Street Address
1325 E. Washington Street
Brownsville, TX 78520
Mailing Address
1325 E. Washington Street
Brownsville, TX 78520
Hours
Heritage Museum
Saturday10 AM - 4 PM
Sunday1 PM - 5 PM
Market Square
Tuesday, Thursday10 AM - 4 PM
Old City Cemetery Center
Tuesday - Saturday10 AM - 4 PM
Historic Alonso Building
By appointment only
Admissions
Heritage Complex:
$5 adults
$4 seniors (55+)
$2 students
FREE children under 6
FREE BHA members

Old City Cemetery Center & Market Square Research Center: FREE
Services
Gift Shop
Special Event Rental
Group Tours
Staff
Priscilla Rodriguez, Director
phone: 956-554-4965
Ayla Jaramillo, Collections Manager
phone: 956-546-4242
Craig Stone, Program & Education Coordinator
phone: 956-541-5560
Eugene Fernandez, Old City Cemetery Coordinator
phone: 956-541-1167

Description

The Brownsville Historical Association is a multi-site organization dedicated to the preservation of Brownsville's history and culture. The BHA oversees six different sites: The Brownsville Heritage Complex (the Brownsville Heritage Museum and the Stillman House Museum), the Old City Cemetery and its Center, Market Square Research Center, and the Historic Alonso Building.

The Stillman House Museum and the Brownsville Heritage Museum on E. Washington Street make up the Brownsville Heritage Complex. Both have been renovated in the last three years and offer visitors a glimpse into to the world of the Stillmans and Brownsville’s past. The Complex hosts a variety of temporary exhibits and is available for rentals. Located in side the Heritage Museum is La Tienda Gift Shop, where visitors can purchase books, gifts and souvenirs. The Complex is open to the public Tuesday through Saturdays, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Sundays 1:00p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Market Square Research Center is home to the BHA’s collections and archives. Researchers are available to view our collections by appointment only and our gallery space is open to the public Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The gallery houses the permanent collection, “Into the Wild West: A Collection Donated by Ben Edelstein.”

The Old City Cemetery was put under the stewardship of the BHA in 2007 and later that year, the Old City Cemetery Center was opened to the public. In addition to housing permanent exhibits that interpret the cemetery, the Cemetery Center also houses temporary exhibits. In 2011, the Center became the new home for the Brownsville Public Library’s Escandon Genealogy Collection.

The Historic Alonso Building is the newest location, acquired in 2010. The Alonso Building is available for rentals and hosts temporary exhibits through out the year.

Rentals

The Historic Alonso Building is available for large scale rentals, while the Heritage Museum is available for smaller rentals such as meetings.

Gift Shop

La Tienda Gift Shop, located inside the Brownsville Heritage Musuem, carries a wide range of books and gifts on a variety of topics.

History

Real property municipally owned; operations by private foundation. The BHA was chartered in 1947. Stillman House was acquired in 1958 and opened in 1960 as a house museum and a general historical museum. It is owned by the City of Brownsville and operated by the BHA. In 1986 the Historic Brownsville Museum, a separate entity also owned by the city, commenced operations.

The Stillman House Museum underwent renovations in 2008 after Hurricane Dolly damaged the house and reopened to the public in 2009. The Heritage Museum underwent total renovations in 2009 and reopened to the public in 2010.

The BHA acquired stewardship of Market Square in 2009, with renovations expected to begin in 2012.

The Old City Cemetery was brought under the BHA's umbrella in 2007 and later that year the Center opened to the public.

The Historic Alonso Building was gifted the the BHA in 2010 and hosts exhibits and rentals.

Artifacts Collections

Stillman House Museum

  • Stillman House Museum contains mid-19th-century furnishings from Stillman family collection in parlor, bedroom, hallway, dining room, and kitchen.
  • S.H. Exhibit Rooms (2) contain selected artifacts, maps, and photographs relating to the Charles Stillman era (1835-1880s) in Brownsville/Matamoros, and C.S. ranches. Includes Juan Cortina's sword.
  • Market Square Research Center stores a large collection of heirloom clothing, exhibited occasionally.

Research Collections

Market Square Research Center stores collections of approximately 2,000 photographs (400+ catalogued), some in poor condition, many unidentified, being inventoried. Also, primary historical source material, collected for over 50 years; abstracts of title for Cameron & Willacy counties; Frank C. Pierce collection of copied Spanish/Mexican vital records of Mexican border cities from Matamoros to Mier, collected c. 1900, covering the period from mid-18th century. The records also include some of the military history of this area (Fort Brown) and photographs. Library of approximately 250 books. Available for research on premises.

Educational Programs

Programming includes guided walking tours, cemetery clean ups, book signings, lectures, concerts, movie viewings, children camps, hands-on workshops, and exhibits. Fees vary from program to program. Contact the BHA for more information.

    Library

    Access: General Public, Students, Scholars, Members

    Appointment required: Yes

    Publications

    The BHA sends a calendar of events to its members on a bi-monthly basis.

      ADA

      Wheelchair Accessible

      Parking

      Restrooms

      Services

      Gift Shop

      Special Event Rental

      Group Tours