Cameron Texas History:
In 1846, a committee authorized by the Texas legislature purchased sixty acres on the Little River for the townsite of Cameron, the designated county seat of the newly formed Milam County. The isolated town was slow to grow. Attempts to establish a shipping route on the Little River were unsuccessful, and in the 1870s, the International-Great Northern Railroad bypassed Cameron in favor of Rockdale. In the 1800s, being bypassed by the railroad could be the death of small Texas towns as residents and businesses picked up and moved to be closer to the railroad. Cameron’s growth improved after the 1881 arrival of the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway, and the 1891 arrival of the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railroad. The town grew from an estimated 500 residents in 1878 to 2,000 residents by 1892. Cameron incorporated in 1889. During the 1800s, agriculture dominated the economy. A variety of new industries were developed in the early 1900s. The Minerva-Rockdale oilfield was discovered in 1921. The Aluminum Company of America (Alcoa) built a plant a few miles southwest of Rockdale in the 1950s, providing much needed jobs. Jobs at the plant, as well as in the lignite industry that supplied the plant's power, revitalized the economy of the entire Milam County. The Cameron City Hall-McLane Municipal Center is located in an 1891 Victorian style building. Cameron is located on the Little River at the intersection of FM 2269 and U.S. 190/SH 36, 35 miles southeast of Belton, 31 miles southeast of Temple, 36 miles southwest of Calvert, 30 miles west of Hearne, 52 miles northwest of Bryan, 30 miles northwest of Caldwell, 13 miles northwest of Milano, 33.4 miles north of Lexington, 13 miles north of Rockdale, 60 miles northeast of Round Rock, 44 miles northeast of Granger, 42 miles northeast of Taylor, approximately 32 miles northeast of Granger Lake, and 26 miles northeast of Thorndale, Texas.
Historic Czech Town of Marak:
Marak was founded by Czechs in the early 1880s, and was named after Frantisek (Frank) Marak, a Moravian Czech immigrant who moved to the area from Fayette County. This primarily Czech community was the center of a Catholic Parish. In 1904, the first Catholic Church was built and in 1948, the original structure was converted to a Parish Hall when a new church was built. The present community consists of the Saints Cyril & Methodius Catholic Church
, a community hall, small rectory, and a cemetery. The Marak annual picnic is held on the last Sunday of August on the Church grounds. The town is located on FM 2269, six miles northwest Cameron. ((254) 697-4861. The church’s physical address is 6633 FM 2269, Buckholts, Texas. Email Czech History
Milam County Courthouse, 1892:
This beautiful limestone courthouse was designed in Renaissance Revival style by Jacob Larmour and A.O. Watson. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The 2000 Milam County census was 24,238. It increased to 24,757 in 2010. (254) 697-7000. The courthouse is located at 102 South Fannin Avenue.
Milam County Jail, 1895:
This stunning jail was built in Romanesque Revival style by the by Pauly Jail Building and Manufacturing Company of Saint Louis, Missouri.It was built out of St. Louis pressed bricks, and is the twin to the Austin County Jail
in Bellville, Texas. The original jail had three floors and a hanging tower which was never used because most hangings take place outdoors. The first floor consisted of three storage rooms, and seven rooms used as living quarters for the sheriff and his family. Cell blocks were located on the second and third floors. The restored jail features the original sheriff’s living quarters, cells, and the gallows. The building was used as a jail until 1978. It currently houses the Milam County Museum. An old store displays county artifacts, including Civil War letters. The Jail is located on the Cameron County courthouse square at 112 West Main Street.
First Girl's Tomato Club in Texas, Texas Historical Marker:
“The first Girl's Tomato Clubs in Texas were organized in 1912 in Milam County to acquaint young women in rural areas with tomato production and canning techniques. At the request of the United States Department of Agriculture, Mrs. Edna Westbrook Trigg, a local high school principal, agreed to undertake the project. She organized eleven clubs throughout the county, with members ranging in age from ten to eighteen. A similar program for boys, the Corn Clubs, had been instituted in Jack County four years earlier. Each member of the Girl's Tomato Clubs was to produce a tomato crop on one-tenth of an acre of land and then was taught proper canning procedures. The girls exhibited their products at Milano, Rockdale, the 1913 State Fair in Dallas, and the Waco Cotton Palace. So successful were these exhibits that several of the girls started college education funds with the money they earned selling their goods.
