Downtown Brenham - Toubin Park

Toubin Park - Discover Brenham's Colorful Past

Beneath Brenham streets is a State Archeological Landmark, a large system of historic cisterns. The cisterns were built in the late 1800’s to store rainwater for public fire fighting. Private cisterns were also abundant throughout early Washington County, used for bathing, drinking and cooking.

Main Entrance of Toubin Park

The large system of public cisterns in early Brenham was a rarity. The city was considered very progressive for using the new-fangled contraptions to fight fires. No other Texas cities were known to install public cisterns, or to provide public services so early.

Enjoy the Wild West story of why these cisterns were built. It’s a tale of an early railroad, a rough Boom Town, and colorful characters who shaped Washington County’s history.

History of Firefighting at Toubin Park

Follow the intriguing details of the 1866 Burning of Brenham and the large gunfight that led to the fire.

Learn how Brenham citizens banded together to protect themselves and their properties from oppressive Union troops during Reconstruction.

Cistern at Toubin Park

See a large private cistern circa 1880 and learn how it was used.

Discover how public cisterns were built and supplied with water by innovative private businesses.

Find out about present-day cisterns and how to harvest rainwater for your landscape, water features, livestock, and even for indoor use.