hBrush Square, one of the oldest parks in Texas (plotted in 1839), is a mini-museum row with three mini-museums. The best is the O. Henry House Museum, the 1883–1895 home of author William Sydney Porter, who wrote indelible short stories (like “The Gift of the Magi”) and novellas under the pen name O. Henry. He worked for several years as a draftsman in the Texas Land Grant office (now the Capitol Complex Visitors Center, below). In Austin, Porter published a popular satirical newspaper called Rolling Stone and was a teller at the First National Bank of Austin (it’s rumored he embezzled from the bank, too). The little Victorian cottage where Porter lived with his wife and daughter houses artifacts and memorabilia from his Austin years, including original furniture and personal belongings. If you’re visiting in May, check the calendar for the annual O. Henry Pun-Off. Next door, the Susanna Dickinson Museum was the home of one of only 22 Anglo adult survivors of the Battle of the Alamo. She became known as the “Messenger of the Alamo” because she carried the news of the battle to Sam Houston, who exhorted his troops to “Remember the Alamo!” when he fought the (successful) Battle of San Jacinto. The small “rubble-rock” house was built in 1869 by Joseph Hannig for his new bride; he built much of the furniture too. Next door, the little Austin Fire Museum occupies space in the still functioning Fire Station #1, built in 1939. It houses photographs and artifacts from Austin’s early fire-fighting days.
The Brush Square Museums: O. Henry House, Joseph and Susanna Dickinson Hannig House, and Austin Fire Museum
409 E. Fifth St.
Our Rating Neighborhood Central/Downtown Austin/Sixth Street Entertainment District Hours Wed–Sun noon–5pm Phone 512/472-1903 Prices Free admission Web site Brush Square Museums
O. Henry House
O. Henry House
Map409 E. Fifth St. Austin
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.