2000 Census - 95
East Columbia Texas History:
In 1823, Josiah Hughes Bell established the Bells Landing (Sugar) Plantation on the Brazos River. The plantation served as a supply depot for settlements located upriver. In 1824 Bell laid out the town of Marion. Though he advertised lots in 1829, the promotion did not succeed. By 1831 the community called had a few cabins, a country store and the frame of Bell’s plantation house; it was referred to as Bell’s Landing. As more sugar and cotton plantations were established in the area, the community grew around the Bell home. Trading schooners carried goods from the river port to New Orleans. In 1827 Bell sold the townsite to Walter C. White. The community continued to be called Bell’s Landing until at least 1940. During the Texas Revolution, the town was an army enlistment point and ferrying dock. By 1842 the town was known as West Columbia, and it was renamed East Columbia. East Columbia prospered when Houston became the capital of Texas, and continued to prosper when the Houston Tap and Brazoria Railroad built a line to the town in 1859. The beginning of the Civil War stopped all growth. The town’s population hit a high of 1,500 in the 1890s, but was down to 150 by 1914. The Columbia post office was renamed East Columbia in 1927. East Columbia is located on SH 35 and CR 703, two miles east of SH 36 and West Columbia, and 13 miles west of Angleton, Texas.
East Columbia Main Street National Historic District:
“East Columbia was founded by Josiah Hughes Bell in 1823. Originally named Bell's Landing, this site on the Brazos served as a supply depot for settlements on the river above. In 1824 Bell laid out the new town and named it Marion. In 1842, when Bell's settlement on the prairie became known as West Columbia, Marion was renamed East Columbia.”
Historic Bell's Landing, Texas Historical 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 the Texas Revolution. Key river port and trade center during Republic of Texas Days.” The marker is located at Brazos and Front Streets.
Historic Sweeny-Waddy Log Cabin, Texas Historical Marker Text:
“John Sweeny, SR moved his family from Tennessee to Brazoria County, Texas about 1833. With the help of slaves, he cleared his land and established a large plantation. This log cabin, originally located about 9 miles southwest of this site, was built soon after Sweeny's arrival and housed the slave family that included Mark and Larkin Waddy. The Waddys continued to live in the cabin after they were freed at the end of the civil war.”The cabin is located on the grounds of the Ammon Underwood House at 523 Main Street (CR 703).
Historic Ammon Underwood House, 1835, Texas Historical Marker Text:
“A structure erected in noted old river port of town of Marion in Republic of Texas era. First position, of hand-hewn cedar, was built around 1835 by colonist Thomas Winters, merchant-civic leader-soldier Ammon Underwood bought and enlarged the house in 1838-39. In 1839, he married Rachel Jane, daughter of William and Catherine Carson, of Austin's original colony. President Anson Jones and other famous Texans often visited the Underwoods.” The house is now home to the Ammon Underwood House Museum. 523 Main Street (CR 703).
Historic Carry Nation’s Hotel, 1880, Texas Historical Marker Text:
During a brief and troubled time in her life, Carry Amelia Moore Nation (1846-1911) operated the Old Columbia Hotel on this site about 1880. She later achieved fame as a hatchet-wielding crusader against the use of alcoholic drink and tobacco. Born in Kentucky to slave-owning parents, Carry Moore and her family moved to Grayson County, Texas, soon after the outbreak of the Civil War. After an unhappy first marriage in Missouri to an alcoholic, she married David Nation in 1877. They acquired 1,700 acres of farmland on the San Bernard River west of here. Unsuccessful at farming and marriage, David moved to Brazoria to practice law, and about 1880 Carry moved here to Columbia to operate the hotel owned by A. R. and Jesse W. Park. Her name is on the Columbia Methodist Church roll. She lived at the hotel with her daughter Charlien Gloyd, Mother Gloyd (Carry's first mother-in-law), and David's daughter Lola. David Nation also operated a saddle shop just southwest of this site. The family soon moved to Richmond, Texas, to operate a hotel, then moved to Kansas in 1889. The Nations were divorced in 1901 after Carry began her crusade against saloons. She lectured at the University of Texas in Austin in 1902 and 1904.”
Varner-Hogg Plantation State Historic Site Information, West Columbia, TX:
In 1902, Governor Hogg purchased land along Varner Creek from Martin Varner, a member of Stephen F. Austin’s Old Three Hundred colony who had established a sprawling plantation on the Brazos River in 1824. Though the Governor drilled several oil wells on the site, oil was not discovered on his property until 1920, 14 years after his death. In 1958, his daughter Ima Hogg donated 66 acres, including the two story Greek revival plantation house and the kitchen building, to the State of Texas. Guided tours of the 1835 house museum are available Tue-Sun, 9am, 10am, 11am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, 2:30pm and 3:30pm. Reservations are not required for groups of less than 10 people. For larger groups, reservations must be made 2 weeks in advance. School tours are also available by reservation. The 1920s interpretive barn is open daily for self-guided tours. Come visit during the spring when the bluebonnets and Indian paintbrushes are in full bloom. The park has a 0.5 acre pond. Activities include birding, picnicking, and historical interpretation. Annual events include Juneteenth Reunions, the San Jacinto Festival, and a Christmas Celebration held on the first weekend in December; Christmas tours are held throughout December. This historic site is available for family reunions, weddings and other events. For more park information read the Park Brochure and go to the Varner-Hogg Plantation SHS Home Page.1702 N. 13th Street, West Columbia, Texas 77486. Fish Stocking History
Ammon Underwood Home & Waddy Cabin Museum, Located in East Columbia:
The Ammon Underwood house dates back to Stephen F. Austin’s colony; it is located on the Brazos River and has been moved several times to save it from bank erosion. It serves as an education facility teaching children and adults about early Texas history; tours are available by appointment. The 1850 Sweeny-Waddy Log Cabin was built on the John Sweeny Plantation; it served as home to his slave, Mark Waddy; the Waddy family occupied it until the death of George S. Waddy in 1953; it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is a Texas historical landmark. Both buildings are located at 523 Main Street (CR 703), West Columbia. Email
West Columbia Library:
The library provides traditional library programs, children, youth and adult programs, summer programs, public access computers with internet connections, and free Wi-Fi. (979) 345-3394. 518 E. Brazos Avenue. Email
Annual Brazoria County Fair, Livestock Show & Rodeo, October:
Activities include live entertainment, a carnival, a BBQ cook-off, a livestock show and rodeo, auctions, a parade, pageants, contests, a pet parade, tricycle races, a youth horseshow, commercial exhibits, live music, a science fair and more. (979) 849-6416. This event is held at the Brazoria County Fair Grounds. 901 S. Downing Street, Angleton, Texas.
Annual Ghosts along the Brazos, Nov, East Columbus:
Activities include ghost walks along Front Street, historic home tours, children and adult activities, an owl presentation, and a hayride down Main Street. This event is held at Bethel Presbyterian Church at Duval and Main Street (CR 300G) in East Columbus. (979) 345-3921. Email
421 Coffeehouse & Bistro, West Columbia:
(979) 345-2560. 421 South 17th Street, West Columbia. Reviews
Elmo' Grill, West Columbia:
(979) 345-5127. 454 South 17th Street.
Scott's BBQ & Catering, West Columbia:
(979) 345-6162. 226 East Brazos Avenue, West Columbia. Reviews