Hop in the car and drive less than an hour southwest of Houston and you’ll find Rosenberg, Texas. Rosenberg is one of those towns that is a wonderful blend of new and old. On one side, there are modern retail shops offering everything you need from clothing to cosmetics.
On the other side, there are quaint shops, museums that tell the story of the town, and even art on the sidewalks. Whether you are looking for a fun day trip, something to do during Spring Break with the kiddos, or just passing through, there are lots of fun things to do in Rosenberg, here are just a few.
Rosenberg Railroad Museum
Rosenberg’s history is deeply rooted in the railroad. The Rosenberg Railroad Museum is located in the historic district sits along four active railroad tracks. Outside of the main building, there is a detailed scale model of Rosenberg in the 1950s. On the fourth Sunday of each month, weather permitting, train enthusiasts gather to watch model trains travel all around the model and learn more about the importance the railroad had n helping develop Rosenberg and the surrounding area.
Step inside the museum and you will be transformed back in time to the days when railroads were building the Fort Bend County area in Texas. Filled with hundreds of artifacts like control panels, uniforms, even a telephone switchboard, walking through the museum is something every railroad enthusiast should do.
On the grounds of the museum, you can walk through two railroad cars. The 1972 Missouri Pacific or Mopac Caboose, and the 1879 railcar “Quebec”. A walk through the caboose gives you a view of what life on the railroad was like for the conductor, flagman, and brakeman who all lived in the caboose while the train was traveling.
The railcar Quebec is one of the oldest structures in Rosenberg. Built in 1879, it was once owned by the Canadian government and used by heads of state to travel throughout Canada. Once made of wood, the Canadian government clad it in steel for more stability and safety. Purchased for $1,500 by train enthusiast Arthur E. LaSalle, the car was saved from demolition and moved to Flordia to be part of an exhibit. It has had many more travels since then and before being purchased at auction by the museum and restored. If you want to know what it was like to travel by rail “back in the day”, a walk through the Quebec car is a must.
One of the most significant structures on the grounds is Tower 17. Built in 1903, Tower 17 is one of the earliest rail junctures in Texas and was an actively used control tower until being retired by Union Pacific in 2004. Take a short walk upstairs to the control room and you will learn about how the railroad operated centuries ago and how it operates today. Learn how the operators knew which train was on which track and how they signaled them to slow down or stop.
There is so much more to see at the Rosenberg Railroad Museum including a model train room and a 19th-century bathhouse believed to be used by employees of the railroad when they would stop. If you are a train aficionado, a visit to the museum is a must.
Seabourne Creek Nature Park
Grab your walking shoes or hiking boots and head out to Seabourne Creek Nature Park. The park is a 164-acre nature park located just south of the city center on Hiway 36.
In addition to miles of walking trails, the park hosts a 4-acre fishing pond that is home to Catfish, Trout, and Perch as well as several species of turtles. Take a picnic lunch and sit alongside the lake and watch the ducks, birds, and turtles while listening to the sounds of nature.
Hundreds of bird species call the park home including Herons, Ducks, and Egrets, just to name a few. If you love bird watching or photographing, Seabourne Park is a great place to spend the day.
The park also has a prairie restoration area and a beautiful wetlands area, both with walking trails and a butterfly garden that is filled with native plants and several species of butterflies.
The Texas Master Naturalists, a community of volunteers and naturalists, play an important role in helping maintain the park to ensure that it remains a wonderful resource for education as well as species habitats. They help maintain the natural resources in the wetlands areas as well as the butterfly park area.
There are also onsite restroom facilities as well as a gazebo area that is available to rent for family gatherings or special occasions. The park does allow dogs, as long as they remain on leash and you are a good dog owner and clean up after them.
Have a malted at the soda fountain
Not everyone is old enough to know what a soda fountain is. Ask some and they might say it’s the machine that dispenses their favorite soda at the convenience store. Well, that’s sort of close but to really get the right idea, you just have to visit a true soda fountain.
Another Time Soda Fountain gives that “old-time” feeling of a soda fountain in modern times. Opened in 2003, Another Time strives to give that feeling of nostalgia every time you step inside. The owners wanted to create an atmosphere that took people back to a time when things were a bit simpler and they have succeeded.
