HEART OF THE CENTENNIAL
In November of 1935, the state’s year-long centennial celebrations kicked-off in Gonzales. This Independence Trail community hadn’t quite completed its Gonzales Memorial Museum, a project funded by the centennial’s Commission of Control, the agency charged with helping to create permanent memorials across the state to commemorate the anniversary. But celebrations began on schedule anyway. Today, the Gonzales Memorial Museum, an elegant Art Deco complex includes two exhibition wings, an outdoor 500-seat amphitheater, and reflecting pool designed by the San Antonio architectural firm of Phelps and Dewees. The complex is constructed of shell limestone (a sedimentary rock composed of calcium carbonate) trimmed in Cordova cream limestone (also a local limestone characterized by the voids left by fossil shells). The central exterior entry features a monument comprised of pink granite and a bronze sculpture by artist Raoul Josset.
Exhibits inside the museum include what many believe to be the original “Come and Take It” cannon, object of contention between Texian settlers and the Mexican government and one that inspired a series of confrontational events that helped ignite the Texas Revolution. Elsewhere in the museum, exhibits include period rifles, ammunition, uniforms, and a macabre favorite – a physician’s amputation kit. Other objects and artifacts reflect early life in Gonzales, including vintage clothing, household goods, and archival photographs, and all help tell the story of this community, a pillar in the state’s historic march towards independence.
Watch our Texas Revolution: The Fuse is Lit video to learn more about the history of Texas Independence. This video was produced for inclusion in our Texas: Forged of Revolution mobile tour found in our Texas Time Travel Tours mobile app. Download the app for more videos and travel information:
Gonzales Memorial Museum
Monday - Saturday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. (closed from 12 - 1 p.m. for lunch) and Sunday 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.