Bastrop Pop.6,456 Alt. 374


B.D. Orgain HouseHistorians have concluded that the man this city is named after, the Baron de Bastrop, was a fraud. His real name was Philip Hendrick Nering Bogel, and he was formerly a tax collector in Holland who had fled that country when charged with embezzlement. Even though he was a fraud, however, his place of honor in Texas history is genuine. Using his cloak of fictitious royalty, he was serving as the second alcalde of San Antonio when Moses and Stephen F. Austin made their second attempt to obtain permission to set up a colony in Texas. The "Baron" is credited with convincing the Mexican government to give the Austins the colony grant. It is conceivable that without his intercession they would have been turned down again.

The town was established on the site of an old Spanish post that guarded the place where El Camino Real (The King's Highway) crossed the Colorado River en route to East Texas. Naturally, Stephen F. Austin named the new colony Bastrop after its benefactor. But in 1834, the newly independent Mexican government renamed the town Mina after a Revolutionary hero. Then came the Texas Revolution. Three Bastropians were among the signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence, 11 died in the Alamo, and around 60 were recorded as having fought at the decisive Battle of San Jacinto. In 1837, after the revolution, the name was changed back to Bastrop and given to both the town and the new county. Bastrop is the site of what are known as the "Lost Pines of Texas". This is a large (70 square miles) but isolated forest of Southern pine trees located 80 miles west of the main pine belt. In the nineteenth century these loblolly pines supported the local lumber industry.

The first edition of The Bastrop Advertiser and County News was published on March 1,1853, giving it claim to being the oldest continuously published weekly in the state. At one time Bastrop also had the oldest drug store in the state. That burned down, but still around, although not quite so old, is Lock's Drug Store on Main Street, with a turn-of-the-century interior and an old-time soda fountain. In 1979, the National Register of Historic Places admitted 131 Bastrop buildings and sites to its listings. Thirty one buildings display a Texas Medallion marker. Main Street is lined with with century old structures housing antique shops, restaurants, and specialty stores. Main Street and Fisherman's Park follow the scenic Colorado River for great places to picnic, fish, and canoe. The old historic Iron Bridge crossing the river has been converted to a park with picnic tables, benches, and walkways above the Colorado River.

Bed and Breakfast accommodations are offered in many historic buildings. Also, for more information on Bastrop and Bastrop County, visit the LCRA's Colorado River Trail Bastrop County.

Bastrop Chamber of Commerce

Bastrop Historical Museum
702 Main
Mon - Fri 1 pm to 5 pm, Sat 10 am to 5 pm, Sun 2pm to 5 pm

The original little red house was built in 1850; the brick wings were added by the Bastrop County Historical Society in the 1970s to provide exhibit space. Some of the furniture, clothing, dolls, books, and records on display date back to the time when Bastrop was deeply involved in the struggle for Texas Independence.

Bastrop County Courthouse and Old Jail
Pine and Water

The three-story courthouse was built in 1884 and is still in use. The Old Jail next door, built in 1892, had jailers quarters on the first floor and cells on the upper two floors. It was used as a jail until 1974 and is now used for county offices.

Governor Joseph Sayers Home
1703 Wilson

Joseph Draper Sayers was the last Confederate soldier to become governor of Texas, serving from I899 to 1903. This Greek Revival home was built in 1868 soon after Sayers returned to Bastrop from the Civil War. It is a private residence, not open to the public.

Bastrop State Park
TX Hwy. 21 about I mile east
Open seven days 8-5 (to 7 in summer) for day use, at all times for camping
$2 per vehicle per day

Located among the "Lost Pines of Texas", ' this 3,500-acre park has a swimming pool (summer only-fee), golf course, a 10-acre lake, hiking trails, picnic tables, tent and RV campsites (fee), and 13 cabins (fee), which may be booked 90 days in advance. Park Rd. 1 connects with Buescher State Park, about 12 miles east.

Lake Bastrop
This 906-acre lake is primarily a cooling pond for the Lower Colorado River Authority's Sim Gideon Power Plant. However, it also offers recreational facilities in two parks for boating (fee), fishing, swimming, water-skiing, picnicking, and camping (fee).

The parks on this lake are not state parks but LCRA Parks.

South Shore Park: From Austin take Hwy 71 east to Bastrop, take a left onto Hwy 95. Go approximately .5 mile. Take a right onto Hwy 21 East. Go approximately 2 miles and turn left onto South Shore Road (also CR 352). South Shore is on the right.

North Shore Park: From Austin take Highway 71 east to Bastrop. Take Highway 95 north and turn right on FM 1441, drive 2.5 miles to the park entrance and turn right.

Visitor Center
For information about events, attractions, or places to dine, stop by the Chamber of Commerce office. There are also brochures for self guided walking and driving tours.


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