Settlement in the area began as early as 1822. The city was established in 1859 when the Houston & Texas Central Railroad was built through and the town was laid out. Other railroads followed, and the city became a center of cotton production.
The city's downtown is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and 27 structures are recognized by the Texas Historical Commission. The downtown area features ornate 19th-century architecture, beautiful parks and museums. To schedule a tour of the Horlock History Center, housed in an authentically furnished and restored 1892 Victorian home, call the chamber of commerce: 936/825-6600.
Navasota has been named the Blues Capital of Texas by the Texas Legislature and was home to noted songster Mance Lipscomb (1895-1976). A statue of him stands in Mance Lipscomb Park, and the annual Navasota Blues Festival in August honors his legacy.