There are two additional cabins, with no direct connection to Sam Houston that I am aware of, located on the museum grounds. They are both "dogtrot" style cabins from the period between the Texas Revolution and the Civil War.
Compared with the bigger than life exploits of Sam Houston, General of the Army that won the Texas Revolutions at San Jacinto, first President of the Republic of Texas, U.S. Senator and Governor of Texas, Woodland seems a modest home. Houston and his wife Margaret ("Lea") had this home built in 1847. It is now located on the grounds of the Sam Houston Memorial Museum.
Sam Houston had quite a history: Fighting in the War of 1812; governor of Tennessee; leader of the Texas Army in the Texas Revolution to include winning the Battle of San Jacinto (the decisive battle of the revolution); President of the Republic of Texas; Texas Senator; and governor of Texas (the only person to be the elected governor of two states). This history is well displayed at the Sam Houston Memorial Museum which is associated with Sam Houston State University. Hours are 9 AM to 4:30 PM Tuesday through Saturday and Noon to 4:30 PM on Sunday. Admission is $4 for adults; $3 for seniors and SHSU Staff; $2 for kids 6 to 18; and free for SHSU Students.
There are other things to see at this museum. There is the large pond named for Houston's Cherokee father. A barn and blacksmith shop, main museum building, a pottery and a few other buildings. Some are original, others have been reconstructed.
It is a peaceful place to visit. No charge when we were there. At various times docents are available for demonstrations. The annual Sam Houston Folk Festival is held the end of April/first of May and includes music, soldiering, arts and crafts, ethnic foods, and more.
This home was built with an unusual construction and the intended occupant refused to live in it. So when the Houstons returned to Huntsville to live (having already sold their Woodland home), they rented this home. It was only a short time later Houston became ill and died in the parlor where his bed had been brought. The funeral was also held in this house in the room at the top of the stairs.
Sam Houston first came to Huntsville in 1847, supposedly because it reminded him of his home in Tennessee/and or Virginia. He retired to Huntsville after he was evicted as governor rather than take an oath of loyalty to the Confederacy.
He was born in Virginia, grew up in Tennesee, became governor of Tennessee, experienced various political and personal challenges and moved to Mexican Texas apparently to escape them. Here he ran smack dab into history and became intimately involved. The history of Texas is replete with references to Houston.
The Memorial Museum here reflects a time in the history of the settling of the country that has so long past it is hard to envision. So it is good to wander through the old home here, to see a simpler time and life.
Known as the Woodland home it is two separate units connected by a breezeway. Each side has two levels with connecting walkways. The furnishings are similar to what would be expected in a frontier town of the mid 1800's. Heavy wood furniture, wool and cotton clothing and bedding, pottery and pewterware.
Houston's office was a separate building as was the kitchen.
Houston sold the Woodland home in 1858 while they lived in the town named for him. Unable to buy it back when he stepped down as governor he rented the Steamboat house which has been relocated and is part of the museum's 18 acre property.
Well I had a slightly different view of Houston after reading about his slave Joshua Houston and how he was treated . At the time of the civil war my family who were Quakers opposed Slaver and ran the underground railroaid so Houston was never that high on my list. The Huston Family prepared the human beings they owned in a way that prepared them for a world after slavery. Joshua Houston was "a member of the family" and thought how to read and write after the Civil War Joshua became a politician in Huntsville and his son went on to be an important American educator. He stayed close to his former owners and even offered to lend money to Sam Houston's widow when she faced financial hard times.
Running out of time I really just drove by BUT there are some really good VT pages about the Sam Houston Memorial Museum
Stephen and Karen Conn VT page
Hours of operation are 9:00 am - 4:30 pm Tuesday through Saturday; noon - 4:30 Sunday.
The Sam Houston Memorial Museum is near downtown Huntsville and is a pleasure to visit. Start the visit in the The Katy & E. Don Walker, Sr. Education Center. Here you can view a 20 film to acquaint you with the life of Sam Houston. You can also get a map that will allow you to tour the property which contains several buildings and a pretty lake. I visited on a beautiful, spring-like day in January!
The Sam Houston Memorial Museum is part of Sam Houston State University and is dedicated to preserving the memory of Sam Houson (1793-1863) and his times. The museum complex is located on the site of the homestead of General Sam Houston. In 1905, faculty and students of Sam Houston State University organized a drive to purchase the land. With community support the museum grew, and in 1936 the state legislature granted funds to build the rotunda building that now houses the main collection of Houston memorbilia.
Sam Houston, for whom Houston, Texas is named, was a larger-than-life figure in Texas and American history. He is the only person who ever served as governor of two different states and also president of a nation. He was elected governor of Tennessee, President of the Republic of Texas, and then governor of the State of Texas. As a general, Sam Houston led the fight for Texas independence, defeating Santa Anna at the Battle of San Jacinto.
As a Tennessean, one thing about the museum disappointed me. Only passing reference was made of the fact that Sam Houston was a Tennessee congressman and governor before he ever went to Texas. I mentioned this oversight to the curator, who told me that all the museum needed was another $250,000, and they were planning an exhibit that would include Houston's Tennessee years. It's been 100 years since the inception of the museum, which seems to me enough time to get around to recognizing Houston's Tennessee roots.
Admission to the museum is free, but a $2.00 donation is requested.
Tues. - Sat. - 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Sun. - 12 noon to 4:30 p.m.
Closed Mondays and Holidays
Sam Houston was a great statesman, and a very loyal citizen of Texas. Starting as the governor of Tennessee, to defeating Santa Ana in the Battle of San Jacinto, Sam Houston's life was very intriguing.
From growing up in Tennessee, to reporting to Mexico, to starting the country known as Texas, this story is very interesting, and worth the time.
He called Huntsville home throughout most of his stay in Texas, so the information in here is quite extensive.