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Self- Guided Driving Tour

Welcome to Gonzales, where Texas freedom was born!

In 1825 Green DeWitt established the capital of his colony at the confluence of the Guadalupe and San Marcos Rivers.  Gonzales has seven public squares laid out in the center of town and has retained the plan of the town as originally surveyed. Gonzales played a major role in Texas’ fight for independence. It was the site of the first shot of the revolution. Forty members of the colony died in the Alamo, including the Immortal Thirty-Two, who were the only men to answer Travis’ desperate call for reinforcements. Gonzales was also the site of the Run-Away Scrape, which began Sam Houston’s famous retreat to victory at San Jacinto.

We invite you to tour our town.
 Signs with the ‘Come & Take It’ Cannon will guide you around town & brochures are available at the chamber office in the Old Jail Museum, where the tour begins.

Tour Directions

1. Begin at 414 St. Lawrence St., the Old 1887 Jail Museum and the Chamber of Commerce office. It housed, among other notorious persons, Gregorio Cortez and John Wesley Hardin. Closed as a jail in 1975. Texas Historical & National Register of Historic Places markers.
2. Across the street is the fire station, built in 1903, remodeled in 1951. The weather vane, a steer with T41 brand, was designed by cattle baron R. A. Houston in the 1870s for his home.
3. To the R (east) is the First United Methodist Church, 1900. Texas Historical Marker honors the 150th year of organization. Block designated Church Square in 1832.
Turn L (north) onto St. Paul St. 1 block
Turn L (west) onto St. George St. 1 block
1. On right, 427 St. George, 1896, 3 1/2 story Randle-Rather Bldg. Built by J. P. Randle & C. T. Rather. Roman Revival structure built of brick made in Gonzales.
2. To left is Confederate Square. The monument sculpted by Frank Teich was donated by the Daughters of the Confederacy in 1909. Originally designated Jail Square in 1832. Buildings around square date from 1885.
Turn R (north) onto St. Joseph St., 1 block
Turn L (west) onto St. Francis St.
1. On R, 1909, old Post Office Building, Spanish-style architecture.
2. Continue to 221 St. Francis, 1875, house of W. B. Sayers, prominent attorney and banker.
3. Next door, 207 St. Francis, 1875, Judge T. H. Spooner House. First house to use natural gas.
4. On L, 206 St. Francis, 1907 Jacob Stahl House. Example of turn-of-the-century residential architecture.
Turn R (north) onto St. John St.
1. Second house on L, 713 St. John, 1874. Lucien Chenault House. Additions made later.

Turn R (east) onto St. Andrew St.
1. On L, 205 St. Andrew, c. 1895. good example of Folk Victorian architecture.
2. On L, 213 St. Andrew, 1876, I. N. Smead House. Originally Mansard-style architecture, remodeled as two-story late Georgian style. Original model of house was found in attic.
3. On R, 228 St. Andrew, 1914, Walter Kokernot House. Good example of Transitional architecture. Nine fireplaces, leaded glass pocket doors.
4. On L, 229 St. Andrew, 1884, B. N. Peck House. Owned by descendants. Portion built around early log structure.
Turn L (north) onto St. Joseph St.
1. On L, 827 St. Joseph, 1914, Frank Fly House. Designed by architect Capp Smith for banker F. M. Fly. Built of Gonzales brick, 2-foot-thick walls extend 7 feet into the ground.
Turn R (east) onto Thornton St.
1. You are crossing North Avenue, one of two city avenues designated for public use in the 1832 Mexican survey. This avenue is one block wide and extends five miles north.
2. Blue & white building ahead held roof garden for dances in 1920s & 30s. Local bands provided music. Note urns on roof top.
Turn R (south) onto St. Paul St.
1. On L, in second block at 614 St. Paul, the Alcalde Hotel, built in 1926 by Aref Droupy. Owned by descendants. Legend tells of visit by Bonnie & Clyde (famous gangsters of the 1930s) who escaped through second-floor window as police approached.
2. On L corner, 602 St. Paul, 1888, Reese-Hoskins Mercantile Bldg. Remodeled 1923. Note advertising on side of building.
Turn L (east) onto St. George St.
1. On R, SW corner of St. George & St. Peter, c. 1868, John Fauth House. Built with lumber shipped through Indianola.
Texas Historical Marker.
2. Across the street on R, 524 St. Peter, 1907. New Orleans Raised Cottage built by lumberman J. F. Remschel.
3. Across the street (NE corner) 605 St. George, 1907. Another Raised Cottage built by M. J. Koch.
Turn L (north) onto St. Peter St. 1 block to St. Francis St.
Turn R (east) on St. Francis St. 1 block to Hamilton St.
1. On R. 623 Hamilton, 1918, J. R. Tinsley St. House. Raised Cottage style. Descendants own the property.
Turn L (north) on Hamilton St., 1 block
1. On R. (NE corner), 707 St. Francis, 1893, W. P. Fischer House.

