German Society visits Washington County
Recently, members of the Fort Bend Chapter of the Texas German Society began the day by driving the scenic route to Washington-on-the-Brazos. A guided tour was enjoyed by the group as they learned about Texas Independence. The group all agreed that more time was needed to enjoy the Star of the Republic Museum and other attractions at the Washington-on-the-Brazos State Park.
The group then traveled to Brenham and had lunch at the Must Be Heaven Restaurant. Joycine Hanath, past TGS State President, gave a presentation on the history of Germans settling in Brenham. Germans fought in the Civil War and in Washington County there were both Union and Confederate Soldiers.
The railroad was very important in the growth of Brenham. The railroad was built from Houston to the Brazos River to transport goods in and out of Brenham. Hanath talked about how the Germans were very educated people – doctors, lawyers, bankers, etc.
Blinn Jr. College started out as the Mission Institute sponsored by the German Methodist Ministers. After a while the school was in financial need and Dr. Blinn came to the school’s rescue and so the name of the school was changed from Mission Institute to Blinn College.
Hanath shared how Brenham was burned and how the townspeople built in the ground cisterns to capture rainwater from the rooftops. The group then walked to Toubin Park where a in the ground cistern is on display. The cistern was accidentally uncovered in 2000. These cisterns were under buildings and had a cooling effect on the building. There is a series of over 20 cisterns throughout the city of Brenham.
The day ended with a tour of the Blue Bell Creamery and the group enjoying Blue Bell Ice Cream. If anyone is planning a trip to Washington County, more time is needed than what this group planned. There was so much to see and learn in Washington County.
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