Introduction to Brownsville, Texas
The city of Brownsville, located directly on the Mexican border, is Texas' southernmost city. An international bridge connects the city to Matamoros, Mexico. Brownsville is the county seat of Cameron County and is the major manufacturing center of the Rio Grande Valley. The city is serviced by U.S. Routes 77, 83, and 281; and has its own general aviation airport, the Brownsville/South Padre Island International Airport. Brownsville is situated about 275 miles southeast of San Antonio and 165 miles south of Corpus Christi.
When Texas declared its independence from Mexico in 1835, it claimed the Rio Grande River as its western boundary. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, ending Texas' war of independence, confirmed the area where Brownsville now stands as being American territory. In 1848 the city of Brownsville was founded and named after Major Jacob Brown, a war hero. Incorporated as a city in 1853, Brownsville played a prominent role in the Civil War as a major port for the exporting of cotton and other goods by the Confederate States of America. After the war, a period of reconstruction ensued and by the early 1900s, the city was enjoying prosperity and experiencing a surge in population. The city today stands as one of the fastest growing manufacturing regions in the United States and an important center for technology, industry and distribution.
Attractions in Brownsville
Brownsville offers many cultural and recreational opportunities for its visitors and residents. Museums and historic sites in the city include the Historic Brownsville Museum, housed in the restored Southern Pacific Railroad Depot; and the Brownsville Heritage Complex, which contains the restored former home of the city's founder, local businessman Charles Stillman. Also in the city is the Children's Museum of Brownsville and right next door, the Americas Museum, featuring costumes and indigenous dress from throughout all of the Americas. The Commemorative Air Force Museum showcases vintage military aircraft and presents an annual Air Fiesta every March. The Gladys Porter Zoo has more than 1500 animal species housed in natural settings. Annual events in town include the Brownsville International Birding & Nature Festival (held in February), the Charro Days Fiesta (also in February), and October's Latin Jazz Festival.
Professional sports can be found a few hours north of Brownsville in nearby big Texas cities. Some of these prominent Texas teams include:
- Basketball (NBA): San Antonio Spurs
- Basketball (WNBA): San Antonio Silver Stars
- Minor League Baseball: Corpus Christi Hooks (AA-affiliate of the Texas Rangers)
- Minor League Baseball: San Antonio Missions (AA-affiliate of the Seattle Mariners)
- Minor League Baseball: Coastal Bend Aviators (Independent team located in Robstown, Texas)
- Hockey (American Hockey League): San Antonio Rampage
- Hockey (Central Hockey League): Corpus Christi Rayz
- Arena Football (Af2) Corpus Christi Sharks
- Arena Football (IFL) Corpus Christi Hammerheads