About two hours north-west of Houston is the small town of Brenham, TX in Washington County. According to the brochures and signs, Washington County is known as the “birthplace of Texas,” where the Texas government first formed. There is an astonishing amount of history in the area, as well as an old plantation-turned-museum, and several vineyards, and two lavender farms.
But we (my mother, brother, and I) went to Washington County for one very good reason: ICE CREAM. For Brenham, TX is the home of Blue Bell Ice Cream, a company that some people will not be familiar with (as it is regional and has not yet reached the coasts or the northern-most states), but if you live in the South or Midwest, you know the wonders of Blue Bell Ice Cream. And Brenham is where it began, and where it is still headquartered.
We’d heard that the Blue Bell creamery gave tours, and so during my mother’s short vacation we decided to make a day-trip of it. The tour was a lot of fun. Seeing the inside of a creamery, with the huge tanks of ice cream ingredients, the frozen-over pipes, the actual ice cream being cartooned and stored… It was all pretty cool. But the best part was, of course, the free sample of ice cream at the end. I got peaches n’ cream. DELICIOUS.
Sadly, photography was not allowed inside the creamery (understandably), but here are a few photos from outside the creamery, where they have a beautiful little courtyard, and an ice cream delivery truck, circa 1920s that still runs and is occasionally taken out for a spin for carnivals and parades.
courtyard outside the Blue Bell Ice Cream Creamery
the founders of Blue Bell Ice Cream
the girl and cow that make up the logo on every carton of Blue Bell Ice Cream
my brother and I in front of the 1920s ice cream delivery truck
After we had finished the tour, however, we discovered that Brenham also has an historic main street district, with antique shops, cute cafes and restaurants, a couple bed and breakfasts, the Washington County Courthouse (which also meant lots and LOTS of lawyers offices), and the FIRST paved road in Texas. So we had to go check out it. My photography leaves much to be desired, but I still think the photos are better representative than any description would be, and so, and give you:
Washington County Courthouse – I LOVE this building, seems somewhat Art Deco to me (though I’m definitely no expert)
We’ll DEFINITELY be going back. The antique shops alone made the trip well worth the gas. And there are some more restaurants I want to try out.
‘Til next time, folks! Have a good day!