Western Trips

Western Trips

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Visit Historic Texas / Corsicana

Corsicana Texas, located about 58 miles southeast of Dallas, is an interesting and fun place to visit while on your Texas road trip. You may not have known that the first oil discovery west of the Mississippi River occurred in Corsicana in June 1894 while a drilling crew was looking for water. Another first for Corsicana was the first oil refinery west of the Mississippi River constructed there in 1899.

navarro county courthouse texas
Courthouse clock tower
The honor of naming the town and county seat of the new Navarro County Texas founded in 1846 was given to Jose Antonio Navarro, a Texas Revolution hero, who suggested naming it for the island of Corsica, the birthplace of his parents. The Texas legislature obliged. Jose Antonio Navarro was thought to be the seventh man to sign the Texas Declaration of Independence.

The Beaux-Art Design Navarro County Texas Courthouse

Like so many county seats in Texas, Corsicana has an architecturally unique courthouse. The current courthouse was designed by architect J.E. Flanders in a Beaux-arts style and built in 1905. The current courthouse is constructed from Red Burnet Granite.

texas county courthouses
Navarro County Texas Courthouse
Texas county seats many of times have had several courthouses over the decades for a variety of reasons, often fire, and Corsicana was no exception. Interestingly enough, it's first official courthouse built in 1849, after temporary quarters were used inside a pioneer's home prior to that, was a simple 15 by 17 foot log cabin that still exists today. The log cabin courthouse was located at West First Avenue and Twelfth Street.

In 1853 a two story frame courthouse replaced the log cabin. The second courthouse burned in 1855, allegedly by two accused murderers, and necessitated construction of a third structure. A fourth courthouse was built in 1880 but was condemned in 1904 due to a shifting foundation.

The Call To Arms Monument

Texas was aligned with the Confederacy during the Civil War years. On the southwest corner of the Navarro County Courthouse lawn is a statue named The Call To Arms. It is a statue of a Confederate soldier that was erected in 1907 just two years after the current courthouse was completed. The statue was erected by the Navarro Chapter, United Daughters of the Confederacy. The desire of the group was to commemorate the valor and heroism of the Confederate soldier. The unveiling of the statue in 1907 was ateended by about one thousand people.

confederate statues
The Call to Arms
The statue is of a Confederate soldier bugler calling his comrades to arms. The bronze statue was cast in Philadelphia and is nine feet tall on a ten foot marble base.

Corsicana's First Methodist Church

The First Methodist Church in Corsicana was founded in 1851, five years after the town's founding. The current sanctuary was built in 1871.

Of historical significance is that the Texas State Democratic Convention met at the church in 1872 to discuss the freeing of Texas from Reconstruction rule.

See more Western Trips historic Texas travel destinations in the articles linked below...

Old Historic Round Rock Texas

A Visit to Salado Texas 

Fun Things To Do In Texas

Several additional stops you may want to add to your Texas vacation planner include the Pearce Civil War and Western Art Museum and Pioneer Village.

historic texas churches
Historic First Methodist Church, Corsicana, TX
The Pearce Civil War and Western Art Museum, per their website seeks to preserve and interpret as fully as possible the history of the American Civil War and the people involved-North and South, men and women,children and adults, leaders and common citizens; and through the museum's Western Art Collection preserve and interpret art which depicts either the historic or modern American West.The museum is open Monday thru Saturday and is located at 2100 Collins Street, Corsicana, TX.

Pioneer Village located at 912 W. Park Avenue in Corsicana could be one of Texas' most unique museum areas. Pioneer Village consists of a large collection of historic buildings which tell a lot about the history of Corsicana and Navarron County as well as 1800's Texas history in general. Among the structures at this outdoor museum are two blacksmith shops, the Lefty Frizzell Museum, frontier jail structures, slave quarters, a trading post and houses of the 1800's. Pioneer Village in Corsicana is a fine addition to your Texas vacation planner and a great stop for the entire family.

(Article and photos copyright 2014 Western Trips)

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