Filled with antiques and memorabilia from a time gone by, the dining room is a throwback to simpler times, complete with antique milkshake mixers and old posters. There is even a good old-fashioned counter to sit at while the soda jerks are making your sweet treat.
The “soda jerks” serve up sodas and ice cream favorites the traditional way. Whether you want a root beer float or an ice cream sundae, it won’t be served in a plastic cup or styrofoam bowl. All of their ice cream offerings are served in true, old school, glass. When was the last time you had a banana split in a glass “boat” dish?
Along with the yummy ice cream concoctions, they also have a menu of old favorites, all made from scratch every day, some with a modern twist like sweet potato fries. They even have a daily “Blue Plate Special” that tends to run out before the end of the day, it’s that good!
Another Time is located right across from the train museum in the historic district of Rosenberg so once you have worked up a hunger walking the train museum and park, hop on over and have a sundae or malted. They are open Wednesday through Sunday 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Black Cowboy Museum
A visit to Rosenberg would not be complete without a visit to the Black Cowboy Museum. Started as a labor of love by Larry Callies, the Black Cowboy Museum was built to preserve the legacy of the black cowboy, like Larrys and those who came before him.
Step inside and you are welcomed by Larry himself who is eager to tell the story of the black cowboy. Larry is a friendly and God-fearing man with a unique voice that some may think is from years of riding the range but is really from a vocal chord condition. He greets you with a smile and his excitement and pride to share what he knows shines through immediately.
So what makes Larry such an expert on the black cowboy? Well, he is one! He has spent years on the rodeo circuit as a team roper, a cowboy, and even a former country singer. In fact, his manager was also George Strait’s manager in the 1980s.
Larry’s passion for sharing the stories of the black cowboys comes through with every word he says. He shares the stories of his father who was a cowboy, Bass Reeves, Nat Love, and Bill Pickett, just to name a few in a way that keeps you asking questions and wanting to learn more. He will also tell you that, according to history, the word cowboy was originally meant just for black people back in the 1820s, ’30s, and ’40s when homes had a house boy, a yard boy, and someone that worked the cows – the cowboy.
Everywhere you turn, there are articles, artifacts, and photos that tell the stories of black cowboys and their importance in helping shape the history of the west. Stories like how the Lone Ranger character took inspiration from a black U.S. Marshall named Bass Reeves.
When asked why he started the museum, Larry says that he wants people to know that there were black cowboys and they played an important part in American history and they are not to be forgotten. He also says that he doesn’t want what his father did, as a cowboy, and the hardships he endured as a black boy wanting to be a cowboy in the 60’s, to be in vain.
The museum is run completely on the cost of admission which is $10 for adults, $7 for seniors 62 and above, and $7 for children 5-15 in additon the passion and love that Larry puts into it. The museum has had visitors from all over the world as well as some notable media coverage including Texas Country Reporter, Texas Monthly magazine, and multiple news outlets.
Visit Historic Downtown
Whether you are a hardcore antiquer, a lover of clothing boutiques, an art aficionado, or just love to stroll down the sidewalk and window shop, the historic district of Rosenberg will surely satisfy whatever “itch” you have.
From antiques to boutique clothing shops to sweet treats, there is sure to be something for everyone. Stop into Roots and Relics and check out their antique selections or yard art. Perhaps grab a garden flag or colorful wall art for that back deck.
Maybe you’re craving a cupcake or maybe a chocolate-dipped Twinkie? Visit Mrs. Clause Cookie Company and satisfy that sweet tooth. More into art? Visit the Fort Bend Art Center and spend some time admiring local art.
Don’t forget to check out the murals and art benches while you’re visiting Rosenberg. All throughout Rosenberg, there are beautiful murals as well as benches that have been turned into works of art. You can find the benches scattered up and down the streets of the historic district.
To find some of the beautiful murals throughout the city, look no further than across the street from the soda fountain as well as the alleyway behind the soda fountain. From trains to oceans, there are several murals to see.
Click here for more information about Rosenberg as well as activities and events.