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Historical Markers and War Memorials in Brownsville, Texas
Location of Brownsville, Texas
▶ Cameron County (107) ▶ Hidalgo County (45) ▶ Willacy County (5)
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Built in 1882 by S.W. Brooks and designed by J.N. Preston & Son, this was the first courthouse built for Cameron County. It has continuously housed the Masonic Lodge since 1914. It was built in the Second Renaissance Revival . . . — — Map (db m117944) HM|
This classically styled public building has been central for Cameron County government for nearly a century. Texas and Mexico both claimed this area after 1836. The Texas Legislature created Cameron County in 1848, even before the land was . . . — — Map (db m118643) HM|
Originally built as a three-story structure in 1912, this building, Cameron County's second jailhouse, was enlarged with the addition of a 4th floor about 1929. The 1912 structure was designed by prominent architect Atlee B. Ayers and the 1929 . . . — — Map (db m117886) HM|
Built in 1912 by the Gross Construction Company and designed by
Atlee B. Ayres in the Classic Revival style, it served as the main Cameron County jail for 66 years until the new jail was built in 1978.
Two sections were added . . . — — Map (db m117895) HM|
Built 1877-1890 for Manuel Alonso, the Alonso Building (Los Dos Cañones) has wrought iron railings and doors reminiscent of French Creole architecture.
It was one of several buildings built by immigrants from Spain. The first . . . — — Map (db m118522) HM|
Spanish-born Manuel Alonso (1846-1922) constructed the one-story residence on this site in 1877 and added the two-story mercantile building by 1890. His "Los Dos Cañones" mercantile was a popular gathering place for local residents. French and . . . — — Map (db m118520) HM|
Built in 1911 by the architectural firm H.C. Cooke & Co., for Pauline Bollack, a German immigrant from Bavaria, this three story structure has an attractive ornate façade. At the time, it was one of the largest buildings in town . . . — — Map (db m128843) HM|
Founder of Brownsville and partner in firm of M. Kenedy and Company, which opened the Rio Grande to steamboat navigation and controlled much of the commerce of Northern Mexico, 1848-1868.
This house, erected about 1850,
was the birthplace of . . . — — Map (db m117849) HM|
| Ferry service along this stretch of the Rio Grande evolved as population in the area increased. In 1836, General Jose Urrea used rowboats at the Paso Real ferry near the later site of Fort Brown en route to Goliad. General Vicente Filisola used . . . — — Map (db m165671) HM|
|Created February 12, 1848
Since 1535 men of all nations of the earth sailed
the blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico to the green
valley of the Rio Grande in search of happiness,
and each found it in his own time and in his own way. . . . — — Map (db m118636) HM|
Completed in 1883, this was the first courthouse built by Cameron County officials, who previously rented or purchased office space. This three-story brick structure served as the county courthouse until 1914, when a new building was erected. Rio . . . — — Map (db m117935) HM|
Planned as all of block 144 of the original townsite in 1848 and active by 1852, Campo Santo Viejo was the first official cemetery in Brownsville.
The city abandoned the site in 1864, but burials continued into the 1870s.
The property was . . . — — Map (db m117901) HM|
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 . . . — — Map (db m119397) HM|
|If you were an American of Hispanic descent during the Civil War, which side would you choose?
Your answer might depend on status, wealth, livelihood, or location. Altogether, more than 20,000 Hispanic soldiers fought in the Civil War. Many were . . . — — Map (db m164601) HM|
|You are currently standing north of the core battlefield area. To listen to the historical narrative of the battle and learn more about ongoing preservation efforts of the cultural and natural resources located in this National Historic Landmark, . . . — — Map (db m164595) HM|
Father Pierre Yves Keralum was born in France in 1817, and worked as both a cabinetmaker and an architect before entering the seminary at the age of 28.
In 1852 he was ordained an Oblate of Mary Immaculate (O.M.I.) and sent to deep south Texas . . . — — Map (db m119431) HM|
Built 1850 by Wm. C. Douglas, who arrived with Gen. Zachary Taylor during Mexican War.
In 1852 by order of U. S. Congress, first Federal Court in Brownsville was held in back room here by Judge John Watrous.
