Star of the Republic Museum

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Star of the Republic Museum.
Location of Washington-on-the-Brazos, Texas.

The Star of the Republic Museum, in Washington, Texas, USA, is the only museum in the state of Texas created specifically to collect and interpret the culture and history of the Republic of Texas from 1836-1846.[1][2] Within the Museum's two floors of exhibits, visitors can learn about the history of the time period through media experiences, as well as informative exhibits. The site of the Star of the Republic Museum was selected at Washington-on-the-Brazos where elected delegates gathered on March 2, 1836 to declare Texas’ independence from Mexico.[1][2][3]

Mission[edit]

The Star of the Republic Museum was created by the Texas Legislature and is administered by Blinn College as a cultural and educational institution. Its purpose is to collect and preserve the material culture of the Texas Republic (1836–1846) and to interpret the history, cultures, diversity, and values of early Texans. The Museum strives to inspire interest, understanding and appreciation of Texas heritage for students, teachers, scholars, and the general public through exhibits, tours, programs, web activities, and outreach.

History[edit]

In 1969, the State of Texas created the Star of the Republic Museum through House Bill No. 634, of the Sixty-first Texas Legislature. The Museum officially opened on Texas Independence Day, March 2, 1970 and was transferred from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to Blinn College, located in Brenham, Texas. In 1972, the Star of the Republic Museum achieved accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums. As an accredited facility, the Museum is certified in adhering to the standards set forth by the museum profession, providing quality service to the public, and maintaining the collections in a responsible manner. Of the approximate 8,500 museums in the nation, only around 800 are accredited. In 1992 the Museum began a long-range plan for major facility renovations. The plans included renovations to the building, a building addition, and renovations to the Museum's exhibits. Through the efforts of this plan, The Republic of Texas exhibition was finished in 2002. This permanent exhibit allows visitors to view over 1,000 objects from the collection depicting the culture of early 19th century Texas.

Exhibits[edit]

Star of the Republic Museum Exhibits.

The museum's exhibits are displayed on two floors, the first of which is in the shape of a five-point Texas star[2] and the second floor in a pentagon shape. The exhibits on the first floor present a chronological history of early Texas, beginning with the first Texans, the Native Americans, and continuing to the Texian soldiers who fought for Texas independence. Intriguing artifacts on the first level include: The Reading of the Texas Declaration of Independence, a 1936 painting by Charles and Fanny Normann of the men who signed the Texas Declaration of Independence[4] and the Lone Star Flag, the oldest known Texas flag from the period of 1839-1846. Personal artifacts once belonging to signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence also comprise a significant portion of the first floor exhibits. The second floor exhibits depict the social and multicultural history of the 1830s and 1840s. Through impressive design, the exhibits portray the daily life and practices of the settlers of the Republic of Texas. The second level's attractions include: a simulated riverboat trip down the Brazos River and an observation deck to view the 300 acres (1.2 km2) of the Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site.

Annual events[edit]

Texas Independence Day Celebration

The largest event for the entire park is the Texas Independence Day Celebration. This celebration occurs every year on the weekend closest to March 2, the actual anniversary of Texas Independence from Mexico. During the celebration weekend visitors are able to tour all the sites in the park free of charge. During the Texas Independence Day celebration visitors will find costumed interpreters, historical re-enactors, special performances, and a variety of demonstrators relating to the Republic of Texas time period.

Fireworks on the Brazos

Another large event for the Museum, as well as the Washington-on-the-Brazos State Park, is the annual Fourth of July celebration. The Star of the Republic Museum is open to visitors on the Fourth of July. Other activities during this event include 1850s children's games and activities and a live concert. The event is brought to an end with a large display of fireworks, simulcast to patriotic music.

Location[edit]

The Star of the Republic Museum is one of three venues located within the Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site in Washington, Texas. The other two venues located on the Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site are Independence Hall where the Texas Declaration of Independence from Mexico was signed in 1836; and Barrington Living History Farm, the home of Anson Jones, the last President of the Republic of Texas.[5] The Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site is located in Washington County, Texas. The Star of the Republic Museum is located at 23200 Park Road 12, Washington, Texas.

Descendants of the signers[edit]

Beginning in 2010, the Star of the Republic Museum established a registry of documented lineal descendants of the 60 signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence.[6] 59 of these men were elected delegates to the Convention of 1836. Herbert S. Kimble, though not a delegate to the Convention, signed the Texas Declaration of Independence in his capacity as Convention secretary. The signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence were:

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Beverly (1983), p. 86.
  2. ^ a b c Danilov (2002), p. 687.
  3. ^ Dixon (1924), pp. 27-28.
  4. ^ McGaugh (2011), p. 2.
  5. ^ Krane (1999), p. 28.
  6. ^ McGaugh (2011), p. 1.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar Gammel (1898), p. 824.
  8. ^ Gammel (1898), p. 843.
  9. ^ a b c d e f Gammel (1898), p. 838.
  10. ^ Gammel (1898), pp. 882-883.
  11. ^ Gammel (1898), p. 881.
  12. ^ Gammel (1898), p. 841.
  13. ^ a b c Gammel (1898), p. 825.
  14. ^ Gammel (1898), p. 847.
  15. ^ a b Gammel (1898), p. 848.
  16. ^ Kemp (1944), p. 243-252.

References[edit]

  • Beverly, Trevia Wooster, ed. (June 1983). "Star of the Republic Museum". Stirpes (Tyler, Texas: Texas State Genealogical Society) 23 (2). 
  • Danilov, Victor J. (2002), Museums and Historic Sites of the American West, Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press 
  • Dixon, Sam Houston (1924), The Men Who Made Texas Free: The Signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence, Houston: Texas Historical Publishing Company 
  • Gammel, Hans (1898), The Laws of Texas, 1822-1897, Volume I . digital images courtesy of Denton, TX: University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History.
  • Kemp, Louis Wiltz (1944), The Signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence, Salado, Texas: Anson Jones Press 
  • Krane, Gene, ed. (Fall 1999). "Texas Independence Day Celebration Planned at Washington-on-the-Brazos". Heritage (Austin, Texas: Texas Historical Foundation) 17 (4). 
  • McGaugh, Anne, ed. (2011). "Fifty-nine for Freedom - Exhibit Opening/The Big Picture! The Rest of the Story". Star of the Republic Museum Notes (Washington, Texas: Star of Republic Museum) 36 (1). digital images

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 30°19′26″N 96°09′13″W / 30.3239°N 96.1537°W / 30.3239; -96.1537