Navasota Commercial Historic District
|Nickname(s): The Blues Capital of Texas|
Location of Navasota, Texas
|• Total||6.1 sq mi (15.9 km2)|
|• Land||6.1 sq mi (15.8 km2)|
|• Water||0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)|
|Elevation||217 ft (66 m)|
|• Density||1,239.02/sq mi (428.5/km2)|
|Time zone||Central (CST) (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|ZIP code||77868, 77869|
|GNIS feature ID||1375099|
Navasota is a city in Grimes County, Texas, United States. The population was 7,049 at the 2010 census. In 2005, the Texas Legislature named the city "The Blues Capital of Texas," in honor of the late Mance Lipscomb, a Navasota native and blues musician.
After September 1859, when the Houston and Texas Central Railway built into the town, Navasota became important as a shipping and marketing center for the surrounding area. Whereas nearby Washington on the Brazos protested the coming of the rails, the old historic town forfeited its geographic advantage, and it began to decline as many of its businesses and residences began a sure migration to the new railhead across the Brazos River at Navasota.
Slaves were a large part of the local economy, as they were imported, traded, and used to work in the many local cotton plantations. Guns were made in nearby Anderson, and cotton, gunpowder, and shoes were made, processed, and stored there for the Southern Confederacy during the American Civil War. By 1865, the population was about 2,700. All during the Civil War, all the marketable goods produced in the region were brought to Navasota, then the furthest inland railhead in Texas, to be shipped south to Galveston, where they could be transported by steamboat from the Texas coast and up the Mississippi River to the war effort, or exported to Mexico or overseas to Europe.
As of 2013, the population was estimated at 7,262. The industrial sector of the community now boasts 23 companies and over 1200 jobs. In 2009, Navasota was selected as a "Visionaries in Preservation" city by the Texas Historical Commission to protect the numerous historical structures in the city. A new municipal building was completed in 2011 and continued downtown improvements are under construction with completion scheduled in 2013.
Also in 2012, Navasota Municipal Airport completed an expansion to 5000 ft long by 75 ft wide, now allowing jets on the runway.
The City of Navasota earned a 2011 Gold Leadership Award from the Texas Comptroller's Office for efforts in transparency. Its application scored 17 of 20 points. The City of Navasota was one of 70 (out of over a thousand) cities in Texas to receive the Gold status. Also, the city received the award in 2013. In 2014, the City of Navasota earned the Platinum Leadership Award, the highest status given by the Texas Comptroller.
In 2012, Navasota was named by Union Pacific Railroad as a Train Town USA. More details here: http://www.uprr.com/newsinfo/releases/community/2012/train-towns/0828_navasota.shtml
In August 2013, the City of Navasota was named a Go Texan "Certified Retirement Community" by the Texas Department of Agriculture. http://www.retireintexas.org/Home/CertifiedRetirementCommunities/Navasota.aspx
Also in 2013, the city was named a "Playful City USA" by Kaboom! http://kaboom.org/take_action/playful_city_usa/2013_playful_city_usa_communities
Navasota is served by the weekly Navasota Examiner newspaper, which has been reporting on the goings-on in Grimes County since 1894. The city is also home to the Navasota News 1550 AM, owned and managed by Bryan Broadcasting, which broadcasts the local Navasota Rattlers football games.
Navasota has some shops and artisans in its historic downtown district, typified by antique, gift, and junk stores housed in old classic stone and brick structures, and live plays at the Sunny Furman Theatre. Navasota Blues Alley is in the heart of the downtown district, and offers blues memorabilia, museum exhibits, art, vintage music and radios, and much more. The city also has golfing facilities and parks, as well as wineries.
Navasota retains a number of historic Victorian homes on Washington Avenue, the main residential and commercial thoroughfare through town. Another historic edifice is Brule Field, a natural amphitheater built out of native stone by the Great Depression-era Works Progress Administration. It served as the primary grid for the local high school football team, the Navasota Rattlers, until the new stadium was constructed in 2006. Several native-stone churches also remain near downtown, with its Victorian fronts.
The city is also home to two La Salle statues, including a bronze monument, dedicated in 1936 by the DAR, to celebrate the explorations of the famous French explorer. The second is a stone bust that was previously in downtown, and was rededicated by the French consulate in May 2012 at August Horst Park. The bust was donated to the city by the French government in 1978. Supposedly, La Salle was murdered by one of his men somewhere near present-day Navasota, while looking for the Mississippi Valley and the way back to French-held lands near the Great Lakes. After numerous voyages, explorations of the Mississippi valley, trading ventures and several mutinies, La Salle’s bones are believed to have found their resting place in the Navasota Valley.
