A group of everyday folks just like you are working together to preserve the oldest home in Elgin and an invaluable piece of Texas history.
Our goal is to turn the homestead into a community center, cultural space, and an event rental that encourages stay and play visitors in Elgin and funds the organization. 

The 1847 homestead is a symbol of Mary Christian Burleson's enduring legacy and with your help we can tell the story of this land and all its people. Help us bring the story to life.

Photo circa 1940-50s

The Past

For over 170 years, long before there was a City of Elgin, Mary Christian Burleson's homestead has stood on the edge of the frontier but fully entrenched in history. As one of the earliest settlers in this area, Mary managed the homestead and raised a family that would go on to be pivotal in Texas' and our nation's history.

Throughout the years, the MCB Homestead has sheltered families and kept watch over Elgin but now it's our turn to repay the favor. With your help, we can restore the house and grounds so Mary's legacy can continue to stand the test of time. Donate today.

Photo present day

The Present

In 2015, the Homestead and the 1-acre upon which it sits were donated to the MCB Foundation. The land surrounding the 1-acre is being developed.

The restoration cost is being supported by the Texas Historical Commission, local Elgin leaders, businesses and foundations, and individual donations from folks like you.

We hope you'll scroll down this page to see our upcoming events and make a donation. See you soon!

Architectural rendering of completed project

The Future

With architectural drawings in hand, funding secured, and an amazing community behind us, we are excited to embark on the construction phase of the Homestead Restoration Project.

To meet our goals, we'll need the help of great people like you for all tasks, large and small. To volunteer with us, click here to fill out a short form.

We can't wait until we are able to open our doors as a museum, cultural center, and event space celebrating the legacy of Mary Christian Burleson, adding to the history of Texas, and keeping Elgin a wonderful place to live and visit. Donate today.

“Preserving this wonderful piece of Elgin history gives us the opportunity to honor the independent spirit and strength of Mary Christian Burleson. I’m pleased the Texas Historical Commission has chosen to help restore this landmark and invest in the history of Bastrop County.”

- Senator Kirk Watson

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calendar of events

A little history about Mary

For all its historical significance, the legacy of women on the Texas frontier is largely missing from the available documentation. Despite limited records, we know that Mary Christian Burleson and her family played key roles in the history of our state.

As one of the earliest settlers in Bastrop and Elgin, and through her relationships with some of Texas' most championed characters, Mary helped create communities which last to this day. She moved to Texas with her first husband in 1832 when she was thirty-seven, and they settled in Bastrop with their four children as one of the fifteen original families in the Little Colony founded by Stephen F. Austin.

Educated in the comfort of Virginia, Mary was well suited to bring education and culture to the new frontier; and despite the difficulty of settling an unknown territory, she was instrumental in its development. She did much of it alone, because she was widowed a year after she moved to Texas, remarried two years later, and lost her second husband after he fought in the first major campaign of the Texas Revolution. She became the stepmother of his adult sons, most notably Edward Burleson who would go on to become Commander in Chief of the Texas Army and Vice President of the Republic of Texas between 1841-1844. As a single mother, Mary courageously moved her family to the edge of a settlement in what is now modern-day Elgin. She was three miles from her nearest neighbors.

The homestead we are preserving was built in 1847. It is the oldest Elgin home still standing and remains a symbol of Mary Christian Burleson's enduring legacy.


Prepared for the MCBPDF Board of Directors, December 12, 2015 by Dr. Harry Krenek. Edited 2022.