Historical Properties 2019-11-18T22:53:57+00:00

1886 Stafford Opera House

When it was originally built in 1886 by cattleman R. E. Stafford, the R. E. Stafford Bank and Opera House housed a bank and dry goods store on the first floor and theater venue on the second floor. The cornerstone displays a steer head and lariat, as ranching was Mr. Stafford’s main source of income. Although called an opera house, no evidence of an opera ever being performed on stage has been uncovered. The “opera house” designation was common for live theaters during this time period.

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Alley Log Cabin

The two room oak log cabin was built in 1836 immediately after the Runaway Scrape. The basic cabin is composed of a 16’ x 16’ room and a 16’ x 18’ room. The foundation logs, or wall stringers, are of rough cut oak approximately 8” height and 15” wide. They rest on large sandstone blocks of approximately 18” x 30”. The floor joists are oak logs, roughly hewed on the top face only. This can be seen beneath the floor under the plexiglass cover. All corners and intersections of the logs are made in the square notch manner. The side walls from floor level to rafter plates are about 11’ high. The floor to ceiling height of the two rooms is about 8’. The two fireplaces and chimneys are made of sandstone.

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Antique Tool Museum

The Antique Tool Museum is located behind the Alley Log Cabin. The small framed building was originally a store that sold school supplies and snacks to school children. It was known as “The Little Store.” Later, it reopened as “The Little Bakery.” The building was moved in 1978 to the present location to be used for storage by the Magnolia Homes Tour, Inc., now Columbus Historical Preservation Trust, Inc. It was repurposed as the Antique Tool Museum and opened to the public in 1996.

Various old tools are on display, including tools used in farming, ranching, and blacksmithing, oxen yokes, corn shellers, a wooden planter and wooden dolly, carpenter tools, wheelwright shavers, multiple types of plows, a German immigrant trunk, and other implements used in early Texas pioneer life.

There is also an outstanding display of barbed wire housed inside, all of which was found in Colorado County.

Santa Claus Museum

The Santa Claus Museum in Columbus, TX was opened in 1990 and is the only Santa Claus Museum in the South. The building was donated by Mrs. Laura Ann Rau, founding member of CHPT. The museum currently houses three major collections (Hopkins, Luman, and Hubenak) featuring Santas from all over the world.

The Santa Claus Museum is open to the public every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. throughout December. CHPT is proud to offer free admission to all guests who visit on these days.

On other dates, the museum is open by appointment only. Admission is $3 per person. Contact the Columbus Chamber of Commerce to schedule a visit.


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Dilue Rose Harris House

Dilue Rose was born in Missouri in 1825. She was the daughter of Dr. Pleasant Rose and his wife, Margaret. Moving to Texas in 1833, the Rose family settled at Stafford’s Point, near present day Houston. Dilue is best known for her book Reminiscences, in which she tells of her family’s close acquaintance with the several leaders of the Texas Revolution and recounts her journey during the Runaway Scrape. These memoirs are considered an important piece of Texas colonial history and were published in the Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association as a three-part series in the early 1900s. Although Dilue was very young at the time of the Runaway Scrape, her memoirs are quite detailed. They are a combination of a diary kept by her father, stories she heard from fellow pioneers, and her own memories.


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Tour Information

Tours of the CHPT properties ($3 per person per property) as well as surrounding properties may be arranged through the Columbus Chamber of Commerce. Contact the Chamber office during regular business hours (Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) at 979-732-8385 or via email to schedule an appointment. Each of the properties is also open to the public during the Magnolia Days Festival, held the third Saturday in May in year.

Historical Markers in Columbus

Columbus is the oldest surveyed and platted Anglo-American town in Texas and played an important part in Texas history. There are more than 100  historical markers in the Columbus area. While you’re here, we encourage you to check out as many markers as you can. There is so much to see and learn about in our small town!

Here are a few of our favorites:

For a complete list of historical markers in and around Columbus, click here.