- Contact: West Columbia Chamber of Commerce
- Phone: 979-345-3921
- Visit Website
A 1950 former bank building clad in marble and stone now houses the Columbia Historical Museum. Displays include 19th Century artifacts, documentation of the productive West Columbia oilfield, a diorama of the town of East Columbia, founded in 1823, and exhibits about the local ranching industry. Nearby is the restored Columbia Rosenwald School, which educated African American students from 1921 until 1948. Now a museum, it took detective work to authenticate the structure, and support from the community and the National Trust for Historic Preservation to bring the school back to life from serving as a hay barn.
Two miles north of West Columbia, the Varner-Hogg Plantation State Historic Site was established in 1824 when Martin Varner, one of Stephen F. Austin’s Old Three Hundred colonists, settled the land with his slaves. Varner sold the property in 1834 to the Patton family, whose slaves built a sugar plantation that operated until the Civil War. Hand-made bricks formed with clay from the Brazos River bottom were used to build the plantation house and the slave quarters. In 1901, former Texas Gov. James S. Hogg purchased the land for oil speculation. Decades later, the property was donated to the State of Texas by Miss Ima Hogg, the governor’s daughter, and opened to the public in 1958. The site, now operated by the Texas Historical Commission, includes the plantation house with period furnishings, pecan orchards, outbuildings, the governor’s outdoor bathtub, and ruins of the sugarcane mill.