The Stillman House is one of the oldest houses in Brownsville, built in 1850 and occupied for three years by Charles Stillman, a businessman from Connecticut, who founded the town of Brownsville. By 1875 the house was owned by Manuel Trevino. One of Trevino’s guests was Porfirio Diaz, a Mexican general who, while living in the US, made plans to overthrow the Mexican government. Diaz was successful, becoming president and dictator for 35 years, until he was ousted from power in 1911 and Mexico was thrown into turmoil for the next 20 years. Some of this history is covered in the heritage museum with information about revolutionaries Venustiano Carranza, Emiliano Zapata and Pancho Villa.
One of the most interesting exhibits in the museum is a German made MAN. It’s a large omnibus, custom made, and owned by a member of Diaz’s regime but there’s no record of it being built or of it entering through customs in the US or Mexico. Other exhibits cover early history of Brownsville and Matamoros, Mexico which was an important Confederate port used in smuggling cotton to Europe during the civil war.
The museum is accessible. The house, which is furnished with period pieces and also has exhibits about the Stillman family, is accessible. A small courtyard at the house is accessed by steps only.
Parking is limited. The museum lot is too small for RVs but several spaces on the street are reserved for museum visitors. RVs will fit by using two spaces. Get a pass at the admissions desk to avoid a ticket.