Brownsville in Cameron County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
Built circa 1850 for J.N. Reynolds, the original French Creole architectural elements have been removed. The building was purchased in 1890 by Simón Celaya, a native of Balmaceda, Spain. He used the building as headquarters for the Rio Grande Railroad Company, the pioneer railroad company in Brownsville.
Erected by Brownsville Historical Association.
Location. 25° 54.072′ N, 97° 29.888′ W. Marker is in Brownsville, Texas, in Cameron County. Marker is at the intersection of East 12th Street and East Elizabeth Street (Business U.S. 77), on the right when traveling south on East 12th Street. Touch for map. Marker is mounted at eye-level, directly on the subject building, near the intersection, facing East 12th Street. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1159 East Elizabeth Street, Brownsville TX 78520, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within Federal Court Site (a few steps from this marker); San Román Building (within shouting distance of this marker); San Roman Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Manautou Building (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Public Market and Town Hall (about 400 feet away); Brownsville Home of Charles Stillman (about 500 feet away); Stillman House / Residencia Stillman (about 600 feet away); Juan H. Fernandez y Hermano Building (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Brownsville.
More about this marker. Marker is in the Brownsville Historical Trail series.
Regarding Celaya Building. The Celaya building is currently occupied by a retail perfume outlet.
Also see . . .
1. History of the Rio Grande Railroad. The Rio Grande Railroad, which runs from Brownsville on the Rio Grande to Point Isabel on the Laguna Madre, has the double distinction of being the shortest railroad in the United States and the only one which up to November, 1924, had the old French or one-meter gauge. There are many prominent men connected with its history. Such names as Richard King; his partner, Mifflin Kenedy; and Simon Celaya. The original stockholders were Simon Celaya, H. E. Woodhouse, Charles McManus, John S. Ford, David Maltby, and Joseph Kleiber. Many of their descendants are now among the (Submitted on June 28, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
2. The Rio Grande Railroad. The Rio Grande Railroad was organized by Simón Celaya of Brownsville in 1870 and opened a 22.5-mile narrow-gauge line connecting Point Isabel and Brownsville on July 4, 1872. The Rio Grande was the only railroad in Texas and one of the few in the United States to be built to a track gauge of forty-two inches. Its route was relatively direct from Brownsville to the coast but required fifteen bridges, including a 15,550-foot trestle across the Badilla Grande. The track through the low coastal marshland made the Rio Grande vulnerable to hurricanes and floods, from which the railroad suffered considerable damage on several occasions. (Submitted on June 28, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
3. Immaculate Conception Cathedral and Cemetery. On December 4, 1849, four fathers of the Oblate of Mary Immaculate arrived in Brownsville on horseback to establish a local parish. Seven years later, the Church of the Immaculate Conception was completed, using 250,000 bricks made as tithes by parishioners. On the grounds are two memorials: one dedicated to the Oblate missionaries, and a vault belonging to the family of Simon Celaya, a Spanish immigrant and organizer of the Rio Grande Railroad. (Submitted on June 28, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Categories. • Hispanic Americans • Railroads & Streetcars •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 29, 2018. This page originally submitted on June 27, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 46 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on June 28, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.