RailRoad Museum

The American Historical Railroad Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non profit organization, founded by local railroaders with the sole purpose of establishing a Railroad Museum in Cleburne, Texas.  Our goal is to preserve and promote our more than 120 years of Railroad History and Heritage in Johnson County as well as the History of American Railroad Technology.

Tourism brings in millions of dollars each year to  local cities and regions.The most viable product of tourism Cleburne has to market is our 120 years of Railroad History and Heritage. Efforts are underway to resurrect elements of railroad tourism and develop them into a major  source of economic growth and development in Cleburne.

The American Historical Railroad Foundation is in the process of obtaining and establishing a museum facility to display the numerous artifacts already donated to the organization as well as displaying cultural, educational and heritage preservation programs.  We hope to have an interactive Railroad Museum.  We want school age children and their families,retired railroaders and historic buffs to the true railroad enthusiasts. 

The American Historical Railroad Foundation is seeking financial assistance. Your generous tax deductible donation of any size is appreciated. If an individual makes a donation of $100.00 or more, they will be entitled to be a Charter Member of the American Historical Railroad Foundation. These members will also receive a Certificate of Charter Membership and a Charter Member ID Card.

Send Donations to:
American Historical Railroad Foundation
PO Box 3417, Cleburne, TX  76003

Alvarado Wagon Barn Preservation Project

The Alvarado Heritage and Preservation Foundation is in the process of restoring the 108 year old steel warehouse, also known as the Park Hardware Wagon Barn. When the renovation is completed, the structure will house the Alvarado Heritage Center. This museum will pay tribute to Park Hardware, as well as showcase the early history of Alvarado, Texas and its agricultural heritage. This process was begun in 2009 and is nearing completion. The artifacts and displays for this facility are being financed by donations from private individuals and local businesses. If you would like to contribute to the preservation and promotion of Alvarado's rich history, please click the donation button above. If you have any items that you would like to donate to the museum, Alvaradoheritage.com, and contact us.

Little Old House

The "Little Old House

 (The Doty-Kirkham-Fullerton Home)

The "Little Old House on Buffalo Street" is a historical landmark in Cleburne. It is said to have been built between 1867-1868 when the county seat moved to this location. At that time Buffalo Street was the "road into town"and within "water-totin" distance to the towns public well. A short distance away from the Little House was the stagecoach stop.

Professor W.F. Featherston built the home for his sister, Elizabeth Pat Featherston Doty.

The city directory shows Mr. and Mrs. T.P. Kirkham living in the house in 1913. The Kirkham family added the stone house in the back yard, which Mr. Kirkham used in his business as a hatter.  

 Little House

Rio Vista Briden Cabin Project
Briden CabinThe history of the Briden Cabin begins with Henry Briden. Henry Briden (1825 – 1908) came to Texas from his native Germany in 1845 and served as a Texas Ranger for two years.  July 16, 1849 Henry Briden and Lucinda Sevier (1831 - 1875) were married and immediately Henry brought his bride to what later would be Johnson County and settled on land (part of a Spanish grant) given them by Mrs. Briden's uncle, A. H. Sevier.

Her father, Charles Sevier, and his brother were surveyors. In July 1849 Henry Briden and his bride, Lucinda (Sevier), arrived in a wagon pulled by oxen, accompanied by her father, Charles Sevier, and an uncle, A. G. Sevier. At the Nolan River west of the site of Rio Vista they found springs of water A. H. Sevier helped the young couple to build a log cabin on the Nolan River above Dripping Spring. The roof and door were made of thin boards hewn from the trees. Henry Briden would become the first settler in Johnson County.

Many histories give Samuel Myers as the first settler in the county, others name William Balch. Myers did not come to the county until 1851, and although William Balch staked out a claim in December 1849, he left and did not return until 1851, so neither was here as early as Henry Briden.

The Briden Cabin is one of Johnson County Historic Commissions sponsored projects.  Mayor Keith Hutchinson is dedicated to restoring the Briden Cabin located in Rio Vista Texas.  This is the oldest first settled home in Johnson County. Come see this Cabin restored and standing. The project is finished and now the Briden Cabin will be available for our next generation to see our County's History.
 Contact Rio Vista City Hall forappointment to see this great piece of History,                                                       
  102 S Hwy 17                                          
Rio Vista, Texas 76093

Johnson County Museum

After the restoration of the Johnson County Court House in 2008, the Johnson County Historical Commission was given a room to house what is now the Johnson County Courthouse Museum.  The Museum opened in the fall of 2010, and is managed and operated by the Johnson County Historical Commission.  The Museum was established to protect, preserve and exhibit the unique physical and cultural history of Johnson County, Texas and it's pioneers.

The Museum is an excellent source for research. We have extensive files including a complete listing of Johnson County cemeteries and a resource computer available for file searches. 

Please come and learn more about where you live!

The Johnson County Courthouse Museum is located on the north wing of the first floor in the Restored Johnson County Court House.

We are open Mon - Fri 10-12  Lunch  1-3 

#2 Main Street, Cleburne, Texas 76033

phone: (817)556-6970     Darlene West - Museum Administrator


Market Square

Market SquareMarket square is a project of the Johnson County Historical Commission. Market Square was established in 1898 because of the number of people that came to town to sell their wares in front of the Courthouse. It had become such an event, that it made it difficult for the courthouse to conduct regular business. 

On Monday, March 21, 1898,The Johnson County Commissioners met at the Courthouse to officially purchase Block 24, on the west side of South Main Street to be established and maintained by the City of Cleburne expressly for the use as a free marketplace for the community and surrounding areas. Joe Mickle owned most of the block that was to be Market Square and was paid $1,650 by the county for his property while P.C. Chambers who owned the remaining lot allowed the county to purchase his land for $5. (Ann Kieschnick, Johnson County History.)

With the help of Johnson County, The City of Cleburne, The Heritage Assembly, The Johnson County Historical Commission, Save Old Cleburne and you, we made  this the meeting place of the city again. Come on out for 1st Monday Trade Day.

For further information:

(817) 556-8858


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