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.
For your safety, the bus is fully sanitized and disinfected before each tour. Masks are available for your use.
For your special occasions - 12 passenger, limo seating, party van with a dance pole! Cooler with cold water.
One Day Tours
8 - 12 People Total
Oct 22 - 1st Tiny Town Tour to New Waverly. We will post the month's tour on Facebook as well. Remember you can book tours at times convenient to you.
One day tours provide you with a chance to enjoy local history in our own area as well as visiting any number of fascinating historical sites within 125 miles of Huntsville and Conroe.
Multiple Day tours are a chance to spend time getting to know some of the wonderful historic sites in Texas. We'll stay at elegant B&B's and eat at the best local restaurants.
There are eight wineries close enough to fit three of them into an all-day tour and to include a delicious lunch as well, all included in the price of your tour.
We forget that many of our neighboring small towns have fascinating histories of their own. Join us for a relaxing lunch and tour to a different town each Friday.
BOOK NOW! Copper Canyon to Cabo - Get your deposit in quickly to hold your seat on the Copper Canyon train. Don't miss the whale watching, the 300 year-old mission and silver mines.