Heritage, Volume 6, Number 1, Spring 1988 Page: 28
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S ituated along the banks of the
Colorado River, Columbus appears to be a
quiet little town, nestled among huge
magnolia and oak trees. Residents seldom
hear the motorists who race with time just
a few miles away on Interstate 10. Only the
rustle of the trees, or an occasional train
whistle disturbs the quiet.
A closer look reveals a wealth of treasures
and history-almost more than one
can imagine in a town of this size. Some of
Stephen F. Austin's first colonists settled
here in 1823, to become the first AngloAmerican
colony in Texas. Many of the
homes still stand. Some are still occupied
by descendants of those first settlers.
The town's biggest asset is perhaps its
energetic citizens, who believe in their
town-its heritage and its future. In the
past 20 years, restoration work, research
and a community spirit have brought about
a re-awakening of pride in the part this
small Texas town played in the history of
the state. The citizens of Columbus are
endeavoring to share this with others
through walking tours, museums and gala
In some little towns, folks sit and wait
for something to happen. But not in Columbus.
They make things happen. And
the latest happening at the historic town
along the banks of the Colorado River is
"First and Third Thursdays."
Guided "Historic Walking Tours" are
being held each month, showcasing the
proud past and the energetic present of the
town. You can tour Columbus landmarks
like the grand old courthouse with a magnificent
stained-glass dome, a two-room
log cabin built in 1836 and the almostcompletely
restored 1886 Stafford Opera
House designed by Nicholas Clayton, the
same architect that built so many of
Galveston's famous buildings. Ready for
visitors are well-tended, century-old
homes reflecting the grace and grandeur of
the past. A large part of the more than
4,000 residents are involved in hanging the
banners, gathering the treasures, baking
the goodies and putting out the welcome
mats that make Thursdays special. You
don't have to be here long to feel the
momentum of a culturally oriented town
that makes things happen.
"First and Third Thursdays" began in
September 1987 as an outgrowth of the
popular annual festival presented by Magnolia
Home Tours, Inc. the third weekend
The Stafford Bank and Opera House Building, and
The United Daughters of the Confederacy Museum
(originally the town water tower) occupy a
corner of the Courthouse Square. Both buildings
are restored and open to the public on the First and
Third Thursdays of every month.
in May (May 21 and 22,1988). The festival
has attracted thousands of Texans as well as
visitors from other states and countries.
Magnolia Home Tours, Inc., founded in
1961, is a non-profit corporation supported
by donations and volunteer service of the
citizens of Columbus and interested people
from other areas.
WALKING J TOUR
FOCUSES ON COLUMBUS' HERITAGE
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 6, Number 1, Spring 1988, periodical, Spring 1988; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45435/m1/28/: accessed June 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.