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Texas Heritage Society

Tour of Texas History #8

"Lower Brazos - Los Brazos de Dios"

Saturday January 15 and Sunday January 16, 2011

Whistler Hotel 

Whistler Hotel Bed and Breakfast, Angleton, Texas

This is a special overnight outing.  We will learn about the sugar plantations on the black soil of the lower Brazos, where Stephen F. Austin lived and his first colonists had their pick of the rich land along the river.

Saturday, 10:00 a.m. - Lecture and lunch at the old Whistler Hotel on the Chenango Plantation located at 1820 County Road 36, Angleton, Texas, 77515.  Archaeologist and historian James Smith will be our speaker.  So rich in Texas history, Chenango was first owned by Ben Fort Smith where his mother Obedience Smith lived in the early years.  Smith sold the plantation to the notorious Monroe Edwards, who was a forger of great talent and finally died in Sing Sing Prison.

12:30 p.m. - Travel to old town of East Columbia for a visit to one of the original houses built along the river.  then to the interesting museum at West Columbia and a talk about the first Capitol of Texas and the inauguration of Sam Houston as president of the Republic of Texas there.

2:00 p.m. - Across town to the Varner Hogg State Historic Park for a lecture about the sugar plantation where Santa Anna was protected by Columbus Patton, a good friend of Sam Houston.  Patton later moved a slave girl named Rachel into his bedroom and openly lived with her until the family had him declared insane.

3:30 p.m. - Travel a few miles south to the museum in the small town of Brazoria, where a large statue of Henry Smith stands and Confederate General John Bankhead Magruder had his headquarters during the war.

5:00 p.m. - Check into a motel in Clute, where there are seven motels along the highway, all with winter rates.  Many of our members and guests will be staying at the La Quinta Inn in Clute, Texas located at 1126 South Hwy 332 West, Clute, Texas 77531. Tel. 1-979-265-7461.

6:30 p.m. - Happy hour at On the River Restaurant a few miles away in Freeport, rated by Texas Monthly as one of the finest seafood restaurants in Texas.  Dinner off the menu and a talk by historian Les Pettigrew about Confederate forts along nearby rivers and the little known battles with Union forces.

Sunday 8:30 a.m. - Freeport History Museum for a talk by historian Mr. Hickey who will start with the French explorers and take us through the important events in early Texas history there.  Then he will take us on a trolley ride around the old town of Velasco.

11:00 a.m. - After checking out of the motel, we will meet at the Brazosport Museum in Lake Jackson for a talk by historian Harry Sergeant about the tragic Abner Jackson Sugar Plantation after all four sons went into the Confederate Army.  Abner died during the war, two sons were killed in battle.  Two brothers returned, but got into a dispute.  One shot the other, then died of consumption.

12:00 noon - Lunch somewhere or return home.

Important Notice!!!

"Along the way we made a mistake in the Whistler Hotel address.  We indicated 1826 County Road 36.  It should be 1820.  The highly dedicated rural postman refused to deliver mail with one digit off even with a big Whistler Hotel sign staring him right in the face.  So all the checks are being returned.  We have 32 reservations so far. Throw the checks away. The hotel manager said, "C'est la vie. Pay at the door.""

Hewitt Clarke

For further information about this very interesting THS Tour of Texas contact:

Hewitt Clarke