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County
Fayette
Region
Praries & Lakes
Population
2010 Census - 90
2000 Census - 75 - 90
Nearby
Towns
Round Top, Texas
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Round Top Texas History:
The Round Top area became known as Townsend after Floridian Englishman Stephen Townsend and his family settled in the area in 1826. The family established the Florida Presbyterian Chapel and founded a masonic lodge. The Townsend family had more men fight in the Battle of San Jacinto than any other Texas family. Townsend resident Joel Robinson is credited with capturing Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. The post office was established by the provisional government of Texas in 1835 with John Rice Jones as postmaster. By the mid-1830s the settlement was known as Jones Post Office. German Alwin H. Soergel, an author, historian, musician and member of the Adelsverein (Texas Verein), arrived in Round Top in the early 1840s. Soergel built a white house with an octagonal tower. Round Top derives its name from the odd shaped tower. More Germans followed, bringing with them the German traditions of education, music, language studies, and the arts. Reverend Neuthard, founder of the Neuthard School, was fluent in Hebrew, Greek, Latin, French, and German. Clara Rummel, the "Poetess of Texas," made her home in Round Top, and the town had a string band. By 1850, Round Top was served by a stagecoach line, had two stores, two blacksmith shops, two taverns, a post office, and 150 residents. It is thought that Round Top held its first Fourth of July celebration in 1851, making it the oldest continuous Fourth of July celebration west of the Mississippi River. A massive stone Lutheran church was built in 1866 and was outfitted with a pipe organ carved out of native cedar by Traugott Wantke. Round Top incorporated in 1870.Major area restorations were accomplished by the Bybee Foundation on Henkel Square, by the James Dick Foundation on Festival Hill, and by Miss Ima Hogg at Winedale. The International Festival-Institute was founded in 1971. The institute’s programs have made Round Top internationally recognized as a cultural center for the arts and education. The 1,200-seat concert hall at Festival Hill is the permanent home of the Texas Festival Orchestra. Round Top is located south of U.S. 290 on FM 457 (Live Oak Street) and the intersection of SH 237 (Washington Street) and Round Top Road, 73 miles southeast of Austin, 43.5 miles southeast of Bastrop, 35.5 miles northeast of Smithville, 17.7 miles southeast of Giddings, 7 miles south of Carmine, 29 miles southwest of Somerville, 22.7 miles southwest of Brenham, 4 miles southwest of Warrenton and Winedale, 8.3 miles northwest of Shelby, 16.7 miles northwest of Fayetteville, and 16 miles northeast of La Grange, Texas.
 
Bybee Square:
The square is home to world renowned artists and artisans, and several art galleries, including the nationally recognized Gallery at Round Top. Also located on the square is the Stone Cellar, a live music pub and pizza venue. The square is located one block off SH 237. The square is bounded by North Live Oak, East Mill, Von Rosenberg and East Austin Street Streets.  
 
Round Top Square:
This square is home to the replica of the Round Top Precinct Courthouse, the Round Top gas station, the Henkle Square Museum Village, the Round Top General Store, Dempsey’s, and the Round Top Chamber of Commerce. The square is bounded by North Live Oak Street (FM 457), East Mill Street and North Washington Street (SH 237).
 
Village Green & Free Wi-Fi:
Moore’s Fort and several businesses are located on Village Green. Businesses include lodging, antique stores, the Round Top Coffee Connection and other restaurants. Free Wi-Fi is available on the Green which is bound by Wantke Street, Washington Street (SH 237), Round Top Road and South White Street.
 
