Texas: Other Historic Sites Summary

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

A list of important historic sites in Texas.

Apollo Mission Control Center

Location: Houston, Harris County

Relevant issues: Aviation history, science and technology

Statement of significance: This site represents the importance of the Johnson Space Center in the U.S. manned spaceflight program. This control center was used to monitor nine Gemini and all Apollo flights, Apollo-Soyuz, and space shuttle flights.

Cabot

Location: Port Isabel, Cameron County

Relevant issues: Military history, naval history, World War II

Statement of significance: Reflecting the exigencies of World War II, Cabot (1943) is the sole survivor of a unique class of light carriers built atop the incomplete hulls of cruisers of the President Class. Built as hasty replacements for the carriers lost early in the war, the Independence Class carriers served with distinction in nearly every major naval engagement of the war in the Pacific from 1943 on. Cabot earned nine battle stars and the prestigious Presidential Unit Citation. In 1967, it was turned over to Spain and recommissioned SNS Dedalo; in 1989, Cabot was returned to the United States. Essentially unmodified, Cabot is now a museum of World War II naval technology.

Elissa

Location: Pier 21, The Strand, Galveston, Galveston County

Relevant issues: Naval history

Statement of significance: Built in 1877, the bark Elissa is the second-oldest operational sailing vessel in the world and one of the three oldest merchant vessels still afloat. Open and accessible to the public, Elissa allows visitors to participate as working crew members, providing a firsthand perspective on square-riggers, maritime culture, seafaring, and maritime preservation.

Fort Belknap

Location: Newcastle, Young County

Relevant issues: American Indian history, Military history, western expansion

Statement of significance: Established in 1851 following the Mexican War when the Texas frontier was being ravished by Comanche-Kiowa raids, Fort Belknap was the anchor of a chain of outer border posts stretching from the Red River to the Rio Grande. Until 1865, it was the key post in the protection of the exposed frontier; it bore the brunt of Comanche-Kiowa assault, and during the Civil War it served as a base for campaigns against these raiders.

Fort Brown

Location: Brownsville, Cameron County

Relevant issues: Civil War, Latino history, military history

Statement of significance: Established in April, 1846, by Brigadier General Zachary Taylor, Fort Brown was under siege at the time of the battle of Palo Alto, and its siege was raised by the Americans’ defeat of the Mexican army at Resaca de la Palma. Troops stationed here fought the last battle of the Civil War; the fort was the center for troop activity during the Mexican bandit trouble of 1913 to 1917.

Fort Richardson

Location: Jacksboro, Jack County

Relevant issues: American Indian history, military history, western expansion

Statement of significance: Established in 1867 to replace the recently abandoned Fort Belknap as the northernmost fort in the Texas chain of fortifications, the fort played an important role in the protection of American lives and property during the days of the Kiowa-Comanche conflict of the post-Civil War period, particularly the Red River War of 1874.

Fort Sam Houston

Location: San Antonio, Bexar County

Relevant issues: Aviation history, Latino history, military history

Statement of significance: Authorized in 1875 and completed in 1879, this was the U.S. Army’s principal supply base in the Southwest; the fort supplied the Rough Riders in 1898 and John J. Pershing’s Mexican campaign in 1916. Experiments with the Wright biplane here led to the establishment of the Signal Corps Aviation Section in 1914.

Hangar 9, Brooks Air Force Base

Location: San Antonio, Bexar County

Relevant issues: Aviation history, military history

Statement of significance: Erected in 1918 for the U.S Army Signal Corps Aviation Section on one of its hastily established World War I training fields, this wood-trussed frame structure is the country’s oldest Air Force aircraft storage and repair facility and symbolizes the early Army effort to create an effective air force.

J A Ranch

Location: Palo Duro, Armstrong County

Relevant issues: Business and industry

Statement of significance: Between 1879 and 1889, under the direction of Charles Goodnight (1836-1929), the J A Ranch grew to encompass 700,000 acres of grassland supporting forty thousand head of cattle. Goodnight, a pioneer cattleman and the first rancher in the Texas Panhandle, is recognized for his scientific cattle breeding.

Johnson Boyhood Home

Location: Johnson City, Blanco County

Relevant issues: Political history

Statement of significance: From 1913 to 1920, and again from 1922 to 1930, this small, one-story frame house was the family home of Lyndon Baines Johnson (1908-1973), thirty-sixth president of the United States (1963-1969).

Landergin Mesa

Location: Vega, Oldham County

Relevant issues: American Indian history

Statement of significance: A ruin consisting of a series of buildings atop a steep-sided mesa on the east side of East Alamosa Creek, this is one of the largest, best-stratified, least-damaged, and most spectacularly located ruins of Panhandle culture.

Lubbock Lake Site

Location: Lubbock, Lubbock County

Relevant issues: American Indian history

Statement of significance: Excavations at the site in Yellow House Canyon, discovered in the 1930’s, have revealed a stratified sequence of human habitation spanning eleven thousand to twelve thousand years and providing evidence for occupation during Clovis, Folsom, Plainview, Late Paleo-Indian, Archaic, Ceramic, and historic periods.

