Arts, Culture, History

Navasota is proud of the significant role it played in creating and building Texas. This proud heritage is celebrated in busts, statues and murals dotting the city’s landscape.


Rene Robert Cavelier Sieur de LaSalle statue, Washington Avenue at Millican Street

Lasalle03The life-size bronze statue of French explorer Rene Robert Cavelier Sieur de LaSalle was donated to the City of Navasota by the Robert Raines Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. It was officially unveiled March 6, 1930, amid throngs of locals, state dignitaries, busloads of visitors from Houston and Huntsville and students from nearby Sam Houston State Teachers College. This momentous event would include numerous state level D.A. R. dignitaries and feature Texas Speaker of the House W.S. Barron as guest speaker.

In Two Rivers Heritage Foundation ‘Sandbar Histories,’ local author Betty Dunn gives readers a peak into the excitement, the preparation and significance surrounding the statue’s unveiling through excepts from the Navasota Daily Examiner newspaper.

The Daily Examiner reported, ”Tomorrow will be a day of historical significance as Navasota takes pride in the unveiling of her first monument which has been made possible by the Daughters of the American Revolution.”

While the Daughters prepared a pre-event luncheon and post-unveiling tea, the City of Navasota had its own work to do, as documented by the Daily Examiner…“The streets have been washed and swept…streets will be roped off for the spectators and seats will be arranged in front of the monument.”

Dunn writes that German sculptor and stonecutter Frank Teich who immigrated to the United States in 1878 sculpted not only the LaSalle statue but the Confederate and Fireman monuments at the Texas capitol in Austin and the Sam Houston statute in Houston. Dunn noted that Teich was also the superintendent of the granite cutting during the construction of Texas’ present state capitol between 1882 and 1888.

As for ‘honoree’ LaSalle, his trek into the New World ended badly when he was murdered by his crew near Navasota March 19, 1687; however, the French presence in Texas prompted the Spanish to establish missions which eventually led to the province, the Republic and the State of Texas!

Rene Robert Cavelier Sieur de LaSalle bust, August Horst Park, 104 Veterans Memorial Drive

LasalleBust - CopyGiven in much the same spirit as the Statute of Liberty in 1885, the bust at Navasota’s August Horst Park was given to “the people of Navasota” in 1976 in recognition of the United States bicentennial.

The inscription on the stone base is testimony to France’s pride in LaSalle’s accomplishment as the first explorer to establish a European colony in Texas and commemorates the 333rd anniversary of his birth.

Marshall Frank Hamer statue, Navasota City Hall, 200 E. McAlpine Street

Hammer2Former Texas Ranger and Navasota Marshall Frank Hamer is credited with single-handedly bringing law and order to Navasota during his tenure as Marshall from 1908-1911. Navasotans’ devotion and pride aside, Hamer is probably best known for ending the murderous crime spree of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow May 23, 1934.

The statue, dedicated on City Hall grounds March 3, 2013, was a labor of love and created by former local sculptor, artist and history buff Russell Cushman. Cushman is said to consider this piece funded by the City of Navasota as  “the greatest commission of my life.”

Mance Lipscomb statue, N. LaSalle Street at Brule Street

mance statueCreated by California sculptor Sid Henderson and dedicated Aug. 12, 2011, this memorial to a native son exemplifies the success of public and private partnerships in funding community art.

mance1Born in 1895, Lipscomb was discovered on the national stage at the age of 65. A self-described songster, Lipscomb’s style is said to have predated Blues. His music and that of his Blues cohorts sparked a love of Blues in Navasota, Navasota’s title as Blue Capitol of Texas and the creation of the Navasota Blues Festival and Mance Lipscomb Scholarship Fund.

The Mance Lipscomb statue was funded by private citizens, businesses, civic organizations, members of the Navasota Blues Festival board of directors and the City of Navasota Economic Development Corporation.


SH 6 Bridge Murals

Motorists and walkers traversing the turnarounds at the intersections of SH 6/SH 90 and SH 6/SH 105 East get a glimpse of Grimes County history, courtesy of Keep Navasota Beautiful and TxDOT.

Funding for the 14 glass tile mosaic murals located beneath the overpasses was awarded to the Keep Navasota Beautiful Commission in 2009 for their winning submission to the Governor’s Community Achievement Award competition. The murals were installed by TxDOT during construction of the turnarounds at both intersections as part of its right of way beautification program.

The murals reflect life in Navasota and Grimes County from the City’s beautiful historic homes to Grimes County’s farming and ranching roots.

Hwy6Mural (1) - Copy  Hwy6Mural (3) - Copy

Celebrating Navasota through murals

20ee17c2-b8db-4dad-85eb-538ef28826c4_lNavasota’s nurturing and celebration of art through the Navasota Artist in Residence Program has ignited efforts through public and private partnerships to tell Navasota’s story through murals – particularly in Navasota’s historic downtown. One of the most visited murals is the “Navasota Music Mural – A Monument to Brazos Valley Musicians.”

The mural is located on the east wall of Classic Rock Coffee Co. & Kitchen, 129 E. Washington Avenue and displays the work of artists Russell Cushman, Frank Graham, David Woods and Leon Collins. It was commissioned by Classic Rock owner and mayor of Navasota, Bert Miller.

The mural pays tribute to musical artists born in the Navasota area or who played frequently in Navasota. In addition to Navasota’s Mance Lipscomb, the mural depicts Texas Alexander, Blind Willie Johnson, Thomas Shaw, Big Lou Valeny & Mike Torres, Jerry Jericho, Johnny Bush, Milt Larkin, Sam Lightnin’ Hopkins, L.C. Williams, Nat Dove, Joe Tex and Julia D. Owen

Downtown Navasota is home to numerous other murals depicting Navasota’s history as a cattle, cotton and official Train Town. They pay homage to Navasota’s historic buildings, the area’s wildflowers and wildlife and the two rivers significant in Navasota history - the Brazos and Navasota.

NavasotaMural - Copy  BluesAlley2 - Copy  HiHoMural
These downtown murals were funded by private commissions, use of public funds and/or grant funding.

Flags of Texas Monument, August Horst Park, 104 Veterans Memorial Drive

FlagsMonumentFrom a time before recorded history the area around the confluence of the Brazos and Navasota rivers, along the La Bahia trail, has been a magnet to travelers and a place to rest and reflect on the heritage of Texas. This monument celebrates the heritage with a timeline of flags, representing the Nations who built Texas’ unique character.

Navasota VFW Post 4006, 1575 W Washington Ave

VFW - Copy
Navasotaians have a strong and patriotic love of our veterans and those who served in our country’s armed forces. Nothing epitomizes that love more than the support shown for VFW Post 4006.  Their objective is awareness of veterans' contributions and helping those vets in need. Through cook-offs, music events, hall rentals and many other avenues the VFW post raises money to help veterans and to also provide local scholarships. There is always something going on so stop by and check their event schedule. Facebook Page

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