Seasonally, Navasota is visited in the spring for bluebonnets. The Blues Bluebonnets & BBQ music festival is held in April, celebrating the birthday of Mance Lipscomb. A summer festival, the Navasota Bluesfest, every second weekend in August in the Blues Capital of Texas, honors the memory of blues man Mance Lipscomb, who recorded numerous albums and lived in Navasota all of his life. The celebration raises money for college scholarships for local students. A statue of Mance Lipscomb is now a part of Mance Lipscomb Park, near downtown. A statue of Frank Hamer stands in front of city hall, honoring the time he served as city marshal, connecting to the time Mance Lipscomb was his buggy driver. Local artist and sculptor Russell Cushman designed and built the bronze statue. The nearby Texas Renaissance Festival is held near Plantersville in the fall. Also nearby is Washington on the Brazos state park and the George Bush Presidential Library.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.1 square miles (16 km2), of which, 6.1 square miles (16 km2) of it is land and 0.16% is covered by water.
As of the census of 2000, 6,789 people, 2,379 households, and 1,624 families resided in the city. The population density was 1,109.7 people per square mile (428.3/km²). The 2,661 housing units averaged 435.0 per square mile (167.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 53.42% White, 34.11% African American, 0.29% Native American, 0.46% Asian, 9.90% from other races, and 1.81% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 27.96% of the population.
Of the 2,379 households, 37.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.9% were married couples living together, 19.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.7% were not families. About 27.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.76 and the average family size was 3.40.
In the city, the population was distributed as 30.3% under the age of 18, 10.6% from 18 to 24, 26.7% from 25 to 44, 18.0% from 45 to 64, and 14.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females, there were 86.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.0 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $26,990, and for a family was $31,875. Males had a median income of $28,585 versus $21,731 for females. The per capita income for the city was $12,230. About 23.8% of families and 26.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 34.7% of those under age 18 and 24.0% of those age 65 or over.
Government and infrastructure
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) operates the O.L. Luther Unit and the Wallace Pack Unit in an unincorporated area in Grimes County near Navasota. In addition, the Pack Warehouse is located in an unincorporated area near the Pack Unit.
The City of Navasota is served by the Navasota Independent School District, Texas Education Agency accountability rankings place Navasota ISD as "Met Standard." More detail at Texas Education Agency website:  
The Navasota Rattlers were 3A Div. II State Football Champions in 2012. and were also 4A Div. I State Football Champions in 2014.
Navasota crime statistics available at http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/tables/table8statecuts/table-8-texas
- Christopher B. "Stubb" Stubblefield
- Navasota city marshal and Texas Ranger Frank Hamer
- Soul musician Joe Tex
- Blues songster Mance Lipscomb
- Dancer Alvin Ailey
- Musician Milt Larkin
- Clay Condrey, major league pitcher
- Virgil "Ned" Garvin, major league pitcher
- French explorer René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, was killed in Navasota in 1687
- Texas A&M President R. Bowen Loftin, a graduate of Navasota High School
- Jimmy Brown, author of Texas Greed, a book on the Grimes County drug trade from Mexico and South America
- Former Maryland Legislator Christine M. Jones
- USS Navasota, named after the Navasota River
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Navasota, Texas.|
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Jennifer Dunning, Alvin Ailey: a life in dance (Da Capo Press, 1998), 13.
- "Navasota (city) QuickFacts". quickfacts.census.gov. Retrieved April 20, 2015.
- "Blues, Bluebonnets & BBQ this Saturday in Navasota". navasotaexaminer.com. April 6, 2011. Retrieved April 20, 2015.
- "Navasota to Host Blues Fest". kbtx.com. August 8, 2014. Retrieved April 20, 2015.
- "Post Office Location - NAVASOTA." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on May 22, 2010.
- "Pack Unit." Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Retrieved on May 22, 2010.
- "Pack Warehouse." Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Retrieved on May 22, 2010.
- Rosemary Smith (February 2, 2011). "Jimmy Brown writes book about drug history in Grimes County". The Navasota Examiner, Navasota, TX. Retrieved April 20, 2015.