When thinking about the rich history of College Station of Texas, one thinks of plantations, cotton production, and an abundance of people and fun. One thinks of the Texas Stars hockey team and all the famous colleges in the area. However, there is much more to this region than only these things. There is an extensive history, tradition, and community for all to enjoy.
A trip down memory lane can bring to light the resilience and steadiness of the native peoples who call this place home. A trip back in time can also get the sights and sounds of the past to those who live and work in the area. This is why the plantation owners of old are remembered so fondly; for their contributions to the world of Texas and the unique history and culture of the area.
The rich history of the area cannot be merely skimmed over. It must be seen, felt, and smelled to be understood fully. To visit the plantation owners’ homes is to return to life was much different and more straightforward. Here, furniture is handmade, clothes are neatly pressed, and food is served without fuss or frills. People still gather and talk with one another as if they were back in their home country.
While touring the various homes on the plantation, you may notice that many have features unique to them. For example, one house has a gazebo built right on its front lawn. This is surprising since it is the smallest among the homes on the property. The two-story pavilion is surrounded by an arch-shaped yard and has several seating areas. This landscape is unusual because most yards in College Station have only one level of the sitting room.
Exploring the grounds is equally rewarding. Planting can be done year-round as each plant quickly blooms. Some of the taller plants, like the purple hydrangea, produce a beautiful show during the school-wide spring Show and Roses festival. Other flowers such as the orchid, lilac, plum, and violet bloom in the summer provide a colorful accent for the various exhibits throughout the grounds.
As you tour the plantation, stop at the H.H. Whipple House. This building is one of the last remaining historic landmarks on the site and offers a glimpse into the lifestyle of the former plantation owners. In addition to an actual house built by a former owner, there is a museum filled with items related to the site’s history, including recipes, maps, and photos. After touring the historic area, head over to campus to visit the College Station museum.