Majestic Theatre

Location: San Antonio, Bexar County

Relevant issues: Cultural history

Statement of significance: The great film palaces gradually replaced burlesque as entertainment within everyone’s reach, rich and poor alike. In the 1920’s and 1930’s, the picture palace flourished in big cities and small towns as fantasy worlds into which anyone could escape for a few hours. When the boom was over, it left remnants of this glittering age across America; a handful of these theaters have been reused and restored. The Majestic Theatre, which opened in 1929, is one of the few remaining atmospheric/fantasy palaces in the United States and one of the most remarkable and faithfully restored in the Southwest.

Palo Alto Battlefield

Location: Brownsville, Cameron County

Relevant issues: Latino history, military history

Statement of significance: Here, on May 8, 1846, 2,300 U.S. Army soldiers led by Brigadier General Zachary Taylor engaged 3,300 Mexican troops under the command of Major General Mariano Arista in the first of two important battles of the Mexican War fought on American soil. Galling fire from Taylor’s artillery kept Mexican forces from reaching the American line. After the battle, the Mexican troops began their retreat to behind the Resaca de la Palma; Taylor’s victory here made the invasion of Mexico possible.

Porter Farm

Location: Terrell, Kaufman County

Relevant issues: Cultural history, political history

Statement of significance: Here, in 1903, Dr. Seaman A. Knapp (1833-1911), special agent of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, organized the first cooperative farm demonstration, which was designed to help local cotton farmers deal with the boll weevil. From this one highly successful demonstration, the entire nationwide Agricultural Extension Service has developed: Boy’s Corn Clubs, Ladies’ Canning Societies, 4-H Clubs, and intensified county fair activities all stem from the extension work begun on the Porter Farm.

Rayburn House

Location: Bonham, Fannin County

Relevant issues: Political history

Statement of significance: From 1916 until his death, this farm house–known as the Home Place–was the residence of Samuel T. Rayburn (1882-1961). “Mr. Sam” served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1913 until his death in 1961 and was Speaker (1940-1947, 1949-1953, 1955-1961) twice as long as any other individual to hold that office. His astute political sense preserved the delicate balance between factions of the Democratic Party.

Resaca de la Palma Battlefield

Location: Brownsville, Cameron County

Relevant issues: Latino history, military history

Statement of significance: In the early hours of May 9, 1846, after the battle of Palo Alto, Mexican forces under Major General Mariano Arista retreated to Resaca de la Palma; Brigadier General Zachary Taylor and his army gave pursuit and the fighting resumed. Taylor ordered his cavalry to charge the Mexican position, sending the enemy into disarray. The Mexican commander narrowly escaped capture, his tent and all of his personal effects falling into the hands of the attackers; his forces fled across the Rio Grande while all the Mexican artillery and supplies fell to the victorious Americans.

Roma Historic District

Location: Roma, Starr County

Relevant issues: European settlement, Latino history

Statement of significance: Roma’s architectural fabric represents the evolution of a key town in the border region during the nineteenth century. Roma is the only intact U.S. settlement that derives from the mid-eighteenth century colonization and town planning efforts of José de Escandon; the Escandon town planning, colonization, and land grant system are of key historic significance in the development of the Spanish empire and in the unfolding of the Mexican Northeast and the American Southwest from 1748 to 1835. Roma’s buildings form a virtual “living catalog” of the different building technologies uses along the lower Rio Grande in the nineteenth century. The brickwork of a number of residences and commercial structures in the district that were designed by Henrique Portscheller is strikingly elegant, featuring rounded corners and finely carved classical motifs.

Trevino-Uribe Rancho

Location: San Ygnacio, Philadelphia County

Relevant issues: Latino history

Statement of significance: The Jesús Trevino-Blas Uribe Rancho is an exceptional survivor of vernacular Mexican architectural and ranching traditions on the northern, or American, side of the Rio Grande. Evolving from a simple one-room stone shelter, built c. 1830 by Jesús Trevino, who maintained his principal residence in Mexico, the complex grew in four, possibly five, building campaigns, into a large ranch headquarters forming an enclosed quadrangle. Although the last addition dates from 1871, traditional building patterns were maintained, illustrating the persistence of Hispanic culture along the borderlands long after Texas had become part of the United States. Largely in original condition, the complex vividly portrays the Mexican-Texan frontier experience.

USS Texas

Location: Houston, Harris County

Relevant issues: Military history, naval history, World War I, World War II

Statement of significance: Sole survivor of six American dreadnoughts, Texas was completed in time to participate in the American landings at Veracruz. It served during World War I as a member of the Atlantic Fleet, hunting down German warships; between the wars, it was the first battleship to launch an aircraft from its decks. During World War II, Texas served on Atlantic convoy duty, bombarding shore positions during the invasions of North Africa, Normandy, and Southern France; in late 1944, it proceeded to the Pacific, where it participated in the bombardment of Iwo Jima and Okinawa.

Woodland

Location: Huntsville, Walker County

Relevant issues: Military history, political history

Statement of significance: From 1847 to 1859, Woodland, a typical Texas hill country cottage of clapboard over logs, was the residence of Sam Houston (1793-1863), who led the Texas army to victory at San Jacinto, was president of the Republic of Texas (1836-1838, 1841-1844), and represented the new state in the U.S. Senate (1846-1859). His last public post was as governor (1859-1861); he was removed from office for refusing to support Texas’s secession from the Union.

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