Texas Forts Trail Region

Participant in the Texas Historical Commission's
Texas Heritage Trails Program


Brown County Museum of History

Walk two blocks from the Classical Revival-style Brown County Courthouse, and you arrive at what looks like an ancient fortress, complete with towers and crenellated limestone walls. Actually it’s the Brown County Museum of History, a county jail of a century ago and now the repository of county history. Explore the four-story Romanesque Revival edifice and learn how cattle drives along the nearby Western Trail built the town in the 1870s. Discover how cotton made this an agricultural boomtown after 1885 when the Santa Fe Railroad arrived. Then experience Brownwood’s railroad history firsthand at the restored 1906 Santa Fe Depot and Harvey House (now a visitors center) and next door at the Lehnis Railroad Museum. The town boomed again during World War II as the home of Camp Bowie, a massive military training center. A state historical marker retells the camp story at the entrance to the 36th Division Memorial Park, where displays of military equipment and vehicles from World War II through the Vietnam Conflict honor the military’s role in area history.