Recorded Texas . . . — — Map (db m119396) HM|
Established 1880-1894 by Miguel Fernandez, a wealthy Spanish merchant, this was a bone and hide yard built to cater to the Texas Gulf Coast cattle industry. Built in the Border Brick style, it is one of the few remaining . . . — — Map (db m119297) HM|
| English: Built 1893-1894 for Henry M. Field, the commercial and residential complex covers half a block. The two-story gallery, spindle cornice and railings indicate that the building is a mix of Border Brick style and French Creole . . . — — Map (db m131197) HM|
| English: This complex, which includes several buildings, was built in the late 19th century by H.M. Field. Andres Pacheco purchased the site in 1919. The corner store – residence is an excellent example of the Spanish colonial . . . — — Map (db m131199) HM|
| Frank Rabb (1866-1932) was born in Corpus Christi to Texas ranching pioneers John and Martha Rabb. After marrying Lillian Starck, granddaughter of ranching neighbor Mifflin Kenedy, Frank and Lillian settled at San Tomas on 20,000 acres. Except for . . . — — Map (db m165625) HM|
| The Brownsville Historic
Battlefield Trail stretches for
almost-10 linear miles from
the Mitte Cultural District and
Southern Linear Park at the
southern end to the Palo Alto
Battlefield National Historical
Park to the north. The . . . — — Map (db m164690) HM|
Home of Charles Stillman, ship owner, merchant, rancher, who came to Brazos Santiago in 1828 and in 1849-50 founded City of Brownsville in old Espiritu Santo Land Grant.
Built about 1850 for his bride, Elizabeth Goodrich, of Connecticut. Has . . . — — Map (db m117846) HM|
Mass was first celebrated in this area in 1849 by the oblates of Mary Immaculate. This church building was completed ten years later. Father Peter Yves Keralum designed the structure, which features Gothic Revival styling. The rectory was the . . . — — Map (db m117955) HM|
This cathedral, which was completed on July 6, 1856, was built with 250,000 hand-made clay bricks shaped and oven cured in the nearby village of Santa Rosalia. This church designed and constructed under the Oblate Fathers of Mary Immaculate who . . . — — Map (db m117958) HM|
Built in 1854-1859, the cathedral was designed by French architect Father Pierre Keralum of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. The cathedral is Gothic Revival in the ecclesiastical form with a Latin cross plan. During . . . — — Map (db m117981) HM|
Juan H. Fernandez came to America at the age of 14 in 1875 as a ward of his uncle, Jose Fernandez-Toral, a mercantile owner originally from Pendueles, Asturias, Spain.
Following in his family’s footsteps, Juan Fernandez opened a store in 1883, . . . — — Map (db m117913) HM|
Built in 1883-1884 for Juan H. Fernandez, who came from Spain in 1875 to work for his uncle and older brother, the site was a general merchandise store.
The store, La Villa de Llanes, was founded by Fernandez and his younger . . . — — Map (db m117915) HM|
En 1859, el Padre Keralum Termino la construccion del esta iglesia.
El hizo sus estudios de arquitecturea en Paris, Y antes habia sido ebanista.
Los Feligreses, bajo la direccion del Padre Verdet y lost otros padres, fabricaron los ladrillos . . . — — Map (db m117979) HM|
A native of Spain, Adrian Ortiz (1860-1957) emigrated to Brownsville before he was 18 and lived with relatives who trained him as a merchant. He built this structure in 1892 to house his mercantile operation, La Madrileña (native of Madrid), an . . . — — Map (db m117995) HM|
Built in 1892 by Santiago McCoy and Modesto Estevan Adam for Adrian Barreda Ortiz, a native of Madrid, Spain, it is an example of an L-plan mercantile store. The architecture is a mix of Victorian and Border Brick style. The . . . — — Map (db m117998) HM|
En este edificio, construido en 1892 por Adrián Ortiz, se estableció La Tienda Ortiz. Esta construcción es uno de los ejemplos más significativos en la arquitectura histórica del valle. Esta joya arquitectónica, con sus . . . — — Map (db m118000) HM|
|At this site the last battle of the Civil War, known as Palmito Hill, was fought by Confederate troops under Colonel John S. (Rip) Ford and Union Forces on May 13, 1865, 34 days after Lee's surrender at Appomattox. — — Map (db m118442) HM|
Built in 1948, designed by the firm of Pettigrew & Worley, it was part of the interstate movie theater chain founded by Karl St. John Hoblitzelle.
Interstate was an influential vaudeville and later movie theater . . . — — Map (db m119301) HM|
Enrique Manautou came to Texas from Mexico in 1902.
