History and Culture in Brownwood

You may have heard of Brownwood, Texas, and may even have visited before, but over the past few years so much has changed! Through strategic investments with the Brownwood Municipal Development District, city leaders, and business ventures from local entrepreneurs, Brownwood has a whole lot going for it! Over the Summer we have shared 30 things you can do when you Visit Brownwood. Our last installment focuses on the historic and cultural opportunities Brownwood has to offer.

One of Texas Most Historic Theatres

The Brownwood Lyric Theatre opened in December of 1914 as a vaudevillian theatre and transitioned to silent movies with organ music in the 1920s. The Lyric eventually became a full movie theatre owned by the Hoblitzell Family which was later purchased by the Interstate Movie Theater chain and ranks as one of the oldest theatres in West Texas. It was operated by Paramount Pictures in 1941, and was still open as a movie theatre in 1952, but was closed by 1955. Unlike many movie theatres from the 1920s and later, the Lyric was designed as a performance space, and already had a raked floor, a proscenium stage, and a complete fly loft. These elements made the building a perfect candidate for a new life as a multi-purpose performance theatre in the center of historic downtown Brownwood.

Brownwood’s Historic Link to the Railroad

Located across the street from the historic Brownwood Santa Fe Depot and Fred Harvey House, the Martin & Frances Lehnis Railroad Museum exhibits the railroad history of Brownwood, Central Texas, and the American Southwest. The museum includes exhibits that include a variety of railroad memorabilia and equipment, photos, and stories of early railroads while vividly interpreting the importance of the railroad to this area and American life. Also on display are running model trains of every size, and lots of fun activities for kids to explore and learn about trains and the history of the railroad. After a recent relocation and upgrade to services, The Lehnis Railroad Museum now also serves as the Brownwood Visitor Center.



One of the Best County Museums in Texas

The Brown County Museum of History features exhibits from over 150 years of Brown County history, from the Penateka Comanche and the earliest Texan settlers to the WWII-era Camp Bowie military collection and modern soil and grass conservation at the Colonel Burns Ranch. Kids love the children’s area and the miniature Birdsong Circus. After browsing the rich history of Brown County, guests will enjoy a guided tour of the old jail across the street and be transported back in time to see glimpses of what life was like as a Brown County sheriff… or as an inmate.

Scenic Views and Academic Legacy

Howard Payne University is a Christ-centered academic community dedicated to excellence by developing and equipping the whole person for intellectual inquiry, personal and professional integrity, and service to God and humanity. Located in the heart of Brownwood, HPU is a beautifully manicured campus, with stunning views that help set the tone for this university that has a 130-year legacy and continues to lead students on a journey to strengthen their faith and to become a part of a close-knit academic community.

Explore the Creativity of Brownwood

Over the past few years, local artists have been adding to the creativity and beauty of Brownwood by painting murals on the buildings of local businesses. So many in fact, that a trail has been established that you can view on the website to locate over 20 different locations around the city. You can also read more about how murals bring a cool factor, and tourists to downtown Brownwood, as social media influencers, and everyday people visit the murals to get those selfies for Instagram and Snapchat. The mural trail is a fun activity for families, and often, a great scavenger hunt for groups as well.

Brownwood has a lot of history and culture to explore with other destinations like the Gordon Wood Hall of Champions. This concludes our list of 30 Things to do in Brownwood this Summer. We hope you have enjoyed learning more about Brownwood, and we hope that you will visit the previous portions of the list including:

30 Things to Do in Brownwood This Summer – Exploring the Outdoors

30 Things to Do in Brownwood This Summer – Exploring Where to Eat and Drink

30 Things to Do in Brownwood This Summer – Shopping Edition

Enjoy the rest of your Summer and we hope to see you in Brownwood soon and if you plan to visit check out our Visitor Guide for all the information you need.