This past Spring Break I drove through Independence and Washington-on-the-Brazos on my way to Austin. While serving in the US Senate, Sam Houston and his wife made a home here in Independence, close to her mother and the old Baylor University site. The ruin of a springhouse remains on a nearby piece of land that the Houston's lived on before moving into this home in 1853, but that earlier home was torn down in the 1890s. After elected Governor of Texas, the Houston's relocated to Austin and this home subsequently changed hands and remains privately owned today. No tours, preservation efforts, refurbishments, or anything of that nature have been undertaken for this home and sadly, the back is draped in a large blue tarp while the grounds full of garbage worthy of an episode of Hoarders. For home tours, an earlier, and much more modest, log house-style home that the Houston's lived in during the 1840s and the later "steamboat" style home where he died in the 1860s are both open for visitors and located in Huntsville.
People making the regular run between Houston and Austin on 290 really ought to bookmark the Independence, Texas tourism site and spend an hour or two driving past these sites. http://www.independencetx.com/HistoricSites.htm