Corpus Christi, founded in the mid-1800s, was originally built as two parts – a lower, sea level commercial development along the bay and a higher, residential area along a bluff overlooking the bay. The Texas Greek Revival-style Britton-Evans House was one of the first homes completed on this upper level, built in 1849 by Forbes Britton. Britton, a partner in the shipping firm of Britton, Mann and Yates, operated a freight line between Corpus Christ and the port of Galveston. The firm specialized in shipping cured hides from Mexico. Britton served in the Texas Legislature from 1857 to 1861 before selling the home at the onset of the Civil War. In 1862, the Confederate army requisitioned the house as a hospital before Federal troops took the city in 1866. The Federal army continued to use the house as a hospital as well as officer’s mess hall. George F. Evans, import-export merchant, bought the house in 1880 and it remained the Evans family home for the next 56 years.
Today, the historic home has been restored and is maintained by the Corpus Christi Area Heritage Society. The home, known as the Centennial House, serves as a museum and archive, providing an example of life as a wealthy Corpus Christi family in the 1850s.