Navasota is a city in Grimes County, Texas, United States. The population was 7,049 at the 2010 census. In 2005, the Texas Legislature named the city "The Blues Capital of Texas," in honor of the late Mance Lipscomb, a Navasota native and blues musician.
The City of Navasota
|Nickname(s): The Blues Capital of Texas|
Location of Navasota, Texas
|Coordinates: 30°23′N 96°5′W|
Navasota is located west of Texas State Highway 6. State Highways 105 and 90 intersect with State Highway 6 in Navasota, with the city located between Houston and College Station, Texas.
Navasota was founded in 1831 as the stagecoach stop of Nolansville. Its name was changed in 1858 to Navasota, a name perhaps derived from the Native American wordnabatoto (“muddy water”).
After September 1859, when the Houston and Texas Central Railway built into the town, Navasota became important as a shipping and marketing center for the surrounding area. Whereas nearby Washington on the Brazos protested the coming of the rails, the old historic town forfeited its geographic advantage, and it began to decline as many of its businesses and residences began a sure migration to the new railhead across the Brazos River at Navasota.
Slaves were a large part of the local economy, as they were imported, traded and used to work in the many local cotton plantations. Guns were made in nearby Anderson, and cotton, gunpowder, and shoes were made, processed and stored there for the Southern Confederacyduring the American Civil War. By 1865 the population was about 2,700. All during the Civil War, all the marketable goods produced in the region were brought to Navasota, then the furthest inland railhead in Texas, to be shipped south to Galveston, where it could be transported by steamboat from the Texas coast and up the Mississippi River to the war effort, or exported to Mexico or overseas to Europe.
Navasota has some shops & artisans in its historic downtown district, typified by antique, gift shops, and junk stores housed in old classic stone and brick structures, live plays at the Sunny Furman Theatre. Navasota Blues Alley is in the heart of the downtown district, and offers blues memorabilia, museum exhibits, art, vintage music and radios, and much more. The city also has golfing facilities and parks, as well as wineries.
Navasota retains a number of historic Victorian homes on Washington Avenue, the main residential and commercial thoroughfare through town. Another historic edifice is Brule Field, a natural amphitheater built out of native stone by the Great Depression-era Works Progress Administration. It served as the primary grid for the local high school football team, The Navasota Rattlers, until the new stadium was constructed in 2006. Several native stone churches also remain near downtown, with its Victorian fronts.
The city is also home to two La Salle Statues, including a bronze monument, dedicated in 1936 by the DAR, to celebrate the explorations of the famous French explorer. The second is a stone bust that was previously in downtown, was re-dedicated by the French consulate in May 2012 at August Horst Park. The bust was donated to the City by the French government in 1978. Supposedly, La Salle was murdered by one of his men somewhere near present day Navasota, while looking for the Mississippi Valley and the way back to French held lands near the Great Lakes. After numerous voyages, explorations of the Mississippi valley, trading ventures and several mutinies, La Salle’s bones are believed to have found their resting place in the Navasota Valley.
Seasonally, Navasota is visited in the Spring for bluebonnets. Blues Bluebonnets & BBQ music festival is held in April, celebrating the birthday of Mance Lipscomb. A summer festival, the Navasota Bluesfest, every second weekend in August in the Blues Capital of Texas honors the memory of blues man Mance Lipscomb who recorded numerous albums and lived in Navasota all of his life. The celebration raises money for college scholarships for local students. A statue of Mance Lipscomb is now a part of Mance Lipscomb Park, near downtown. A statue of Frank Hamer stands in front of city hall, honoring the time he served as city marshal, connecting to the time Mance Lipscomb was his buggy driver. Local artist and sculptor Russell Cushman designed and built the bronze statue. The nearby Texas Renaissance Festival is held near Plantersville in the fall. Also nearby is Washington on the Brazos state park and the George Bush Presidential Library.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.1 square miles (16 km2), of which, 6.1 square miles (16 km2) of it is land and 0.16% is water.
The City of Navasota is served by the Navasota Independent School District, Texas Education Agency accountability rankings place Navasota ISD as "Met Standard." More detail at Texas Education Agency website:
The Navasota Rattlers were 3A Div. II State Football Champions in 2012. and were also 4A Div. I State Football Champions in 2014.