Known as the “Birthplace of Anglo-American Settlement in Texas,” San Felipe de Austin was named for Stephen F. Austin, who located his first Texas colonists here in 1823. Historic village was home of Texas’ first English-language newspaper (the “Gazette”, 1829), origin of Texas postal system, and saw beginning of legendary Texas Rangers. Location of Conventions of 1832 and 1833, and Consultation of 1835 – meetings that led to Texas Declaration of Independence. Community razed by fire and occupied by Santa Anna’s invading Mexican army in 1836, restored after Texan victory at San Jacinto. Stephen F. Austin Park Association operates information center at San Felipe Post Office where literature and information are available.
San Felipe lies on I-10, segment of the Ports to Plains Highway connecting the state’s heartland to coastal ports.
City is pivotal point on the Texas Pioneer Trail covering four-country area. For additional information and map, contact the local information center.
Capital of the First Republic of Texas
San Felipe played a significant role in Texas’ fight for independence from Mexico. In 1836, it served as the capital of the First Republic of Texas under the interim government led by President David G. Burnet. The town served as a center for political activities and decision-making during this crucial period in Texas history.
The Original Texas Ranger Unit
San Felipe is home to the first organized group of Texas Rangers. In 1823, Stephen F. Austin formed a small group known as the “Ranging Company of Mounted Volunteers”. This unit later evolved into the legendary Texas Rangers, known for their law enforcement and frontier defense duties throughout the state’s history.
The San Felipe de Austin State Historic Site is a must-visit attraction in the town. This museum and park offer visitors a glimpse into the early days of Texas settlement and the role San Felipe played as a significant political and economic center. Explore the museum exhibits, take a guided tour, or enjoy a picnic in the beautiful park setting.
The Texas Capital of 1836
San Felipe briefly served as the capital of the Republic of Texas in 1836. After the Texas Declaration of Independence was signed, the government relocated to here from Washington-on-the-Brazos. Although its time as the capital was short-lived, it holds the distinction of being the second capital of the Republic of Texas.
Annual Austin County Fair
San Felipe is home to the Austin County Fair, an annual event that celebrates the county’s agricultural heritage and community spirit. The fair features livestock shows, rodeo events, live music, carnival rides, and a variety of food vendors. It’s a beloved tradition that brings together locals and visitors alike for a fun-filled time.
San Felipe, Texas, is a town steeped in Texas history and offers a unique glimpse into the early days of the Lone Star State. From its role in the fight for independence to its distinction as a former capital, San Felipe continues to preserve its heritage and captivate those with an appreciation for Texas’ rich past.
Stephen F. Austin State Park
A 664 acre park is in two sections, historical and recreational facilities are available. Historical section is near an old ferry crossing of Brazos River, includes replica of Austin’s dog-run log cabin where he conducted business of the first colonists. Dominating many monuments and historical markers is a magnificent statue of Stephen F. Austin, “The Father of Texas.” Restored J.J. Josey Store, built in 1847, is now a museum displaying merchandise of pioneer era. (Open Saturday and Sunday; admission). recreational portion of park offers picnic, camping and trailer sites, screened shelters, swimming pool and golf course; also dining hall, park store. Nature trail, and fishing in Brazos River, just north of San Felipe on Park road 38. Admission.