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Texas Independence Trail Region

Participant in the Texas Historical Commission's
Texas Heritage Trails Program

Brazoria


Original resting place of Stephen F. Austin

AN EARLY STARTER

Brazoria got a jumpstart in a pre-statehood Texas courtesy of a land grant from Stephen F. Austin. Founding Father John Austin, land grant recipient, defined the townsite in 1828, choosing to call it “Brazoria” because he had never heard the name used before. Today, Brazoria maintains much of its rich heritage with cultural and historic sites located around town. The Brazoria County Historical Museum, the Brazoria Civic Center Museum and the Brazoria Train Museum provide plenty of exhibits designed to inform and entertain. But Brazoria history and culture aren’t necessarily kept indoors. A visit to the Brazoria “Bridge to Nowhere”, located on Highway 521 and State Highway 332, will transport you over the Brazos River on a 1839 lattice-framed bridge, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In town, the Masonic Oak serves as a perfect example of living history. This surviving live oak tree, located on the south end of Pleasant Street, marks the spot where the six founders of the Grand Masonic Lodge of the Republic of Texas met for the first time in 1836. After a strong dose of history, visitors might want to make a short trip for some birdwatching nearby at the San Bernard and Brazoria National Wildlife Refuges, go boating in the Brazos and San Bernard Rivers, or try angling in any of the numerous surrounding bayous.


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Still alive and thriving in Brazoria, the Masonic Oak Tree shaded the six founders of the Grand Masonic Lodge of the Republic of Texas as they met for the first time in Texas in 1836. The Masons had a huge hand in winning the War of Independence for Texas, and the Masonic Oak is a huge part of Brazoria’s heritage, and is featured in the city’s seal. Don't miss the Brazoria Civic Center Museum, Brazoria Train Museum and the “Bridge to Nowhere.”

The Gulf Prairie Presbyterian Church Cemetery and Stephen F. Austin Gravesite, originally part of Peach Point Plantation, was used by descendants of Stephen F. Austin’s sister Emily Austin Perry and husband James Franklin Perry, and by the community since 1829. The first to be buried here was the 5 or 6 year old daughter of William Joel Bryan, Austin Perry’s son by a previous marriage. Austin was originally buried here, but his remains were reinterred in the state cemetery in Austin in 1910.