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Columbus, Texas

At the site of an Indian village called Montezuma, Columbus was settled in 1823 by members of the Stephen F. Austin Colony. The seat of Colorado County, the city bills itself as "The City of Live Oaks." An historical marker downtown identifies the trunk of one such landmark, under whose branches the first court of the Third Judicial District of the Republic of Texas convened in 1837.

Columbus is a treasure-trove of Victorian and turn-of-the-century homes. While most are private residences not open to the public except during the Live Oak Festival held the third weekend in May, drive-by views are rewarding. The United Daughters of the Confederacy Museum, once known as the Old Water Tower, and The Preston Kyle Shatto Wildlife Museum are interesting places to visit.

Benjamin Beeson, one of Stephen F. Austin's original 300 colonists, settled here in 1822. His residence and business operations and a scattering of homesteads formed a settlement known as Beeson's Crossing.

In the early spring of 1836, the settlers found themselves in the perilous position in between Sam Houston's Army, camped on the east bank of the Colorado River opposite Beeson's crossing, and the Mexican Army led by General Juaquin Ramirez Y Sesma, fast approaching from the west.

Houston had chosen this site to camp because of its strategic location at the edge of the most populous part of Texas.

With his 1500 troops in position, Houston is said to have declared, "on the Colorado I make my stand." Notwithstanding this bold declaration, Houston unexpectedly removed his Army to the Brazos River on March 26th. Beeson's Crossing was subsequently burned to the ground by a detachment of Houston's Army scarcely hours before the arrival of Sesma's Army. The settlers fled during what is now known as The Runaway Scrape. The Texas Army went on to defeat Santa Anna and the Mexican Army at San Jacinto in a decisive battle for Texas Independence.

Attractions and Upcoming Events

Live Oak Art Center

In 1848, Scotsman Robert Robson built a castle on the river and began providing homes to local and itinerant artists. Today, creative spirits can rejuvenate at the Live Oak Art Center housed in the historic 1891 Brunson Building. Established in 1954

Columbus, TX Arts

Colorado County Courthouse

Set among magnolia trees in center of town, the Colorado County Courthouse was built in 1891 in Second Empire style with locally made brick. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places

Columbus, TX Historic Courthouses

Preston Kyle Shatto Wildlife Museum

There are currently more than 75 different species of wildlife exhibited in the Shatto Museum, including Africa's "Big Five" - elephant, rhinoceros, lion, leopard, cape buffalo - and a white rhinoceros, one of only two on exhibit in the United States.

Columbus, TX Museums

2nd Largest Live Oak in Texas

Tree lovers must see the Second Largest Recorded Live Oak Tree in Texas. This massive tree is recognized by the Texas Forest Service among their "Registry of Champion Big Trees," and is believed to be the 2nd largest in the state. Thought to be approximately 500

Columbus, TX Natural Attractions

Mary Elizabeth Hopkins Santa Claus Museum

The Mary Elizabeth Hopkins Santa Claus Museum showcases more than 2,000 Santas; old, new, foreign and American, in various media. Someone once told Mary Elizabeth Hopkins that if you have three or more of anything, then you are a collector. Hopkins was certainly that!

Columbus, TX Museums

Things to do near Columbus, TX

Fairfield Lake Widlife Viewing

Surrounding woods are oak, hickory, cedar, elm, dogwood, and redbud, which offer sanctuary for many species of birds, and mar...

Fairfield Lake Park

There are campsites with water (most on the lakefront); campsites with water and electricity; a hike-in primitive camping are...

Yorktown Historical Museum

The Yorktown Historical Museum is housed in two historic buildings, both on the National Register of Historic Places. ...