I’m taking part in the A-Z April Blog Challenge.
Join me every day (except Sundays) throughout April for the next letter in the alphabet! Something different on each Letter of the alphabet!
Richmond, the county seat of Fort Bend County, is on the Brazos River fifteen miles southwest of Houston. The city’s transportation links include U.S. highways 90 A and 59, the Southern Pacific Railroad, and the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway.
In early 1822, a group of twelve to fifteen men led by William W. Little camped in the vicinity of the present city and were soon followed by other members of Stephen F.Austin’s Old Three Hundred. A log fort built at the bend in the Brazos River became the nucleus of a settlement, which came to be known as Fort Bend, or the “Fort Settlement.” The community was evacuated in 1836 during the Runaway Scrape. In early 1837 the town of Richmond was established by Robert Eden Handy and his business partner, William Lusk, and as early as April the partners were advertising to sell lots in the town.
Named after Richmond, England, the town was first incorporated by the Republic of Texas in May 1837, Richmond became its seat of government.
In January 1839, a Methodist Episcopal church was organized, and in April the town’s first newspaper, the weekly Richmond Telescope and Texas Literary Register, began publishing.
Before the Civil War Richmond became a center of the “cattle empire” that grew between the Brazos and Colorado rivers; cattle were branded on ranges just west of the town before being sent north to market centers in the Midwest.
In 1878 the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway
extended its tracks through the area but bypassed Richmond; a new, rival community
called Rosenberg was built on the railway three miles from the old town.
In 1884 2,000 people lived in Richmond. That year, along with the courthouse and four churches, the town had a bank, sugar mills and refineries, and six schools. Cotton, corn, livestock, hides, sugar, and molasses were being shipped from the town.
A wooden bridge across the Brazos was built at Richmond about 1888, and when that collapsed five years later it was replaced by a sturdier steel structure.An enormous flood surrounded the town in 1899. Richmond’s economy remained dependent on agriculture until the 1920’s, when oil production began in the county.
By 1934, there were eight producing oilfields and a sulfur mine within an eight-mile radius of the town. During the 1930’s, sidewalks were extended through much of the town, and a large municipal pool was built; Richmond’s citizens also approved a bond package that funded a number of other civic improvements, including a new city hall, a modern water system, and new fire-fighting equipment.
Though local agricultural production suffered during the Great Depression, the surrounding cotton growers still supported two large cotton gins in Richmond, and the town also had a large irrigation pumping plant that supplied water to rice fields in the area. Despite the improvements, a traveler passing through the town in the 1930’s still thought Richmond’s “fine old white frame residences of the plantation type” gave the town “the air of the Deep South.”
Beginning in the late 1940’s people began moving to the Richmond-Rosenberg area to commute to jobs in Houston, and the trend intensified during and after the 1950’s. As Richmond and Rosenberg grew together the towns increasingly cooperated in development and planning projects.
Interesting Places to visit in the area
Fort Bend County Jail was completed in 1897, this structure was the third jail building in Fort Bend County. Built to communicate strength and justice to the area’s lawless elements, the imposing Romanesque revival style structure features terracotta decoration and massive arches. The interior included living quarters for the sheriff and a third floor gallows. It served as the Fort Bend County Jail until 1955 and became a Texas Historic Landmark in 1985.
Mirabeau Bonaparte Lamar Statue. Lamar was a Texas politician, poet, diplomat and soldier who was a leading Texas political figure during the Texas Republic era. He was the second President of the Republic of Texas after David G. Burnet and Sam Houston. He died in Richmond on December 19, 1859.
Visiting Homes in the area to see the area to see historic homes
and architecture of times.
Rosenberg Railroad MuseumThe Rosenberg Railroad Museum has amassed a collection of artifacts, maps, photographs, semaphores, wig-wag, and memorabilia detailing the history of the Great Rails in and around Rosenberg and Fort Bend County.
Brazos Bend State Park
The park’s 5,000 acres offers a wide variety of activities for every age: biking, fishing, hiking, birding, camping, star-gazing, and opportunities to learn about Texas’ bountiful natural history via free programs and guided hikes. Fragments of the ancient coastal prairie survive here as do dense bottom land hardwood forests and extensive marshes, making ideal habitats for the American alligator and a rich diversity of other reptiles, amphibians, and mammals. Abundant park wildlife includes white-tail deer, coyote, bob cat, gray fox, and over 300 species of resident and migratory birds recorded and wildflowers abound during the warmer months, drawing a wealth of butterflies. Park amenities include a Nature Center, Environmental Education Center, amphitheater, 20 miles of hike and bike trails, and more.
Journey to a place and time where cattle and cotton are king and Texas is a country all its own. Visit the George Ranch Historical Park and discover a treasury of Texas traditions. At the George Ranch Historical Park, you can step back in time to experience more than 100 years of Texas history. Through innovative and interactive programs, you can get your hands “on the past.”
When you venture out to Richmond/Rosenberg area, you can spend the time exploring the Historic Downtown District, which offers an eclectic shopping experience in buildings restored to their original grandeur. You can browse a collection of gift boutiques, antique shops, gourmet shop, spa, restaurants, and other establishments offering everything from home accessories, collectibles, fine jewelry, clothing, rare books, fine handmade furniture, and great casual dining experiences.
Come back tomorrow as we travel to Shamrock!