 

Turn R (east) onto St. Andrew St. 1 block
to College St., turn R (south) on College St.
1. On L, 724 N. College, 1907, W. T. Dawe House. Built by F. B. Baker, but, upon completion, purchased by Dr. Dawe. Remained in the family until 1996.
2. On R, 720 St. Francis, 1898, W. H. Boothe house.
3. On L, 620 College, 1907, W. C. Kleine House. Built by furniture maker and realtor William Kleine.

 

Turn R (west) onto St. George St.
1. 723 St. George, 1908, Zilmon Boothe House.
2. On R, (NE corner) 707 St. George, built in 1883 by C. J. Pilgrim as gift to his bride, Mary Fleda Boothe, owner and editor of Gonzales Inquirer.
3. On L, (SE corner) 706 St. George, 1913, J. H. Boothe House. Designed by Atlee B. Ayres, noted architect, who also designed San Antonio Municipal Auditorium and Randolph Air Force Base Tower.
4. On R, NW corner. 621 St. George, 1895, W. B. Houston House. Mrs. Houston painted murals in attic then hung them on dining room walls and parlor ceiling.
Turn L (south) onto Hamilton St.
1. On R, NW corner of Hamilton & St. Lawrence, 1898, Dunn Houston House.

Turn L (east) onto St. Lawrence St.
1. On L, 803 St. Lawrence, 1897. Excellent Victorian architecture. Built by Congressman G. F. Burgess. Funds were appropriated during his tenure to build 1909 Gonzales Post Office.
2. On L, 903 St. Lawrence, 1908, R. S. Dilworth House. Designed by noted architect J. Riely Gordon.
3. On L, 927 St. Lawrence, 1907, Dr. C. B. Patton House. Has no fireplaces, was heated by a coal-burning furnace located in the basement.
4. On L, in next block, 1025 St. Lawrence, 1888, G. W. Betts House. Residents claim existence of ghosts.
5. On L, 1109 St. Lawrence, 1926, Edward Sweeney House. English Tudor Cotswold Cottage with stately live oaks and circular drive.
6. On R, Gonzales Memorial Bldg. (museum, amphitheater & reflection pool). Built in 1936 for the Texas Centennial by federal program, the Works Projects Administration (WPA). Murals inside painted by James Buchanan Winn.
7. On R, c. 1930s. Native red stone building used by the Daughters of the American Revolution organization. Originally built as Boy Scout Hut by Mrs. J. M. Murphy.
Continue on St. Lawrence St.
1. On L, tall smoke stack is all that remains of the old Gonzales Cotton Mill. Built in 1900, operated over 50 years, was closed in 1950s, torn down in the mid-1970s.
Turn R (south) on to Fair St. 1 block to St. Louis St.
1. You are crossing East Avenue, one of two city avenues set aside for public use in the 1832 Mexican Survey. One block wide, extends three miles east.

Turn R (west) on St. Louis St.
1. On L, 1520 St. Louis, 1913, red brick house built by banker O. B. Robertson.
2. Continue on St. Louis to log cabin on the R, built by Horace Eggleston, 1845. It is the oldest standing structure in Gonzales. The Gonzales Chapter of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas serve as advisors. Furnishings gift of Mrs. Will Steiner. Texas Historical Marker.
3. On L, 1118 St. Louis, Guadalupe Apts., built as a hospital by Dr. George Holmes in 1920. Texas Historical Marker.
4. On L, at end of next block, 1006 St. Louis, c. 1925, Frank Vrazel House. Their cotton gin was next door.
5. On L, 912 St. Louis, 1911, S. H. Hopkins House. Designed by architect Atlee B. Ayres.
6. Next door, 906 St. Louis, 1911, Charles Hoskins House. Designed by Atlee B. Ayres.
7. On L, 828 St. Louis, 1892, C. T. Rather House. Partner in Randle-Rather Bldg. Texas Historical Marker.
8. On L, 820 St. Louis, Old Gonzales College. Built in 1851 with stone from quarry near Peach Creek. W. M. Atkinson remodeled bldg. for his home, using stone from Maurin Quarry in Gonzales Co.
9.
10. On R. 721 St. Louis, 1881, the Episcopal Church of the Messiah and 1912 rectory. The church, built in 1881, is the oldest building still in use as originally intended. The altar, lectern and pulpit are made from Gonzales County walnut. Texas Historical Marker. Block originally designated Cemetery Square.
11. On R, 621 St. Louis, 1895. Built by lumberman J. B. Kennard. Queen Anne style, fishtail shingles, clapboard siding. Glass and pottery-chip mosaics in gables. Texas Historical & National Register of Historic Places markers.
12. On L, across the street, 624 St. Louis, 1898, J. P. Randle House. Partner in Randle-Rather Bldg.
13. Next door, 612 St. Louis, 1877, Paul Levyson House, remodeled 1880.
14. On R. 605 St. Louis, 1910, Edward Lewis House. Mrs. Lewis’ grandfather, Andrew Ponton, was Alcalde (mayor) of Gonzales in 1835.
15. On R. NE corner of St. Louis and St. Paul, 1903, First Baptist Church.

