VICTORIANA AND THE BLUES
This Grimes County city grew from an 1848 stage stop, where historic La Bahia Road crosses the Navasota River, to a major agricultural shipping and marketing center with three rail lines converging in town. Navasota was decimated in the 1860s by fire and epidemics of cholera and yellow fever. But the community came back and rebuilt with style. The period cast iron and wooden façades of downtown Navasota are part of a National Register of Historic Places District. Gingerbread and stately gabled homes bearing Texas Historical markers reveal Victorian-era prosperity.
The Horlock History Center in an 1892 residence displays period life with original furniture, paintings and antique toys. The former kitchen exhibits farming, carpentry, blacksmithing and cooking tools. Stroll around town and stop at the tall bronze statue of the French explorer La Salle, reportedly killed by his own men in this area in 1687; and a seated bronze statue of local songster and guitarist Mance Lipscomb. Lipscomb’s legacy garnered Navasota the title of “Blues Capital of Texas,” and the city hosts an August Blues Fest honoring Lipscomb and other musicians. The museum at Blues Alley celebrates the city’s multicultural musical heritage while highlighting other eclectic local events and personalities such as Frank Hamer, the former Navasota city marshal who later tracked outlaws Bonnie and Clyde to their deaths in 1934.