Fun And Interesting Things To See In Our Area
The Castle, just outside Bellville, has tours 6 days a week starting at 10:30 from Newmans Bakery. Reservations are rquired. The Castle is available for other special events For tour reservations call (979) 865-9804. Or, click HERE for more information.
Austin County Jail Museum
We have some interesting historic buildings. The Austin County Jailhouse, built in 1896, is now the Austin County Jail Museum. It served as both the living quarters on the left side and the jail on the right. The building consists of three complete stories, plus a fourth smaller area known as the “gallows”, It was used only once, in 1901. This historical landmark is a visitor’s treasure and the exhibits are fun & educational and are an insight intosome of Austin County’s earliest history. The jail was in use until 1982 and was entered into the National Register of Historical Places in 1980. The Jail Museum is open Saturdays and by appointment.
“Cowboy” Phenix Knives and Blacksmith Shop
The historic 1891 blacksmith shop’s forge is once again ablaze in downtown Bellville, Texas! “Cowboy” Phenix has re-awoken the ancient tradition of metal work that once filled the air in the Bellville of old. Crafting fine hand-forged knives, Phenix Knives has been featured on the History Channel’s “Forged In Fire” Series (you can view an excerpt of the episode HERE). Come watch a master craftsman work with fire and metal like in the days of old.
The old world arts have always held a special appeal to me, with knives being the forerunner of my passion. I choose to utilize this time proven old world tradition to design and craft my knives, incorporating skills from the Orient as well as European and American techniques. ~ Cowboy
The San Felipe De Austin State Historic Site and Museum
The county is named after Stephen F. Austin, who chose San Felipe as his home. The San Felipe de Austin State Historic Site, The Colonial Capital of Texas, was right where Texas got it’s start. The site preserves a portion of the townsite of San Felipe de Austin that served as the colonial capital of Texas. Visitors can explore the life of Stephen F. Austin, the “Father of Texas,” and his impact on the settlement and independence of Texas. On a picturesque bluff overlooking the Brazos River, the story of Austin and the pioneers that followed him to Texas is told through statues, monuments, historical markers, a replica cabin and exhibits in the Josey Store Museum.
And don’t miss Archeology Awareness month each October.
Historic Dance Halls
Central Texas is known for its historic dance halls and Austin County has some of the finest. The Bellville Turnverein pavilion, built in 1897 by local contractor Joachim Hintz, is one of several polygonal social halls built in Austin County during this era. Used as a social club by the German immigrants living in the area, this 12-sided structure required extra long lumber which was shipped directly from the mills. It was recorded as a Texas Historic Landmark in 1996 and continues today as a focal point for many community events & gatherings. Liedertafel Hall in Sealy was built in 1914 by a German singing society on land donated by the Lux and Kinkler families for the purpose of a gathering place for plays, concerts, and dancing. The Cat Spring Agricultural Hall, Peters Hall, Coshatte Hall and Millheim Harmonie Verein Hall round out the scene.