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County
Brazoria
Region
Gulf Coast
Population
2010 Census - 3,605
2000 Census - 4,255
Nearby
Towns
West Columbia, Texas
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West Columbia Texas History:
The town of Columbia was founded and platted in 1826 by Josiah Hughes Bell, who located the town 2 miles west of Marion (Bell’s Landing -now East Columbia). Columbia served as the capital of the Republic of Texas from September to December, 1836. The First Congress of the Republic convened, and Sam Houston was inaugurated president on October 22, 1836. The House of Representatives met in a one and a half frame house built by Leman Kelsy in 1833;  the Senate in a smaller house. On November 30, 1836, Congress met in joint session and decided to move the seat of government to Houston. Secretary of State Stephen F. Austin died on December 27, 1836, in Columbia at the home of George B. McKinstry. With the seat of government gone, the town declined as a commercial center. The West Columbia post office was established in 1905. The town was revitalized with the 1918 discovery of the 20 square mile West Columbia oilfield. The town became a commercial center for agriculture (rice and cotton), oil, and sulfur. The 1928 census was 2,800, but declined to 1,000 with the onset of the Great Depression. In the 1960s many major oil companies had producing wells in or near West Columbia, and the area boasted the largest cattle population in Texas.A replica of the first capitol was built in 1977; it is located at 14th and Hamilton Streets. West Columbia is located between the Brazos and San Bernard Rivers on SH 35 and SH 36, 52 miles southwest of Houston, 24 miles north of Freeport, 15 miles west of Angleton, 8 miles north of Brazoria, and 2 miles west of East Columbia, Texas. 
 
Historic First Capital of The Republic of Texas & Replica of Capitol:
“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 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 1976-72.”  The Capitol Replica is located at 14th and Hamilton Streets.
 
Historic Stephen F. Austin Memorial Oak Tree, Marker Text in Hondo, Texas:
“This tree planted on April 15, 2004 was grown from an acorn harvested from the live oak tree located on the site of Stephen F. Austin’s death near present day West Columbia, Texas. Under that large tree, a Texas Historical Monument marks the place where Austin died on December 27, 1936. It was through Austin’s tireless efforts and dedication that the Republic of Texas was created. Austin was called “the Father of Texas” by General Sam Houston and a tree is planted in his memory in every county of Texas.”
This particular marker is at or near 1100 16th Street, Hondo, Texas.
 
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 
 
Columbia Historical Museum:
The museum is located in a 1950 bank building. It features exhibits depicting life in the early days of the town, including documents, vintage photos, and exhibits showcasing the early days of Brazos River cargo and transport boats, cotton farming, cane and rice growing, ranching, farmers, the military, fire departments, physicians, and oil. Displays include tools, toys, weapons, clothes, dishes, furniture and other items. An entire room is devoted to East Columbia. The Rosenwald School is open to the public as a permanent walk-in exhibit. Open Thu-Sat, 10am-2pm. (979) 345-3123. (979) 345-6125. 247 E. Brazos Street.
 
Columbia Rosenwald School Museum:
This is one of the over 500 Rosenwald Schools built in the South from 1913-1932. The school is located on the grounds of Columbia Historic Museum. The Rosenwald School is open to the public as a permanent walk-in exhibit. Open Thu-Sat, 10am-2pm. (979) 345-3123. (979) 345-6125. 247 E. Brazos Street.
 
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
 
Event Venue - American Legion Post #503:
(979) 345-6460. (817) 675-0779. (979) 345-3008. Email Mickey Weems  Email Sandy Weems  Email Kirby Rapstein   

Annual Houston Rodeo Southwest Trail Ride, Rosenberg to Houston, Feb:
This 120 mile ride was established in 1993. The ride begins in Rosenberg, Texas. The 2015 trail ride began on Saturday, February 21, and included 250 riders and 15 wagons. The ride left on Saturday from the Fort Bend County Fairgrounds at 4310 SH 36 South, Rosenberg, TX 77471. A morning break was taken on SH 36. Lunch was at Tejano Nights on SH 36. The night was spent at the Needville Fairgrounds at 13631, SH 36, Needville, 77461. On Sunday morning the ride continued on SH 36. Lunch was in Damon Texas, and the group overnighted at HL&P in West Columbia, Texas. On Monday morning the wagon train continued traveling south on SH 36 to SH 35. Lunch was held at the Bar X Ranch in Bailey Prairie, Texas. The night was spent at the Brazoria County Fairgrounds at 901 S. Downing Street, Angleton, Texas. The wagon train left on Tuesday morning for Sandy Point, Texas. A break was taken at the post office in Bonney, Texas. They overnighted at the Venus property in Sandy Point. On Wednesday they headed for Fresno, Texas. Lunch was at Ricky D’s Dance Club in Juliff, Texas. They overnighted on the SWTRA property in Houston. Thursday lunch was spent on the Harris County Line on FM 521 and Beltway 8 in Houston. They overnighted on the SWTRA property in Houston, for a total daily distance of 18 miles. On Friday, they left for Memorial Park in HoustonPark (6501 Memorial Drive, 77007). Lunch was spent on Westpark Drive behind Coco-Cola. (832) 665-6918. (713) 408-8400. (713) 402-8400.