With area commerce bolstered by the arrival of the railroad and Mexican Revolution refugees, he began a string of dry goods stores in the lower Rio Grande Valley in 1913. Manautou moved to . . . — — Map (db m118647) HM|
Known as “El Almacen,” this combination store-warehouse was built in the 1880s. At the rear, a brick wall enclosed a bone and hide yard where ranchers traded cattle hides for food and supplies. Features of the . . . — — Map (db m119298) HM|
| Likely the city's oldest wood-frame house, this home was occupied by Wm. Neale and his family in 1850, according to census records. Originally
located on E. 14th St. the building was both a residence and stage coach office. Raiders led . . . — — Map (db m164603) HM|
| Englishman who was in navy of Mexico in early 1820's operated Matamoros
to Boga del Rio stage line and lived here 1834 to 1896.
Built of imported lumber of fine workmanship.
During 1859, Cortina's War, Wm. Peter Neale, a son of the builder, . . . — — Map (db m164605) HM|
| Built circa 1850 for William Neale, an Englishman who later became mayor, it is one of the oldest frame houses in Brownsville. The house was created
by joining four small structures. The Neale family owned it until 1950 when it
was . . . — — Map (db m164604) HM|
Built in 1912 and designed by Atlee B. Ayres in the Classical style, the brown brick and terracotta building features a rotunda with a stained glass dome.
The interior has Sullivanesque ornamentation. It was named after Oscar . . . — — Map (db m118639) HM|
Designed by architects J.N. Preston & Son and built in 1882-1883, this courthouse included juror sleeping rooms on the third floor.
Since 1914 this building has been owned by the Masonic Rio Grande Lodge No. 81, which had been meeting since 1848 . . . — — Map (db m117938) HM|
Built in 1882-1883, designed by the firm J.N. Preston and Son, it is the first building specifically built as the county jail. It is an example of the Border Brick style. In 1912 it was sold to the brothers Jose & Joaquin . . . — — Map (db m119398) HM|
Built in 1883, this Spanish Colonial style structure served as the Cameron County Jail until 1913, when Jose and Joaquin Fernandez purchased the property.
They converted the building into a store, with living quarters to the . . . — — Map (db m119399) HM|
| These palmetto piling are the remains of the Boca Chica Crossing of the railroad from Boca Chica Inlet to White's Ranch on the Rio Grande. Begun by General Francis H. Herron, U.S.A., in 1864 and completed in 1865 by General Philip H. Sheridan for . . . — — Map (db m164594) HM|
|Hundreds of Union and Confederate troops fought the last land battle of the Civil War here on May 12 and 13, 1865, more than a month after Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered to U.S. General Ulysses S. Grant in Appomattox, . . . — — Map (db m164596) HM|
|Palo Alto Battlefield has been designated a Registered National Historic Landmark under the provisions of the Historic Sites Act of August 21, 1955. This site possesses exceptional value in commemorating and illustrating the history of the United . . . — — Map (db m95704) HM|
| English: On May 8, 1846 United States and Mexican troops clashed on the Palo Alto prairie. This was the first major battle in a two-year long conflict (U.S.-Mexican War) that ended with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848, under which . . . — — Map (db m98625) HM|
| The first serious attempt to study the possibility of construction of a deep water seaport in this part of South Texas was undertaken in 1854 when a survey was conducted by United States Army engineers. At that time, the only natural harbor in the . . . — — Map (db m165623) HM|
Authorized 1850. On land deeded forever for this purpose.
Butchers, other vendors moved in during 1851. Building complete with top story and bell tower, 1852. Town hall and market used for Presbyterian church services.
In high wind of . . . — — Map (db m119294) HM|
| Today, commonly referred to as the Rabb Plantation, this was originally known as Rancho San Tomas and then, San Tomas Plantation. It encompassed 20,353 acres stretching north from the banks of the Rio Grande to the Arroyo Colorado. In 1885, . . . — — Map (db m165628) HM|
| Built 1891-1892 for Frank and Lillian Rabb, the Queen Anne style house had a commanding view of the Rio Grande during the waning years of steamboat era. The Rabb Plantation, originally known as Rancho San Tomas, was 20,305 acres and . . . — — Map (db m165622) HM|
| English: Built circa 1900 for Refugia Rock, the widow of Herman S. Rock (a customs hide inspector), the one-story house has parapet gables and a molded cornice across the chimney and façade, indicating Mexican Colonial and Border . . . — — Map (db m131223) HM|
| English: This excellent example of Spanish colonial style architecture was built in 1900 for Mrs. Herman S. Rock. Features include floor-length windows at the front façade, and parapets with a decorative brick cornice. Owned by the . . . — — Map (db m131198) HM|
| English: Built circa 1870 for William H. Russel, the house was purchased by Joseph James Cocke in 1885. Its architecture features a mixture of late Greek Revival and Victorian styles that reflects the architecturally stylistic . . . — — Map (db m131200) HM|
|Sacred Heart Church was established by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate for the English-speaking parishioners of Immaculate Conception Church. San Antonio architect Frederick B. Gaenslen designed this building for the new congregation in the Gothic . . . — — Map (db m119746) HM|
Built in 1912 for the first English-speaking parish in Brownsville, this gothic revival church was designed by Frederick B. Gaenslen.
