Introduction to Huntsville, Texas
Incorporated in 1845, the city of Huntsville, Texas is noteworthy for being the former home of Sam Houston, the first President of the Republic of Texas and later governor of the state. Huntsville is located in Walker County, about 70 miles north of the city of Houston. It is served by several major highways, including Interstates 45 and 75, U.S. Highway 190, and Texas State Highways 19 and 30.
Founded as an Indian trading post by Pleasant and Ephraim Gray in 1836, the city of Huntsville was named for Huntsville, Alabama, the previous home of the Gray family. One of Texas' oldest cities, Huntsville is home to the headquarters of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Institutional Division (as such, it houses the execution chamber of the state of Texas), and also home to Sam Houston State University. Located in the city today are Sam Houston's grave, two of his former homes, a museum, and a 66-foot statue of the former governor, which also happens to be the world's largest statue of an American hero.
Attractions in the Huntsville Area
Huntsville and its surrounding region are home to several local attractions, including the following:
- Sam Houston Statue: Visible for six miles, the statue is located adjacent to a visitor center
- Sam Houston Memorial Museum Complex: Site of the General Sam Houston Folk Festival held every April
- Blue Lagoon: A prime scuba diving site
- Gibbs-Powell House Museum: An elegantly furnished Greek Revival home.
- Huntsville State Park: Over 2,000 acres of greenery located in Sam Houston National Forest
- Oakwood Cemetery: Burial site of Sam Houston and other Texas personalities
- Texas Berry Farm
- The Texas Prison Museum
- Downtown Courthouse Square
- Huntsville Community Theatre
- Walker County Fairgrounds
The city of Houston, not much more than an hour's drive away, is home to several professional sports teams, including the following:
- Major League Baseball: Houston Astros
- National Football League: Houston Texans
- National Basketball Association: Houston Rockets
- Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA): Houston Comets
- American Hockey League: Houston Aeros (affiliate of NHL's Minnesota Wild)
- Major League Soccer (MLS): Houston Dynamo
Houston is also the locale of the Wranglers, a team in the World Team Tennis league.