Texas Independence Trail Region

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

Columbus: 1891 Brunson Building/Live Oak Art Center

Born in Westphalia, Germany, Charles Brunson migrated to America in 1845. After working as a stage driver he settled in Columbus and established a saloon in 1867. In 1891, he built the Brunson Building, adding the adjacent store in 1896. The turn of the century proved a violent time in the area, and carrying guns became illegal. As a result, the saloon became a depository of weapons, but in 1906, a citizen resolution was passed prohibiting storing firearms on any premises where “same may be easily accessible in the event of a difficulty arising.”  Eventually, Texas Rangers took over law enforcement activities in Columbus. The city was reincorporated in 1927. 

The Brunson building was last used as a saloon in 1919 and is now home to the Live Oak Art Center. A gallery and entertainment space, the Center offers exhibitons, workshops and an on-site art and photography library. Oh, and you can still belly up to the original saloon's bar in their Courtyard Wine Bar.


  • 1014 Milam St.
  • Columbus, Texas
  • 78934


Hours & Fees

  • Wednesday - Friday, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.,  Saturday 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

  • Free