The Brazoria County Historical Museum is housed in the 1897 Brazoria County Courthouse. This was the third courthouse constructed in the county since the first was built in the town of Brazoria-- then the county seat--shortly after the Texas Revolution (1836). It was designed with Italian Renaissance elements popular during the period, but was modernized and expanded between 1913 and 1927 to its current style and size. In 1940 a new courthouse was constructed nearby and the old facility was used as the County Library and to house a number of public agencies.
By 1978, the building had deteriorated to the point that the County Judge suggested openly that it be demolished. Community leaders rallied to the challenge and in 1979, the County Historical Commission signed a 100-year lease, agreeing to bring the building up to standards and open it within two years as a County Historical Museum. In March, 1981, a preview opening was conducted to meet the two-year requirement. In 1983, half the building was permanently opened to the public. The other half continued to be occupied by the County's Adult Probation Department until 1989. That year, the Brazoria County Historical Museum, Inc., a private, non-profit organization to which the Historical Commission's lease had been assigned, began the massive renovation of the east end, which was completed the following year.
Since 1979, over $700,000 has been spent to restore the structure to its 1927 condition. Most of that money was contributed by foundations, businesses, and private donors. Tax revenues were allocated as needed for structural repairs. The building stands today as the model county historical museum in the state. It is a fitting tribute to the county's rich history and its citizens' recognition of the role their predecessors played in the founding and development of Texas.
Help us preserve this County Treasure.