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County
Bastrop
Region
Praries & Lakes
Population
2010 Census - 7,218
2000 Census - 5,340
Nearby
Towns
Bastrop, Texas
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Bastrop Texas History:
Bastrop, one of Stephen F. Austin’s original colonies, is located on the Colorado River in a Loblolly pine forest commonly called the “Lost Pines Forest.”  No one really knows how the Loblolly pines arrived in the area, but amazingly they thrive in the Bastrop area which is located more than 80 miles from their normal habitat in East Texas. The town was established in 1804 when Fort Puesta del Colorado was built at the crossing of the Colorado River and the Old San Antonio Road, also known as Camino Real, the King’s Highway, and the San Antonio-Nacogdoches Road. In 1823, the Spanish government gave the Baron de Bastrop permission to establish a German colony in Texas. The Baron selected the site, but did not establish the settlement. In 1827, the Baron De Bastrop’s good friend Stephen F. Austin received permission to locate100 families on the same site, and named the new colony Bastrop. In 1832, land commissioner José Miguel de Arciniega platted the town of Bastrop, creating a traditional Mexican town square and designating nearby blocks for public use. In 1834, the Coahuila and Texas legislature renamed the town Mina in honor of Mexican martyr and hero Francisco Xavier Mina. Bastrop remained the only town in Bastrop County until the railroad reached the area in the 1870s. Bastrop was a political, business, and commercial center for Bastrop County and the surrounding area, and was a haven to settlers during Indian raids. By 1835, Mina residents had united to stockpile arms and circulate the latest information regarding the coming Texas revolution. They were the first Texas town to do so. Bastrop was destroyed by Mexicans and Indians in the 1836 Runaway Scrape. The town was renamed Bastrop when it incorporated in 1837. At that time it had a courthouse, a hotel, a stockade, a gunsmith shop, a general store, and a number of businesses. Through the 1850s, farming and the timber industry were important contributors to the local economy; the Bastrop pine forest was the only timber available in what was then West Texas. In 1862, fire destroyed most of the downtown buildings. In 1869, residents fled the town as water from flooded creeks rose as high as 46 feet. Periodic flooding continued until dams were built on the Colorado River in the 1930s. By 1884, Bastrop had 2,000 residents. The population peaked at 5,000 after the establishment of nearby Camp Swift during World War II. By 1990, residents had restored many historic buildings, and many residents commuted to Austin for work. Bastrop remains an agricultural center. Other industries include oil-well supply businesses and furniture manufacturing. Many movies have been at least  partially filmed in Bastrop, including Lovin' Molly, the original The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Home Fries, Courage Under Fire, the 2004 remake of The Alamo, All The Boys Love Mandy Lane, Fireflies in the Garden, the remake of Friday the 13th  "The Life of David Gale" with Kevin Spacey & Kate Winslet, Michael, Hope Floats, True Women and The Tree of Life. Bastrop is located on the Colorado River at the intersections of SH Loop 150 (Chestnut Street), SH 21, SH 95, and SH 71, 33 miles southeast of Austin, 29.5 miles southeast of Manor, 22 miles southeast of Elroy, 18 miles southeast of Elgin, 26 miles southwest of Giddings, 33 miles northeast of La Grange, 39 miles northwest of Flatonia, 13 miles northwest of Smithville, 34.5 miles northeast of Lockhart, and 44 miles northeast of San Marcos, Texas. History & Photos  

2011 Lost Pines Wildfire Project
TreeFolks Bastrop County Community Reforestation Program:
Since the 2011 Lost Pines wildfire, this non-profit group has planted over 1.3 million drought resistant hardwood and loblolly pine trees on residential properties in Bastrop County. This service is provided free of charge to all Bastrop County property owners affected by the wildfire. They also provide free trees at giveaway events where all Bastrop County residents may receive trees and information on tree care.  They will plant an additional 420,000 trees during the 2015-2016 winter season. To volunteer  December through February, click here. Their City Shade program involves planting trees on public lands, and mulching trees in parks, preserves and right-of-ways. They are also involved in the Blanco Restoration Project, planting trees lost along the Blanco River during the historic May 23, 2015 flood. (512) 433-5323. @TreeFolks  Facebook
 
Camp Swift, Texas Army National Guard, 55,906 Acres:
Camp Swift's nearly 3,000 buildings were constructed in just four months in early 1940. The camp was primarily an infantry training center though combat nurses were also trained here. At its peak, the camp housed over 50,000 personnel. On weekends, 20,000 to 25,000 soldiers would be trucked to Bastrop on flatbed trucks where they would board buses to Austin. Because of tire rationing, buses would often be stranded roadside with flat tires or blowouts. Camp Swift's prisoner of war camp housed mostly German soldiers captured from Rommel’s elite Afrika Corp, but also held 300 Russians who had been forced to fight on the German side; the two groups were housed separately. After 1944, escapes became rare and the Germans were permitted to work unsupervised. When escapes were attempted, they usually had a humorous conclusion. One man was treed by a local bull and shouted for help from the searchers. Another had placed his escape food (bologna) in his back pocket. It attracted the attention of a search dog who bit him on the buttocks. Camp Swift files are kept at the Bastrop County Historical Museum (702 Main Street) and the Bastrop Museum and Visitors Center at 904 Main Street. Camp Swift is bordered by U.S. 95 and U.S. 290, approximately 28 miles east of Austin, and 7 miles north of Bastrop. Camp Swift Bird Checklist
 
Bastrop County Courthouse, 1883-1884:
This courthouse is one of Texas’ oldest courthouses. It was designed in Renaissance Revival style by Jasper N. Preston and F.E. Ruffini. It was altered in the 1920s. A south wing was added to the courthouse in 1953. The courthouse is attached to the 1891 jail by a catwalk. Historical photos line the interior walls of the courthouse. The courthouse is surrounded by huge shade trees. A gazebo, two veterans monuments, and the Baron de Bastrop monument are located on the grounds. The Bastrop business district is not located around the courthouse. The 2010 Bastrop County census was 74,171. (512) 303-0558. The courthouse is located at 804 Pecan Street, adjacent to the 1890 Bastrop County Jail.
 
Bastrop County Jail, 1891:
This beautiful three story jail was designed in Second Empire Victorian style by architect Eugene T. Heiner. A pressed metal cornice encircles the building and the west end is features a mansard roof. The jailer’s living quarters were located on the first floor, and jail cells were located on the second and third floors. The jail is connected to the 1883 courthouse by a catwalk. It served as the county jail until 1974. The jail is located adjacent to the courthouse at 802 Pine Street. 
 
Smithville Crawford Municipal Airport:
This publicly owned airport is managed by the City of Smithville. A courtesy car is available. (512) 237-3500. The airport is located 2 miles north of Smithville at 789 Northwest SH 95, just south of SH 71. Facebook