November at 112 East Monseratte Street), Victoria (on 1 December at U.S. Business 59 at Burroughsville Road), Ganado (2 December at U.S. Business 59 at FM 172), and the Wharton depot at 100 North Sunset Street. It will also stop at Shreveport, Louisiana on 4 December at the KCS yard, 4500 North Lake Shore Drive, Gate 5, 71107. Shreveport is located 45 miles southeast of Jefferson, Texas, 42 miles east of Marshall, Texas, approximately 36 miles southeast of Uncertain and Karnack, Texas, and 22 miles slightly northeast of Waskom, Texas. (816) 983-1372. (816) 983-1668.
Pettigrew Junction Shopping:
This family owned resale business sells everything that can be salvaged from old buildings. Inventory is located over three acres, and includes lavatories (some pedestals) tubs with and without legs, hardware, decorative wrought iron, mirrors, lamps, china, glass (Depression, Vaseline, more), pottery (McCoy, California, crocks, more), chandeliers, ceiling fans, wooden boxes/crates (w/&w/o advertising), jars, sewing machines (w/&w/o foot cranks), automobile accessories, pictures, plumbing fixtures (contemporary & vintage), dressers (w/&w/o mirrors), wash stands, end tables, clocks, oil lamps, crystal, silver, windows, doors (metal, wood, interior, exterior), bed frames, kitchen items, wash tubs, rub boards, clothing from the 60's & 70's, and more. Jeanette Pettigrew. (979) 335-4655. 5221 Pettigrew Junction Road, East Bernard, Texas 77435.
Rivendell Ranch Scrapbooking & Quilters Retreat, East Bernard:
The retreat is located in a renovated 1910 ranch house overlooking a pond and the San Bernard River. A caterer will provide meals for those who don’t wish to cook in the fully equipped kitchen. The house has four bathrooms and three bedrooms (16 twin beds). The bunkroom is furnished with 8 twin beds. Other amenities include a swimming pool, a verandah, volleyball, pathways, three miles of river access, and seasonal fishing in the river. (281) 499-4133. (713) 446-8685. 14646 U.S. 90A, East Bernard, Texas, 77435. Email
Annual Wharton County Youth Fair & Rodeo, April:
Activities include a fair, youth rodeo, a livestock show and auction, golf tournament, family fun night, a pageant, fun run, talent contest, the Wee Folks Pet Show, a BBQ cook-off and vendors. (979) 532-3310. (979) 677-3371. (979) 677-3350. This event is held at the Wharton County Fairgrounds at 6036 FM 961, Wharton, Texas 77488. The fairgrounds are located at 6036 FM 961 RD. Email
Annual Kolache-Klobase Festival, 2nd Saturday in June:
Activities include polka dancing, arts and crafts, sausage and barbeque chicken, children’s games, dancers, a raffle and a cakewalk. Open 10:30am-11:30pm. An admission fee applies. This event is hosted by and benefits the KJT Society No. 40. (979) 335-4875. 14643 Buls Road.
Wharton & East Bernard BBQ Restaurants:
There are several good barbeque restaurants in East Bernard and Wharton. You will need to check the reviews and make a choice.
Vincek’s Smokehouse, East Bernard:
This meat processor and butcher sells smoked and fresh meats, venison, dried sausage, jerky, cheeses, kolaches and other baked goods, and BBQ. The lunch counter serves hamburgers, sandwiches, cold cuts and BBQ. Customers may eat onsite at the indoor picnic tables. (979) 335-7921. The market is located on SH 60 in East Bernard. Reviews
Taste Woods Bar-B-Que, Wharton:
They serve BBQ plates (chicken, ham, turkey, brisket, and pork ribs), BBQ sandwiches, hamburgers, cheeseburgers, grilled chicken sandwiches, baked potatoes, salads and sides. (979) 282-8833. The restaurant is located at 1925 Regional Medical Drive. Reviews
Junior's Smokehouse, Wharton:
(979) 531-0888. 164 CR 467. Reviews
Hinze’s Barbeque, Wharton:
(979) 532-2710. 8229 U.S. 59. Reviews