As the state's first rural girl's organization of its kind, the Tomato Clubs were forerunners of later programs (including 4-H) that were initiated under the supervision of the Texas Agricultural Extension Service. Over time, 4-H has expanded its scope but has maintained the principle objectives of its predecessors.” This is probably the most fun and interesting marker I have seen.
CR 264 Little River Sugarloaf Bridge Near Gause:
This 234-foot-long, Parker Truss bridge was originally constructed in 1896 over the Brazos River on the Bryan-Caldwell Road. The bridge was relocated to its present site in in 1940. TxDOT restored the bridge in 2006. It is now reserved for pedestrian traffic only. A Texas Historical Marker is in place. The bridge is located approximately four miles north of Gause, Texas. From Gause, take FM 2095 to CR 264. Go right (north) on CR 264 and drive 1.7 miles to the bridge. Gause is located on U.S. 79, 17.3 miles southeast of Cameron, Texas.
CR 406 Little River Bryant Station Bridge, Buckholts, Texas:
This 200-foot, pin connected through truss bridge was erected in 1909 by C.Q. Horton of Austin, and the Chicago Bridge & Iron Company. A Texas Historical Marker is in place. From Rogers, Texas, go 3.3 miles southeast on SH 36. In Buckholts, go 4.1 miles northwest on SH 36. Go southwest for 4 miles on CR 104. Go southwest on dirt and gravel packed CR 106 for 0.8 miles to the Bryant Station Bridge. Buckholts is located on U.S. 190, 9.5 miles slightly northwest of Cameron, Texas.
Milam County Historical Museum:
The museum is housed in the1895 Milam County Jail and in a historic building on the town square. The restored jail features the sheriff’s living quarters, cells, and the gallows. The historic old store displays county artifacts, including Civil War letters. Other artifacts and exhibits include Dr. Krause’s early 1900s dental office, pioneer farm and ranch equipment, rustic household furnishings, Spartan "fashions" of the frontier, Indian artifacts, ranch and trail-driving tack, cowboy gear, and weapons. The 1840s Sneed cabin is located near the museum and houses the Cameron information center which is open Tue-Sat, 1pm-5pm. The museum is open Tue-Fri, 10am-4pm. (254) 697-4770. 112 West First Street. Email
Model of Cameronin the 1940s:
This made to scale model of the town of Cameron was created by former Cameron resident John Johnson. It is housed in the Milam County Clerk’s Annex on the courthouse square. John spent over $8,000 and 35 years creating this forty-foot by twenty-foot model that features the downtown area, neighborhoods, schools, water towers, bridges, the old railroad and a working train and fire scene, and more. (254) 697-4979. 104 West Main Street.
Milam Community Theatre:
This group offers several performances each year. (254) 697-6106. P.O. Box 487 Cameron, TX 76520. Performances are held at the Performing Arts Center (1000 N. Fannin Avenue) or the Williams Civic Center at 409 South Columbus Avenue. Wilson Center: (254) 697-6646. Email
Cameron ISD C.H. Yoe Performing Arts Center:
This 23,000 square foot building seats 802 with an additional 10 ADA compliant seats
. Amenities include restrooms, a concession stand, a ticket booth, a control room with light and sound boards, an orchestra pit and a movie screen projector. 1000 North Fannin Drive. (254) 697-3902.
Cameron Public Library:
The library provides traditional library programs, children, youth and adult programs, summer programs, public access computers with internet connections, and free Wi-Fi. Open Mon, 11am-7pm; Tue-Fri, 10am-6pm; closed Saturday and Sunday. (254) 697-2401. 304 East 3rd Street.