Annual Houston Rodeo Southwestern Trail Ride, West Columbia to Houston, Feb:  
This 100 mile ride was established in 1973. The ride begins in West Columbia, Texas. The 2015 trail ride began on Saturday, February 21, and had 250 riders and 9 wagons. Saturday activities included Circle Ride – Kid’s Fun Day. The group camped at 329 Ellis Lane, West Columbia. Sunday morning the wagon train turned left onto SH 35 and headed towards FM 521. Lunch was taken at 1440 SH 35 South. The group camped at the RV Ranch, 29028 FM 521, McBeth, Texas; total miles 10. On Monday, the group traveled 20 miles. They took FM 521 to Glendale Lake and stopped at the Heritage Rose Elementary school for a rest. They planned to camp in Arcola, Texas, but it rained, they would camp at SH 6 and FM 521. On Wednesday morning they turned left onto Post Oak Boulevard. They took a lunch break at Lula Belle Goodman Elementary School.  They spent the night at Tom Bass Park in Pearland at the feeder of Beltway 8, between Cullen Boulevard and SH 288. On Thursday they pulled out, did a U-turn on Beltway 8, and then rode towards Almeda School Road. Their lunch break was at SH52/Almeda Road and Fellows Road. They spent the night at the Post Oak Arena, 15253 South Post Oak Road, Houston. They rode 7 miles on Thursday. On Friday, they went to the City of Bellaire’s Evelyn’s Park Conservancy at 4400 Bellaire Boulevard. They lunched at Newcastle & Bissonett, and spent the night at Memorial Park (6501 Memorial Drive, 77007).  (281) 414-9134. (713) 419-0580. (832) 931-6572.
 
Annual Battle of the Bernard, 1stSaturday in April:
This is a tug of war event between the West of the Brazos communities and their outlying areas. Events include adult and kids tug of war competitions. All teams are welcomed. (979) 345-3921. (979) 236-3494. This event is held on the San Bernard River at the FM 2611 Bridge at Churchill.
 
Annual Migration Celebration, San Bernard NWR, April:
Features speakers, presentations, workshops, exhibits, an auction, a photo contest, a duck stamp art contest, dinners, birding tours, bird banding demonstrations, kayak, van, and buggy tours, a refuge fireside exhibit, a birds of prey show, crabbing for kids, a San Bernard Oak interpretative walking tour, food vendors and a bake sale, a Children’s discovery program, and other activities. (979) 964-3639. Maps and Directions to Events
 
Annual San Jacinto Festival, April:
Festivities include arts and crafts, a parade, a BBQ Cook-off, a carnival, a Friday night dance, a tea at Varner Hogg Plantation, a washer tournament, horseshoes, dominos, a pageant, historical tours and skirmishes, an antique car show, helicopter rides, and the Rotary Shrimp Boil and Auction. (979) 345-3921. This event is sponsored by the West Columbia Chamber of Commerce. (979) 345-4656. The vent is located at the Varner-Hogg Plantation SHS. 1702 N. 13th Street. 
 
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 Harvest Festival, Oct:
Visitors learn about harvesting on an 1800s plantation, view tools and wagons used in harvesting sugar cane, taste real sugar cane, and learn how it is gathered and processed. Other activities include hayrides, cotton picking, storytelling, craft activities, viewing animals and free refreshments. An admission fee applies. This event is held at the Varner-Hogg Plantation at 1702 N. 13th Street. (979) 345-4656.
 
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 
 
Annual "A Candlelight Christmas," 1st Saturday in Dec:
Activities include touring the decorated mansion, photos with Santa, listening to the “Texas Night Before Christmas” reading, and Christmas cookies and Wassail. This event is held at the Varner-Hogg Plantation at 1702 N. 13th Street. (979) 345-4656.
 
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