Texas Lakes Trail Region

Participant in the Texas Historical Commission's
Texas Heritage Trails Program


Ellis County Courthouse

Few courthouses inspire like the Romanesque Revival-style 1897 Ellis County Courthouse. Architect J. Riely Gordon used red limestone and pink granite for the iconic edifice, which boasts a nine-story clock tower and castle-like turrets. Shops and restaurants bustle downtown inside adapted century-old structures. Out-of-towners drop by the 1889 Masonic Temple for its visitors center and heritage exhibits of the Ellis County Museum. Other restored buildings house a library, art museum and theater. An 1889 truss bridge serves as a hike and bike trail pedestrian bridge a few steps away from the restored depot. Waxahachie calls itself the Gingerbread City because of neighborhoods filled with ornate Victorian homes. It also claims title to Movie Capital of Texas because 30-plus Hollywood movies were filmed here. Tour brochures guide you through historic neighborhoods to film-friendly buildings. One of Waxahachie’s must-see attractions sits among shade trees at Getzendaner Park. The Chautauqua Auditorium seats 2,500 in an octagonal open-air pavilion built in 1902. As part of an adult education movement started in Chautauqua, New York, it remains the state’s only operating Chautauqua hall. It’s no wonder Waxahachie won the First Lady’s Texas Treasures Award in 2010.

Watch the following video to learn more about Gainesville's historic downtown.  This video was produced for inclusion in the Town Square Walk Around mobile tour, more information about which you may find on the Texas Main Street Cities page at the following link:


Watch the following video to learn more about Waxahachie's 2010 First Lady's Texas Treasures Award reception.  To learn more about the award, visit the First Lady's Texas Treasures Award page at the following link:


  • Contact: Waxahachie Chamber of Commerce & Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Phone: 972-938-9617 (chamber), 972-937-2390 (CVB)
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