International Festival Institute & Conference Center at Festival Hill:
The Institute was established in 1971 by concert pianist James Dick. Facilities include the 1,000 seat
Festival Concert Hall, the 1885 William Lockhart Clayton House which is used for offices, teaching facilities and indoor concerts, the 1902 Menke House which is used as a faculty residence and conference center, and the 1883 Travis Street United Methodist Church sanctuary (renamed the Edythe Bates Old Chapel) which is used as a center for chamber music, organ recitals, lectures and seminars. The Log House is furnished with a notable collection of Stickley furniture crafted between 1902 and 1920. The house provides faculty residences, guest housing, music rehearsal rooms and a permanent repository for historic Jenks and Ilsley family collections. Newer facilities were built to provide lodging quarters and to serve as venues for the Festival and the year round programs and conferences. The Festival Institute Library & Museum houses its art collections in the Festival Concert Hall and in the historic houses. The David W. Guion Archives and Americana Collection, and the Anders and Josephine Oxehufwud Swedish and European Collection have permanent galleries in the Festival Concert Hall. The Institute offers over 50 events annually including museum lectures, the Round Top Music Festival offering over 30 concerts in June and July, the August-to-April Concert Series, the International Guitar Festival, and the theatre, poetry and herbal forums. The music repertoire extends from the ancient to contemporary music. Students from conservatories and universities in the United States and abroad pursue their musical studies at Round Top under the guidance of an international faculty. The beautiful 2007 Festival Concert Hall is acoustically one of the best concert halls in the nation and also serves as a recording studio. The institute’s community outreach program offers a series of public concerts performed by students and faculty, and offers children’s dance lessons. The campus is famous for its rare trees, herbal collections, Herzstein Plaza and nationally recognized themed gardens. Major business groups, museum administrators, music critics, law firms, and numerous university and professional organizations have held conferences and retreats here. An event schedule is available online. (97(0 249-3129. The Institute is located at 248 Jaster Road off of North Washington Street (SH 237), 0.5 miles north of Round Top.     
 
Round Top Area Historical Society Museum:
The museum is housed in an old blacksmith shop which was rebuilt in the 1940s. The museum features exhibits depicting the early history of the area, including glass plates from Recknagel, farming tools, memorabilia from the black schools in Round Top and Connersville, and research materials. Open Sat-Sun, noon-3pm, or by appointment. (979) 249-3042. 937 E. Mill Road.
 
Henkle Square Museum Village & Gift Shop in the Apothecary:  
This village is nationally recognized as an authentic restoration of Anglo-American and German-American 19th Century culture, where families can enjoy the living traditions of the pioneers who settled here. Buildings include the 1852 Henkel House, the 1875 Zapp-Von Rosenberg House, the 1820s Scherrer House, the Weaver’s saltbox house which came from the George Ranch in Richmond, Texas, the 1855 Schuhmann House, the 1840 Muckleroy House, the historic Mary Phelp’s House, the historic Polasek Cabin, the 1875 Apothecary (drug store), the historic Palmer Barn which has walls held together by handmade pegs, and the 1872 Haw Creek Church. All buildings are furnished with pieces from the ByBee collection of 19th century furnishings; the apothecary houses a museum and gift show, and features Recknagel pictures. The village hosts the Round Top Markt Fest the third Saturday of each month from February through November. The village is owned and managed by the Texas Pioneer Arts Foundation. Open Thu-Sun, noon-5pm, or by appointment. (979) 249-3308. The village is located 110 Live Oak on the Round Top Square. Email  
 
Round Top Family Library: 
Round Top is probably the smallest town in Texas with a library. The library is situated on a 2.5 acre site owned by the Texas Pioneer Arts Foundation, and consists of two buildings. The historic Rummel House houses the Library’s ongoing book sale. The larger building is called the Sterling and Marianne McCall library building which is housed in the restored 1925 Hope Lutheran Church. The church was dismantled and moved in seven pieces from Milam County to Round Top and immaculately restored. The library provides traditional library programs, children, youth and adult programs, summer programs, private tutoring for students, a children’s chess club, choral music on Tuesdays and Thursdays for fifth and sixth graders, senior activities, free computer classes, public access computers with internet connections, and free Wi-Fi. The library occasionally offers tours of Round Top and the Round Top Historical Society Museums. They also host yoga classes at the Bethlehem Lutheran Church community room on Mondays at 5:30pm. Located on the library grounds are the community garden, the Diane & John Grace Memorial Garden, a playscape, and picnic tables. Open Tue-Fri, 1:30pm-5:30pm; Sat-Sun, 1pm-4pm. (979) 249-2700. 206 W. Mill Street.