They say everything’s bigger in Texas. Even the cattle aren’t your average cows, they’re longhorns! Cities like Dallas, Austin and Houston are among the biggest in the country but nestled between them is a smaller city that is big in its own way. College Station is one of the most important education centers in the state and is filled with interesting things to see and do.

Here are some of the most interesting facts you’ll want to know about College Station, as well as some advice if you’re planning to stay for a while.

College Station was called College Station before it was actually called College Station

That phrase sounds very confusing, but there is an explanation. The Texas A&M University opened in 1876 to the south of Bryan, with a small railway station close by, where students would hop on or off the train. The conductor would yell out “All aboard for the college station!” which only became the official designation one year later when the postal service started using it.

The city was incorporated in 1938 and has since grown to having a population of over 120,000 people while the university draws almost 75,000 students per year. Needless to say, it has become much more than a stop along the way!

old railroad track with junction black and white

There is an entire ruined city in College Station – on purpose!

A one-of-a-kind training facility for emergency first responders, Disaster City is a town in ruins, and intentionally so. Some of the buildings have been modelled after real-life disaster areas and even contain pieces of debris from those events. The facility simulates all sorts of scenarios, from derailed trains to industrial disasters.

The best part about Disaster City (well, other than the fact that it helps save lives) is that you can be a part of it! Volunteers can sign up to play disaster victims, with instructions about what kind of injuries they have to simulate. You are even encouraged to act the part, to call out for help and scream as if in pain, in order to create a realistic scenario for first responders.

There’s a piece of the actual Berlin Wall in College Station

The heart of Texas is not the first place you’d think of to find a more-or-less literal piece of the Iron Curtain, but in College Station you can see a real section of the Berlin Wall at the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum. The segment is part of a sculptural ensemble called The Day The Wall Came Down and features 5 horses springing over the wall as a symbol of freedom.

The museum itself is not only a great place to learn about history, but it also has some interesting pieces of 20th century Americana, like the former President’s personal 1947 Studebaker.

If you’re on the A&M campus, keep an eye out for Reveille!

Reveille the dog is the official mascot of the Texas A&M University, but that’s not all! Reveille is also a cadet general in the university’s Corps of Cadets, which means she outranks everyone else and must be addressed as “Miss Rev, ma’am.”

The current Reveille is the tenth in a long line that dates back to 1931 when members of the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band accidentally hit a small stray dog and decided to take it with them to the university for care, which would have been against campus rules. The pup blew her cover the very next morning by barking loudly when the bugler sounded the Reveille, and that’s how she got her name.

Texas a&m university maine entrance in college station

You can see history in motion at the Museum of The American GI

It’s hard to appreciate history when it’s static. Many museums have huge collections of wartime vehicles arrayed in massive galleries, cordoned off from the public, sitting in silence.

Not the Museum of the American GI! Here they do things a little differently – all their vehicles and equipment are fully restored and functional. If you’re a tank nerd, this is the only place in the U.S. where you can see a fully functional Renault FT-17, the father of all modern tanks, move under its own power!

Kyle Field will move you… literally!

It might surprise you to find out that one of the country’s largest football stadiums isn’t located in a huge metropolis, but here in College Station. Kyle Field, home of the Texas A&M Aggies, can seat over 102,700 people, making it the fourth largest venue of its kind in the country – and it’s not far behind the third spot!

During the singing of the Aggie War Hymn, fans join hands and sway together from side to side. This effect is so powerful that the stadium’s old press box actually sways with them. There’s even a sign advising first-timers not to panic.

Kyle Field stadium in college station texas

Veterans Park is more than just a memorial

Veterans Park was built to honor all veterans from the Brazos Valley, which College Station is a part of. However, it does much more than that. The park is also a huge athletic complex that can host a variety of different sports like baseball, football, lacrosse, soccer, rugby and ultimate Frisbee.

The standout feature of the park has to be the Old Glory Complex – five softball fields arranged radially to resemble the lone star on the Texas flag. Each field bears the name of a core value of the American armed forces – Honor, Courage, Loyalty, Duty and Service.

Trains still run through College Station on the same route as 150 years ago

Trains today still chug along the same route they did back in the 1800s, coming in from Houston to the south, cutting the Texas A&M University Campus neatly in two before heading out through Northgate. The actual lines themselves have been upgraded long ago, and not much remains of the actual rail infrastructure of that time.

Enter local artist and history lover Benjamin Knox, who worked hard to build a copy of the old College Station train depot. The original structure was the first thing to greet students disembarking at the Texas A&M University almost a century and a half ago but was sadly razed in 1966. You can now see an exact replica, along with other rail memorabilia, near the campus on the corner of University Drive and MacArthur Street.

You can relax – by throwing an axe!

Have you ever had to cut down a tree but didn’t feel like walking all the way over to it? Axe throwing is definitely not the solution for that, but it is a great way to unwind and socialize! While the sport is thought to have originated up north, there’s something indelibly Texan about spending an afternoon hurling hatchets at the wall.

The College Station-Bryan area has several venues where you can satisfy your inner lumberjack. It’s great for working up an appetite too!

throwing axes stuck in wood wall with target

The Texas A&M Football Team have a cannon, and they’re not afraid to use it!

In 1974, students found an M1902 field gun buried in a gully close to Easterwood Airport. Only its barrel was sticking out of the ground, and it had a bottle of Dr. Pepper jammed in it. Students and the university saved it from its undignified fate, restoring it to full function and giving it a new voice and a new name – The Spirit of ’02.

The gun was used for decades at Texas A&M football games, firing every time the Aggies score. Unfortunately, it was retired from service a few years ago because it proved to be unspeakably loud when fired inside the new stadium.

Don’t worry though, they replaced it with a bigger one! A 105 mm howitzer now fires outside the stadium each time the Aggies score, while the Spirit of ’02 will be reserved for other special occasions.

Life is interesting in College Station! Make it easy as well with self storage!

The list is far from complete — College Station has a lot more to offer. Every year tens of thousands of students pass through the university’s gates in the spring and fall. When dealing with numbers like that, logistics are crucial.

The summer break is long enough that dorms and rented housing need to be cleared, but short enough that it doesn’t make sense to fill up the car and take everything home. Some students attend the university for the better part of a decade, so they accumulate quite a store of personal possessions. Many turn to self storage over the summer to avoid the hassle and save on time.

And they’re not alone, as permanent residents of College Station can benefit from self storage as well. Furniture, appliances and clothes can be kept safely in storage until needed. Maybe you even have your own set of prized throwing axes to store!

There’s a good selection of available self storage units in College Station. The amenities are on point too, with everything from climate-controlled units to vehicle storage. The average rate for a unit is lower than the national average here, so good deals are easy to find. Prices can start as low as $19 per month for some of the smaller storage lockers. Some of the cheapest storage prices are near the Earl Rudder Freeway, between Lo Ball Memorial and Pleasant Forest. The listings are worth checking out, because if you visit College Station there’s a big chance you’ll want to stay!

Author

George is a Creative Writer for StorageCafe, with a background in languages, marketing and YouTube content creation. He is now seeking to bring his love of detail and storytelling to the world of real estate. You can find him browsing Age of Sail books at your local bookstore, probably...

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