The Ant Street Inn is in the middle of all the great celebrations for the Fourth of July. Pick and choose or try to “crawl” to all of them.
Start off the holiday weekend July 2 with Hot Nights, Cool Tunes free street concert in downtown Brenham, 7:00pm. Bring your lawn chairs and enjoy the music and food and beverages sold or bring your own.
July 3, Round Top Festival Hill is having a patriotic concert at 3:00 pm with conductor Stefan Sanders. www.festivalhill.org
July 4 Make a day of hitting several small town celebrations.
10:00am Chappell Hill’s 35th Annual Parade with marching Kazoo Band. http://www.chappellhilltx.com/
10:30Round Top’s 161st Fourth of July parade, barbeque, music, tractor show. http://www.roundtoprifle.com/. See 8 pages in July issue of Texas Highways describing event.
11:00am Burton 123rd celebration with barbeque, auction, cake walk at the American Legion Post. $8.00.
5:00pm Independence in Independence: Parade, food, booths, street dance and fireworks. 979 830 3461
Fireworks on the Brazos at Washington on The Brazos State Park. 10:00am-10:00pm. Concert and light show extravaganza. Blue Bell ice cream.
Don’t forget to book your room at the Ant Street Inn and relax on the upstairs porch.
Hope to see you then! Pam and Tommy
A park will be built to showcase the brick lined cistern which has been unearthed in a lot between two buildings across the street from the Ant Street Inn. To launch the construction of Toubin Park, a groundbreaking ceremony will be held on Wednesday, May 25 at 10:00 am with the uncovering of the cistern for viewing.
Toubin Park, named for Leon and Mimi Toubin, who donated the land for this purpose, will exhibit how cisterns were used in the 1800′s through the use of maps, photos of cisterns that still exist in Brenham, and give tips for using modern cisterns today.
“The story of Brenham’s cisterns starts in 1860 when the Washington County Railroad was finished,” said Sharon Brass, a Main Street Brenham volunteer who did most of the recent research. “As only the second railroad in Texas, it was a remarkable feat that turned Brenham into a boom town, almost overnight. This started a chain of extraordinary events, with colorful characters, leading to the cisterns under our streets and buildings. This is the story we’ll tell at Toubin Park.”
“The railroad made Washington County extremely prosperous and the population exploded. During the Civil War, the county’s population was highest of all Texas counties, with more residents than Houston and Austin combined.”
“Even though the railroad brought a surge of prosperity, it also brought many travelers and transients,” said Brass. “Like any boom town, frequent violent crimes kept lawmen busy. When the Civil War ended in 1865, former slaves and owners struggled with their new relationships, resulting in more crime. With lawlessness and racial tensions growing, most men walked the streets armed. The mood was tense and conflicts were frequent. This atmosphere prevailed at the end of the Civil War, setting the stage for trouble to come.”
“That trouble came in the form of Union soldiers, sent here in 1865 to occupy Washington County during Reconstruction. The soldiers terrorized citizens and the atmosphere turned hostile. A local newspaper editor emerged as a hero criticizing the deeds of the army and was arrested twice for his writings. Several events led to violence and the burning of a full city block by soldiers. ”
“After a second fire was set, the citizens began building cisterns, to collect rain water for fire-fighting. An 1885 map shows that 26 public cisterns had been built by that time and Brenham even had a cistern factory that served the region.”
Brenham cisterns are now designated as State Archeological Landmarks.
Unity Theatre, our next door neighbor, is performing, Little Mary Sunshine, a spoof of old-time operettas, of Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald, of favorites like “Rose Marie” and “Naughty Marietta.” It’s not modern. It’s not edgy. It is a sweet story poking fun at other sweet stories. It is showing for 3 weeks, 4 times a week, from June 9-26. Go to www.unitybrenham.org for more info. Ticket sale begins May 30.
Round Top’s Festival Institute will be celebrating it’s 40th Anniversary with concerts beginning June 11 and running through July 16. This internationally acclaimed European styled music institute for aspiring young musicians will feature orchestra and chamber music concerts in their beautiful concert hall in Round Top, a short drive from Brenham. http://www.festivalhill.org for tickets.
For those looking for a laid back atmosphere, bring your lawn chairs to Brenham’s courthouse square for their annual Hot Nights, Cool Tunes- free street concerts Saturdays in July at 7:00 pm. Go to www. downtownbrenham.com for the lineup of bands.
Come to historic Brenham Maifest to celebrate Mothers’ Day weekend. Live music, food, dance, homebrew contest. top chef contest, parades. This fun festival promotes the German heritage of Brenham and Washington County. For more information, go to the Maifest website.
We have our new Facebook page up and look forward to meeting old friends and making new ones. You can find us at www.facebook.com/antstreetinn and view pictures of some of the latest weddings held at the Inn. See you there soon, and thanks for checking it out!