Local Area Info for Bastrop County
Bastrop has a unique blend of city convenience and rural charm making it a destination of choice for both business and tourism. Just a 30 minute drive from Austin, Bastrop boasts a beautiful Historic District that is bustling with business. In 2007 it became a Texas Main Street City and in 2010 it was named one of the Top 12 Distinctive Destinations in America.
In addition to its "old town charm", Bastrop also features "The Lost Pines". The Lost Pines Forest is a 13-mile belt of loblolly pines, near the town of Bastrop. The stand of pines is unique because it is a disjunct distribution of trees that is more than 100 miles from the vast expanse of pine trees of the "Piney Woods" region that covers parts of Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma. It is thought to have originated as part of a much larger pine forest that shrank in size during the last glacial period of the Pleistocene era.
Outdoor enthusiasts will find four outstanding golf courses, hiking and biking trails, canoeing and kayaking on the Colorado River, horseback riding, fishing, swimming, camping, rodeo events and more! Bastrop boasts the Bastrop State Park which adjoins the Buescher State Park in Smithville providing miles of natural beauty.
Additionally Bastrop features the new Circuit of the Americas Formula One Race Track just 20 miles away, an active Opera House, the Lost Pines 8 movie theater which also features bowling, an arcade, and a full bar. There are also many specialty and antique shops, art exhibits and local artist stores, and fine dining and quaint restaurants in the area, including the award winning burger joint The Roadhouse, named as having one of the best burgers in Texas.
Smithville, founded in 1829, is a small rural town with a population of just under 5000 people. Named after William Smith, an early settler in the town, Smithville was originally a town of seventeen families, although that number leapt once a railroad was built through the town. The town's historic commercial and residential areas remain largely unchanged since their construction, and the friendly atmosphere makes Smithville a pleasant place to sightsee and live.
Smithville was the first city in Texas to receive the "Film Friendly City" designation from the Texas Film Commission. Recently, a number of films have had part or all of their scenes shot in Smithville, including Hope Floats, Tree of Life, Artois the Goat, Five Time Champion, Martha, and Shady Texas.
Smithville once held the record for baking the world's largest gingerbread man, which made it into the Guinness World Records. During the 16th Annual Festival of Lights, a 20-foot-tall gingerbread man, weighing 1,308 lbs. and 8 oz., was put together with help from the entire community. This accomplishment can be seen in the 2009 edition (p.124) of Guinness World Records, and the giant cookie sheet stands in the Train Park as a monument to the community's close-knit atmosphere.
Places of interest to tourists are the Texas Veterans Memorial Park, the five-day Jamboree held every April, and the annual Thunder on the Colorado Biker Rally. There is also kayaking, biking, a skateboard park, dog park, antiques/vintage shopping, rodeo arena, State Park and more!
To this day, Smithville retains its old school charm; like stepping back in time to a more carefree era and it’s something Smithville is very proud of.
Cedar Creek is an unincorporated area located 11 miles west of Bastrop in Bastrop County, Texas from State Highway 21 Farm to Market Road 535. Although it is unincorporated, Cedar Creek has a post office, as well as new 4A high school that opened in 2010. The community takes its name from a tributary of the Colorado River named Cedar Creek.
The 405 acre Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort is also located in Cedar Creek and often has many high profile visitors. It also features the Cedar Creek County Park which was dedicated in 2008. The 46 acre park is Bastrop County's first county park. The park features fields for football, soccer, and baseball, courts for basketball and sand volleyball, a playscape, nature trails, historic sites, picnic tables and a butterfly garden.
Paige is on U.S. Highway 290 forty-four miles east of Austin in northeast Bastrop County. The Old San Antonio Road, now State Highway 21, borders the north side. Paige was established at the site of a railroad water tower on the newly built Houston and Texas Central Railway in 1872 and named for Norman Paige, a civil engineer, who had laid out the route of the railway. In 1874 a post office was established. In 1876 the railway station was moved three miles east to its present location. Fedor Soder arrived in 1877, built a store and a gin, and purchased and sold many town lots to other Germans; the population is still primarily German.
In 1884 Paige reported a population of 350 and several businesses, including seven cotton gins. By 1886 the population had reached 500. The town was a railroad shipping center for cotton, cattle, hogs, cordwood, butter, eggs, potatoes, and other produce. It had a pickle factory, creamery, and broom factory. By 1914 Paige had a bank and telephone service, but the population had decreased to 400. In 1941 Paige had an estimated population of 467 and ten businesses. During World War II the population began to decline again, partially as a result of the decrease in cotton production.
In 1952 the town reported eight businesses and a population of 220. In 1981 the Hou-Tex Oil Company drilled for gas near Paige and connected its well to the Giddings-Bastrop pipeline. In 1982 a volunteer fire department was established and the Paige Community Center was incorporated. In 1990 Paige reported four businesses and had a population of 275. The population remained the same in 2000.
Courtesy of: Doris Goerner Laake, The History of Paige, Texas and Vicinity (Austin: Eakin Press, 1983
Long recognized for its Sausage and Bricks, Elgin Texas proudly bears the twin titles of the “Sausage Capital of Texas” and the “Brick Capital of the Southwest.” But today, Elgin is known for much more than these two industries which have been for decades, and remain today, solid economic foundations for the community. Today Elgin is a city on the move with a brand new Walmart, a recent HEB, and a branch of Austin Community College opened recently. There is a projected passenger rail to Austin that is being worked on as well.
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