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County
Menard
Region
Hill Country
Population
2010 Census - 1,471
2000 Census - 1,653
Nearby
Towns
Menard, Texas
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Menard Texas History:
In 1757, Franciscan missionaries established the Mission Santa Cruz de San Saba Mission on the San Saba River, three miles east of Menard. The missionaries were attempting to convert the eastern Lipan Apache Indians to Christianity. This site was discovered in 1993, approximately 4 miles from the Presidio San Luis de las Amarillas (San Saba Presidio). The Presidio, the mission’s protector, was established the same year on the north bank of the San Saba River, one mile from present day Menard. The fort was abandoned in 1759. Fort San Saba was established in 1852 to protect the settlers from hostile Indians. When Menard County was established in 1858, the city of Menardville was platted to serve as the Menard County seat. Three families lived at the townsite in palisade protected log cabins. The county was not organized at this time. When Fort San Saba closed in 1859, many residents fled to safer areas. The fort reopened in 1869 and was renamed Fort McKavett. By 1867, the town had a store, a blacksmith shop, a saloon and a grocery. It served as a trading and lodging site on the north and west cattle trails. Menard County was formally organized in 1871. The first county court convened under a live oak tree. A two story courthouse was built in 1872. By the mid-1880s, main industries included hides, wool, and livestock. The old mission compound served as a cattle holding area. When the Fort Worth and Rio Grande Railway was completing plans to build a line through the town, residents shortened the town name to Menard at the request of company officials. After the first train arrived in 2011, Menard thrived as a commercial and shipping center for area ranches. The railroad service was discontinued in 1972, but the railroad donated the train depot to the City of Menard for use as a museum. Today, Menard continues to be a commercial center for local ranches, and has added tourism and oil production to its economic base. Menard is located on the San Saba River at the intersection of U.S. 83 and U.S. 190, 67 miles southwest of San Angelo, 42 miles southeast of Paint Rock, 72 miles southwest of Sonora, 50 miles west of Eldorado, 38 miles northwest of Mason, 34 miles southwest of Brady, 84 miles northwest of Kerrville, 80 miles northwest of Fredericksburg, 21.6 miles slightly northwest of Eden, 78 miles northeast of Rocksprings, 31 miles north of Junction, and 48 miles northeast of Roosevelt, Texas.
 
Historic Presidio San Saba (Presidio San Luis de la Amarillas):
The Spaniards built the presidio along Celery Creek on the north bank of the San Saba River in 1757 to protect the Mission San Saba from the Lipan Apache and other hostile Indians. The monks requested that the presidio be built three miles upstream from the mission so the soldiers would not be a corrupting influence on the Lipan Apaches the monks were trying to convert to Christianity. The original presidio and mission were built out of logs. On March 16, 1758, a band of 2000 Comanche and Wichita Indians, bitter enemies of the Lipan Apache, attacked Mission Santa Cruz de San Saba. The presidio sent a small force to aid the mission, but the soldiers were driven back. Two of the three priests at the mission were killed and the mission was destroyed. The fort was abandoned in 1768. In 1936, the Texas Centennial Commission rebuilt a portion of the fort, but due to shoddy construction only the crumbling ruins of the 1936 project remain. The fort is open year round for self-guided tours. The ruins are located on the San Saba River 2 miles northwest of town, adjacent to the country club and golf course, and south of U.S. 190. The area is now a county park.  
 
Historic Irrigation Ditch & Canal Walk:
In 1758, the Spaniards built a canal to supply the mission and its crops with water. In 1874, the Vaughn Agricultural and Mechanical Canal Company built a water wheel and began supplying water to irrigate 200 acres. Portions of this old canal still flow through downtown Menard. The area now features a sidewalk, a park bench and a decorative water wheel. Historic churches, buildings, and a historic theater are located on the Canal Walk.
 
Menard County Courthouse, 1932:
The cement and brick courthouse was designed in modern style by architects Withers & Thompson. The courtroom was restored to its original décor including the wood furniture, wainscoting, chandeliers, and gold trim on the sides of the folding seats in the gallery. The 2010 Menard County census was 2,242. (325) 396-4789. 206 East San Saba Street, Menard, TX 76859. Email 
 
Menard County Jail, 1871:
When originally built, the jail had a store in front and a jail in the back. The second floor courtroom was accessed by an outside stairway. A trapdoor in the courtroom led to the dungeon type cell below. The jail is located on San Saba Avenue.
 
Menardville Historical Museum:
The museum is located in the historic AT&SF Train Depot on the north side of the San Saba River, at the intersection of U.S. 83 and U.S. 190. Open by appointment. A list of phone contacts is located at the museum entrance. (325) 396-2365. 100 Frisco Avenue.
 
1927 Menard Mission Theatre Restoration Foundation:
The theater will be renovated for use as a movie theater and performing arts center.(325) 456-5983.The theater is located on Beavens Street on the Canal Walk.  
 
London (Dance) Hall, Late 1800s, London, Texas:
This extremely popular dance hall features live country music on Saturdays. Many of the famous have played here. The Hall was memorialized in Johnny Bush’s “The Ballad of London Hall.” The hall has a great wooden dance floor, pool tables, a large stone fireplace, shuffle board, a hand-carved village scene above the bar, and a seating capacity of 600. Reservations for tables are strongly recommended during the winter months, especially for the Hunters Ball the first weekend of November, and the New Year’s Eve dance. They serve beer and set ups. Open Thu-Fri, 5pm-12am; Sat, 6pm-1am. (325) 475-2921. The dance hall is located at 17430 U.S. 377 North in downtown London, 28 miles southeast of Menard, 50 miles southwest of Brady, 25 miles southwest of Mason, and 20 miles northeast of Junction, Texas.
 
Annual Around the Campfire on the Great Western Cattle Trail, Apr:
Activities include a chuck wagon meal, cowboy poetry, songs, storytelling, trail riders, covered wagons, longhorns, live music and entertainment. This event is held at the Stock Pen Crossing Park. (325) 396-2365. The park is located on U.S. 190 West, northwest of Menard, and adjacent to the Presidio Ruins. 
 
Annual Jim Bowie Day Celebration, Sept:
Activities include a trail rode, live music, Wild West gunfights, Cow’ographers, washers, food and more. This event is held at the city park on the San Saba River. This celebration was not held in 2012. (325) 396-2365.
 
Annual Hunter's Blowout Ball, Nov:
This event is held at the Club Victoria from 7pm to midnight. The ticket price includes all you can eat tamales, chili and beans. The raffle has great prizes. Guests may bring coolers. (325) 396-2365.
 
Side Oaks Café and Bakery:
This popular restaurant serves good home style cooking, including chicken fried steak, salads, soups, sandwiches, breads, and desserts. It receives great reviews. (325) 396-2069. 509 Ellis Street. Reviews