Tour of Bastrop County Museums
In addition to the museums located further below, here we have compiled several notable sites worthy of attention for our heritage tourists:
Bastrop County Courthouse and Jail
The first courthouse, 1835, was a two-story building owned by early settler S.V.R. Eggleston. The second, built 1839, was a house located between Walnut and Austin streets. The third, built 1853, was at the site of its current location, and burned in 1883. A new brick courthouse was built in 1883 for $33,000. In 1991 the courthouse was fully restored and is still in use today. The jailhouse was built in 1892.
Fairview Cemetery - Bastrop
Fairview Cemetery is located on Highway 95 in Bastrop. You'll find graves of war veterans from the war of 1812 to the Persian Gulf War. A war babies guardian angel statue stands over the area where a number of infants were buried, free, during World War II. The children are from families who had no means to bury their children. The gravesite of Texas Governor Joseph Draper Sayers, numerous legislators and 13 Texas rangers can also be found at fairview.
Rock Front Saloon-McDade
The 1870 Rock Front Saloon was the scene of a gunfight in 1883 when a deputy sheriff was killed. Vigilantes hung four suspects, but the violence continued with the infamous McDade Christmas hangings on Christmas Eve 1883, when three additional outlaws were executed. This event led to a yet another gunfight in front of a saloon on Christmas Day that left three dead. (the Rock Front Saloon is now home to the McDade Historical Museum.)
About eight miles south of Elgin on Highway 95 is Camp Swift, named for Major General Eben Swift. It served as a major military training facility for 300,000 troops during World War II. The camp was active from May 1942 until July 1946, and covered nearly 56,000 acres. (Today Camp Swift is a training center for the Army National Guard and open to the public for special events only.)
Bastrop and Buescher State Parks
Adapted over thousands of years to local dry climate and soils, Bastrop’s Lost Pines are the westernmost stand of Loblolly Pines in the south. The Bastrop county complex wildfire of 2011 was deemed the most destructive fire in Texas history. Replanting and regrowth is well underway, restoring the beauty of Bastrop County.