Turn L (south) onto St. Paul St.
1. On R, center of block, facing St. Louis, the Presbyterian Church, 1924. Texas Historical Marker. Block designated Military Square in 1832.
2. On L. 300 St. Paul, 1883. Hugh Lewis House designed by architect Frederick E. Ruffini, remodeled 1920 and 1997.
Go 1 block, turn L (east) on St. Michael St.
1. On R, 510 St. Michael, G. W. Littlefield House. Built in 18185 on another lot, was moved in 1911.
Turn L (north) onto St. Peter St.
1. On L, 205 St. Peter, 1914, Mrs. L. M. Kokernot House. Raised Cottage style.
2. On R, 222 St. Peter, 1912, C. E. Dilworth House designed by Architect J. Riely Gordon.
Turn R (east) onto St. Matthew St.
1. On L, 605 St. Matthew, 1897, C. A. Burchard House.
2. On L, 623 St. Matthew, 1921 Everett Lawley House.
Continue on St. Matthew St.
1. On L, 720 St. Matthew, 1896, Milton Eastland House.
Continue on St. Matthew St. to Bright St.
Turn R. (south) onto Bright St.
1. On L, 720 1006 St. Matthew, 1911, J. C. Bright House. Originally built in middle of the block, was moved to the corner to make room for his daughter’s and son’s houses when they married.
Continue on Bright St. across St. Vincent.
1. On L, end of Bright St., 1926, James Patek House.
Turn R (west) onto Mitchell St.
1. On L, 834 Mitchell, 1902, Dr. J. J. Fouts House. Florida curly pine & cypress from his father’s sawmill. Texas Historical Marker.
2. On R, 829 Mitchell, 1885, T. N. Matthews House, better known as the J. B. Wells residence. Barns and servants’ quarters on grounds.

Built of Florida long-leaf pine shipped through Indianola. Texas Historical Marker
Turn R (north) onto College St.
1. On R, 117 S. College, W. J. Bright House, 1885. Portion of house originally built across the street c. 1840 by Eli Mitchell, an original settler.
2. On R, at corner, 808 St. Vincent, 1898, J. C. Bright House. Built by parents while bride & groom were on honeymoon.

Turn L (west) onto St. Vincent St., 1 block
Turn R (north) onto Hamilton St.

1. On R, 108 Hamilton, 1885, Dr. J. C. Jones House, remodeled 1950.

2. On R, 124 N. Hamilton, 1893, R. S. Dilworth House. Lots were gift from Dr. & Mrs. J. C. Jones, parents of his bride.

Turn L (west) onto St. Michael St.

1. On R, 623 St. Michael, 1897, J. W. Bailey House. Texas Historical Marker.

2. On L, 620 St. Michael, 1911, H. W. Matthews House.

3. On L, 604 St. Michael, 1910, built by lumberman George Ewing.

Continue west on St. Michael St. 2 blocks.

1. On L, 121 St. Joseph, corner St. Joseph & St. Michael, 1901, J. F. Miller House

Turn R (north) onto St. James St.

1. On L, 205 St. James, 1893, Solomon Joseph House.

2. On R, 206 St. James, 1884, E. S. Atkinson House. Purchased by Dr. George Holmes and owned for many years by Holmes family.

3. On L, 213 St. James, 1907, Hyman Friedman House. Built when Friedman married Blossom Joseph, daughter of Solomon Joseph.

4. On L, 223 St. James, 1877, T. J. Pilgrim House. Pilgrim was one of the Gonzales pioneers, starting the first Sunday School in Texas.

5. On R, 226 St. James, c 1900, Solomon Joseph House. Original location of Suzanne & Almaron Dickinson House. Brick cistern in front yard reportedly belonged to Dickinsons. Texas Historical Marker
6. At end of next block on L, site of George W. Davis’ Peach Orchard where Come & Take It Cannon was buried.
Texas Historical Marker on St. Louis St.
Continue on St. James St.
1. On R, Texas Heroes Square, originally Municipal Square. Monument built in 1910 with state funds through efforts of the Gonzales Chapter, Daughters of the Republic of Texas. Sculptor was Pompeo Coppini. Late 1800’s buildings on two sides of square
Turn R (east) onto St. Lawrence St.
1. On R in next block, the Gonzales County Courthouse, 1896. Designed by J. Riely Gordon. Texas Historical & National Register of Historic Places markers.
2. On R, Brand Monument, 1995, branded with many registered Gonzales County livestock brands.