A Party as big as the lone star state

Columbus is turning 200 years old and we're hosting a celebration as unique as Texas itself!

JULY 2022 through MAY 2023

A YEAR OF EVENTS

JULY 2022 through MAY 2023

IN CELEBRATION OF COLUMBUS' HERITAGE
AND SPECIAL PLACE IN TEXAS HISTORY

JOIN THE 200 CLUB

Show your support of the town near and dear to your heart

200 Club members will receive several unique gifts to commemorate this once-in-a-lifetime occasion.

The Early Days of Columbus

Columbus is the oldest surveyed and platted Anglo-American town in Texas. Local legend says it sits 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 (Beeson’s) Crossing, named for Benjamin Beeson, one of the original settlers who operated a ferry across the Colorado River. In 1835 the community was renamed Columbus.

By the time of the Texas Revolution, Columbus was home to more than 25 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.

Important Historical Events in Columbus

1821: First American settlers arrived at Montezuma’s Indian Village

1822: Land grants were issued to Old Three Hundred settlers by the Mexican government; the area became known as Beason’s (Beeson’s) Ferry Crossing, a part of Austin’s San Felipe Colony

1823: Baron de Bastrop, commissioner and surveyor of Austin’s colony, included the area in a plat

1835: Town officially named Columbus

1836: Beason’s (Beeson’s) Ferry Crossing was home to 25 families; Colorado County was established; Sam Houston ordered the town to be burned during the Runaway Scrape

1867: Railroad bridge construction completed

1871: Beginning of the Stafford-Townsend Feud

1886: Stafford Opera House built

1890: Colorado County Courthouse Dedication

1906-1927: Columbus was unincorporated due to volatile political conflict and feud

1923: Centennial Celebration

1961: Magnolia Homes Tour established

1973: Sesquicentennial Celebration

2014: Colorado County Courthouse restoration project completed

2017: Hurricane Harvey flooding damaged many areas of town

2020: Columbus Community Hospital (est. 1950) named a Top 20 Rural & Community Hospital

2022: Keyser Market and Potter’s Western Store recognized by the Texas Historical Commission for 50 continuous years of operation 

2023: Bicentennial Celebration

Columbus Texas Meat & Ice Company
Built in 1883 on the north side of Robson Street between Fannin and Austin Streets. Columbus Texas, Meat & Ice Company was then one of three packing houses in Texas. Established to process at place of origin, the plant could handle 125 cattle a day. Some of its beef went to Queen Victoria's London.
The Helena (c. 1890)
A boat said to have run on the Colorado River from its mouth to Columbus between 1890 and 1900. While primarily used for commercial purposes, The Helena did take pleasure seekers up and down the Colorado River on occasion.
East River Railroad Bridge (c. 1884)
The bridge was built in 1867 between Crockett and Walnut Streets. The ferry operated at the foot of Walnut Street, and was replaced by a wagon bridge at Spring Street in 1886.
Hurricane Harvey Flooding (August 2017)
Athletic fields, school bus storage area, and golf course suffered vast amounts of flooding.
Juneteenth (c. 1910)
One of the earliest documented Juneteenth celebrations in Columbus. Many early celebrations included religious services, readings, inspirational speeches, games and contests, singing, and, enjoying delicious food with friends and neighbors.
The Brunson Saloon (c. 1916)
Charles Brunson, an 1845 German immigrant, established the Brunson Saloon on the Courthouse Square in 1867. In those times, only law officers were allowed to carry guns. Locals often stashed their weapons at their favorite saloon to avoid having them confiscated while in town. Several shootings took place in and around the Brunson Saloon, including the deaths of Sam Reese and Larkin Hope, participants in the infamous Stafford-Townsend feud.
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UPCOMING EVENTS and CELEBRATIONS

August 2022

Children’s Book Reading, Leland Comes to Stay (August 20, 10 a.m., The House)

Author Fest – Literary Columbus (August 27, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Stafford Opera House)

OUR GENEROUS SPONSORS

The Columbus 200 Steering Committee sends a special thank you to the City of Columbus, Colorado County, and local law enforcement agencies. We would not be able to host this celebration without their support.

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