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Visit the Barrington Living History Farm to Learn about Texas’s Last President

January 27th, 2015 by Pamela Murski

Barrington Living History Farm at Washington  On The  Brazos State Park is the place for discovering Texas history and learning about the last president Texas had before becoming a part of the United States of America.  Of course, you’ll need a great place to stay during your visit to Washington County and Barrington Living History Farm.  Murski Homestead with its’ private mini suite rooms is a  short 15 minutes  away.  Located on the outskirts of historic downtown Brenham, this Bed and Breakfast offers all the amenities of an upscale lodging property with the ambiance of ranch life.  Book your room today  and plan your trip to Barrington Living History Farm.

Washington On The Brazos, a 293-acre state historic site, marks the original town location of Washington, an important political and commercial center in early Texas. Delegates to the Convention of 1836 drafted, signed the Texas Declaration of Independence and created a constitution for the new Republic here.  A fantastic museum called “The Star of the Republic”  has several displays dedicated to the roles of African Americans in the Republic, including contributions made during the Texas Revolution.

Your next stop while enjoying Washington On The Brazos is the Barrington Living History Farm, the final home of President Anson Jones of the Republic of Texas.  Anson Jones farmed near Washington during and after his presidency  and Jones named his farm “Barrington” after his Massachusetts home, Great Barrington. He lived with wife Mary, their four children, his sister, sister-in-law, and five slaves. The family home, two slave cabins, a kitchen building, smokehouse, cotton house and barn made up Barrington Farm.  This would be Anson Jones’ final home.

Arriving in Texas in 1833 and settling in Brazoria, Anson Jones had a thriving medical practice. Like other prosperous men,  he was drawn into the political conflicts of his era. Actively serving the Republic of Texas, he was congressman, minister to the United States, senator, and Secretary of State. In 1844, at the height of his political career, Jones was elected president of the Republic.

It was a bittersweet legacy of Jones’s short tenure as president, for during that time the Republic of Texas ceased to exist. Instead, Texas became the 28th state of the United States. It was left to Jones to declare, “The final act in this great drama is now performed. The Republic of Texas is no more.” — Anson Jones, President, Republic of Texas February 19, 1846

With these words Jones ended his public life and political career, retiring with his family to Barrington, the home he had built near the town of Washington. Anson Jones’ star rose briefly with the Republic’s “Lone Star” and faded quickly with annexation. 

The economy of the farm relied upon the work of five slaves and entries that Jones himself made in his daybook show the variety of the tasks, the efforts of the slaves, and ongoing nature of farm work.   Barrington Living History Farm, now dedicated to showcasing lifestyles and technologies of Texans 150 years ago,  is a place where visitors can participate in daily activities alongside costumed interpreters who explain and perform some of the same tasks on the farm as its original residents. The farm also includes replica quarters where visitors can learn more about the personal lives of enslaved people in Texas.

While in the area, stop by Chappell Hill Lavender Farm where you can wander through the Lavender fields and cut fresh  lavender (when in season), pick up a few handmade lavender products to enjoy back home and for gift giving.  Next drop in at Windy Winery and take a tour and tasting of a true local boutique winery serving wine made only from Texas grapes!  Bring back a bottle of wine and wind your way to the Bed and Breakfast to enjoy a refreshing soak in the outdoor spa before heading out to dinner in historic downtown Brenham.  Book your stay now by calling  us for reservations at 979-830-1021.

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