The entrance gallery features corinthian columns and the initials “OMI” in the . . . — — Map (db m119748) HM|
Built in 1912, designed by Frederick B. Gaenslen, the church was established by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate as the first English-speaking Catholic parish in Brownsville. Built in the Gothic Revival style, it was severely . . . — — Map (db m119751) HM|
Built beginning 1877 for Victoriano Fernandez, the Border Brick style structures were built in stages, possibly accounting for the varying heights. The last of the three buildings was completed in 1886.
They were designed as a . . . — — Map (db m119300) HM|
Built in 1850 for José San Román, the building is an example of Border Brick architecture. Significant alterations have been made such as the varying height of the street facade. The San Román family occupied it for three generations. . . . — — Map (db m119401) HM|
Erected 1850 for Don Jose San Román, native of Biscay, Spain - importer, steamboat owner, merchant, investor in city lots. He and successor, Feliciano San Román, backed the Rio Grande Railroad.
Fulgencio Lopez was last of San Romans in charge . . . — — Map (db m119400) HM|
| Panel 1: Southern Pacific Railroad Passenger Depot
Official Historical Medallion, Texas Historical Commission
This depot was built by the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1928 as part of its extension into the Rio Grande Valley. A . . . — — Map (db m37624) HM|
Built in 1851 for Henry Miller, the cottage was first occupied by Brownsville’s founder, Charles Stillman, and later owned by Manuel Treviño de los Santos Coy.
In 1958, Chauncey D. Stillman, great-grandson of Charles, purchased . . . — — Map (db m117863) HM|
Built in 1850 in Greek Revival style by Henry Miller, who operated the nearby Miller Hotel, for Brownville founder, Charles Stillman, and his new bride, Elizabeth.
They occupied the house until 1853 and their first two children . . . — — Map (db m117854) HM|
Built in 1850, this Greek Revival home was occupied in succession by Charles Stillman and his family; Thomas Carson, longtime Brownsville Mayor; and the Manuel Trevino de los Santos Coy family. At one time, it housed the Mexican . . . — — Map (db m117862) HM|
|You are currently standing north of the core battlefield area. Before you lies the site of last land battle of the American Civil War—May 12-13, 1865. Tune to Channel 1610 AM to listen to a historical narrative of the battle and to learn more . . . — — Map (db m164599) HM|
|The Battle of
was fought here
May 8, 1846
and was won by the
Army of the United States — — Map (db m36215) HM WM|
| Iberian range cattle, progenitors of the Texas Longhorn, were brought into Texas by Spain in the 1600s and 1700s. The cattle thrived on the area's rich grasslands and roamed throughout Texas. At the time of the Texas Revolution (1835-36) vast . . . — — Map (db m165673) HM|
|Back in 1865, the weary soldiers fighting over this rough terrain probably gave little thought to the price of cotton. But their commanders did.
Throughout the war, wagonloads of the South's "white gold” streamed into the Rio Grande Valley . . . — — Map (db m164600) HM|
This Catholic order was founded in 1816 in France by Bishop Eugene De Mazonod. They came to Brownsville at the request of local citizens and held their first mass on December 8, 1849 on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception hence the name of the . . . — — Map (db m119741) HM|
| The oldest house in Brownsville built by Wm. Neale in 1834 and occupied by the Neale Family until 1959 at which time it was given to the Brownsville Art League
for a gallery and studio by Mrs. Hector del Valle, a direct descendant — — Map (db m164606) HM|
Rebuilt in 1931 for approximately $500,000, the building is a Second Renaissance Revival style public building. It replaced Brownsville’s first Federal Building (1892), which was located at the same site. It has served as a . . . — — Map (db m118917) HM|
Built in 1933, this four-story building is of the Second Renaissance Revival style. Features include decorative arches at the main entrance, stone quoins at the corners, tile roof, and decorative cornice. The building houses . . . — — Map (db m118919) HM|
Built in 1928, the commercial building was designed by Baltazar Torres, a local builder and architect. From 1945 until the mid-1980’s it operated as Whitman’s Army Store and pawnshop.
The three metallic spheres suspended from the . . . — — Map (db m119299) HM|