Mission San Juan, December 30, 2017

Mission San Juan, December 30, 2017
Mission San Juan, December 30, 2017

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Blue Bell, Southern Flyer, Star Museum and Barrington Farm - Monday, April, 20, 2015, Part 1

Our first stop of the day was the Blue Bell Ice Cream Factory because we wanted to do a tour. After we hopped out of the truck, we walked over to the tour entrance and a sign on the door said, "No tours today." Well, that was a bummer. Instead we went to see what the baseball museum on the premises was about.

Really a baseball lobby.
Seems Brenham High School has a lot of baseball stars.

Cool elevator door art
Ice cream parlor still selling Blue Bell Ice Cream
With all the talk about Listeria, we couldn't believe they were still selling ice cream. We figured it must be safe. Hah! Little did we know. We took our ice cream and sat to watch an abbreviated video of the plant tour.

Second floor ice cream parlor.
Blue Bell in Brenham, Texas
After the video and ice cream break, we went into the museum. Beautiful watercolor art adorns the walls showing Blue Bell history.

I love their slogan.

In addition to the historical art, there were timelines on the walls with the history of the company going back to the early 1900s.

Here's a poster that would have been from my early teen years. If we had lived in south Texas at the time, I would have entered this sweepstakes!

Early delivery vehicle
Blue Bell Creameries sculpture
Because we weren't able to get into the Southern Flyer restaurant at Brenham Airport yesterday, we arrived as soon as they opened today so we'd be sure to get a seat! Turns out they're not near as busy when they open on a weekday so we had our choice of inside or outside table. It was cold and windy outside so we chose to eat inside.

The main attraction of the Southern Flyer is the 50s theme. All the waitresses wear poodle skirts. You don't see poodle skirts much anymore! Our waitress was kind enough to pose for a photo. The food was good.

Southern Flyer 50s decor
Our waitress with our order
View of the pond if you sit outside
Brenham Airport
Yesterday, we had limited time at Washington-on-the-Brazos State Park. Still to see were the Star of the Republic Museum and Barrington Farm, both worth the time.

Bob "sightseeing." (He's checking his smart phone.) LOL.
The Star of the Republic Museum is two floors of exhibits encompassing the arrival of the Spaniards, the first U.S. settlers (the "Old 300"), war for independence from Mexico, to Texas becoming a Republic, Texas's annexation to the United States, another war with Mexico which, when we won it, granted large amounts of land to the United States: Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, Arizona and California (adding 1,193,061 square miles to the U.S.).
Beautiful back-lit art
There was no shortage of quilts in the museum. The first two photos are of a Pine-Burr Quilt, a detailed, three-dimensional pattern popular among African-American quilters since the mid-19th century.

Pine-Burr Quilt
Pine-Burr Quilt

A beautiful mural that takes up a whole wall
Cotton was very important early in American history. It was traded with Mexico for weapons and ammunition. Washington-on-the-Brazos had a port for shipping cotton to the Gulf on steamboats.

Great depiction of all the cotton bales that could be
loaded on a steamboat for shipping.
Another beautiful quilt using star decor
An old spinning wheel for the cotton
The following instrument is a melodeon. These foot-pumped reed organs (keyboard wind instruments) were less expensive than a piano, easier to transport, and less likely to get out of tune.
Melodeon circa 1850
Another quilt
Washington-on-the-Brazos is a
"Birthplace of Texas" historic site
From Star of the Republic Museum it was a very short drive to Barrington Living History Farm, an example of Texas farm living in the mid-1800s, and home to the last president of the Republic of Texas, Dr. Anson Jones. Dr. Jones arrived in Texas in 1833 in Brazoria where he set up a medical practice. Soon thereafter, he became involved in Texas politics. Dr. Jones served the Republic of Texas as a congressman, minister to the United States, senator and secretary of state. In 1844, he became president of the Republic and served one year until Texas became the 28th state in 1845.

Entrance to Barrington Farm Living History Museum
Bob with the costumed interpreters on the dogtrot.
Can't get away from doing chores.
This building is the kitchen, built separate from
the house due to heat and fire concerns.
Gorgeous Cochin chickens
The main house is a frame structure commonly called a "dog-trot" or "dog run." The home faces southeast, bringing the wind through the dogtrot. During the hot summers, this air movement allowed the family to remain comfortable outside on their patio.

Main house in the "dog-trot" style
The barn
Non-bearded, buff-laced Polish chicken rooster
Ossabaw Island hogs - descendants of
Spanish pigs
Ossabaw Island hog
That ended our Washington-on-the-Brazos portion of the day. We drove back roads on our way back to Brenham and saw some exotic animals along the way.

Fallow deer fawn
Fallow deer
Not sure what these are??
We checked out a couple of Corps of Engineer campgrounds on the south side of Somerville Lake on our exploration. We didn't care for Yegua Creek Park, a little too stark. Rocky Creek Park was more to our liking. We didn't camp at them...just drove through checking out the sites.

Our day was not over yet. This blog to be continued in Part 2.


  1. Bummer about Blue Bell, hope the company recovers from this mess.

  2. Nice to see the airport diner hasn't changed. Yegua was the scene of several wonderful camping/cycling trips when I lived in Brenham and was my personal fave, but I'm glad you liked Rocky Creek. Thanks for sharing your visit!

  3. What a full day! I am worried about your hint about the ice cream!

    Love the pine cone quilt, I've never seen one before. Don't you just love living history farms! So fun to get a feel for the old days and realize how fortunate we are with all of our current luxuries like washing machines and butter from the store!


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