Historic Tour of Huntsville


Huntsville has a long and fascinating history beginning with the native Bedias peoples and the original Mexican League and Labor Grant (4,428 acres plus 177 acres) to Pleasant Gray, who arrived from Huntsville, Alabama. Early settlers farmed cotton in the open meadows and the massive bales of cotton were taken by wagon to the river settlements at Cleveland, Riverside or Trinity. The first prison was built here just before the Civil War and housed some of the Union prisoners while supplying cotton uniforms and blankets to the Confederacy. The State Normal Institute opened in 1879 to provide teachers for the growing Texas population.  

The 10 years of Reconstruction gave African Americans a chance to build up a strong and active community. Fearing those raucous traveling salesmen, and refusing to pay the $100,000 requested by the railroad, Huntsville chose not to invite the railroad to establish a depot. The Railroad went through 8 miles east at Phelps. The only remnant is the famous Tilly’s Tapp built in 1873 at a cost of $300,000. By the 1880s, the growth of the prison system across the state provided a work force for cotton plantations. Timber became a profitable business during the turn-of-the-century followed by agricultural products after the World Wars. Oil brought great prosperity to Houston and, by extension, to Huntsville. The artistic community expanded with the creations of Dan Phillips, with his statue of Sam Houston, and David Adickes who focused on affordable housing from recycled goods.  


10 am – Board the Joye Mobile at 1212 12th Street.  Parking across the street.

10:15 am – Step-aboard guides will provide the “Rest of the Story” about Huntsville’s history.

Learn about Pleasant Gray and the first Anglo settlers on their League and Labor grants.

Visit the Prison Museum and view the Walls Unit and the Wynne Unit.

Explore the Gibbs Powell House and the Wynne Home as examples of early life here.

Noon – stop for lunch at historic Mr. Hamburger, City Hall Cafe or McKenzie’s.

1:00 pm –Explore the outer reaches of the county at the Biological Preserve and the Body Farm.

Stop at the Gibbs Ranch, now part of the  Sam Houston University Ag Department.

Admire some of the works of Dan Phillips and David Adickes, our local architectural artists.

We'll have a final stop at the Sam Houston Statue for your very own selfies with 70-ft Big Sam.

5 pm – Finish up with a great dinner at the Farmhouse and a chance to see the bats fly at dusk.

6 pm – Drop off back at your cars after a full, fascinating day of Huntsville History.

Sanitized And Safe

For your safety, the bus is fully sanitized and disinfected before each tour. Masks are available for your use.

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Tour bus van

tour Bus Included!

For your special occasions - 12 passenger, limo seating, party van with a dance pole! Cooler with cold water.


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Tour Type

One Day Tours

How Many Days

1 Days

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8 - 12 People Total

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