Columbus: 1891 Brunson Building

Born in Westphalia, Germany, Charles Brunson migrated to America in 1845. After working as a stage driver he settled in Columbus and established a saloon in 1867. In 1891, he built the Brunson Building, adding the adjacent store in 1896. The turn of the century proved a violent time in the area, and carrying guns became illegal. As a result, the saloon became a depository of weapons, but in 1906, a citizen resolution was passed prohibiting storing firearms on any premises where “same may be easily accessible in the event of a difficulty arising.”  Eventually, Texas Rangers took over law enforcement activities in Columbus. The city was reincorporated in 1927. 

The Brunson building was last used as a saloon in 1919 and is now home to the Live Oak Art Center. A gallery and entertainment space, take note of the original bar from the Brunson Saloon.  

Live Oak Art Center

  • Hours: Wednesday – Friday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
  • Admission: Free
  • 1014 Milam St., Columbus, TX
  • 979-732-3898
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