Honoring the Past
The Columbus Historical Preservation Trust is a volunteer-driven organization dedicated to promoting Columbus’ rich and colorful history through the preservation of four historic properties. These properties serve as an opportunity to preserve Columbus’ unique heritage, educate the public, and inspire the community. In addition to property tours, we proudly offer field trips for local school groups as well as hold special events, fundraisers, and educational programs throughout the year. Our events are open to the public.
History of Columbus
Columbus is the oldest surveyed and platted Anglo-American town in Texas. It is on the site of the legendary Indian village of Montezuma. Members of Stephen F. Austin’s “Old Three Hundred” began arriving in the area in 1821. By 1823 a small community had developed and became known as Beason’s Ferry, named for Benjamin Beason, one of the original settlers who operated a ferry across the Colorado River. In 1835 it was renamed Columbus.
By the time of the Texas Revolution, Columbus was home to more than twenty-five families, including William D. Lacey, one of the signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence.
After the fall of the Alamo, General Sam Houston camped on the east bank of the Colorado River at Columbus from March 19-26, 1836. When he and his troops left for San Jacinto, General Houston ordered Columbus burned so the Mexican Army would not be able to use any of the town’s buildings or resources. Columbus’ townspeople fled as well during this time period, known as the Runaway Scrape.
Columbus was designated the county seat of Colorado County when the county was established in 1836. The following April, Judge Robert McAlpin (Three-Legged Willie) Williamson reportedly convened the first district court in Colorado County in the shade of a large oak tree near the site of the present-day courthouse.
Preservation of our local history is very important to us. There are a number of historical homes, buildings, and markers located around town. Columbus has a lot to offer visitors, including great food, lodging, attractions, outdoor activities, and so much more!