Bastrop, Texas

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Bastrop, Texas
City
Main Street in Bastrop, Texas, features the small shops and old-fashioned architecture typical of small Texas cities.
Main Street in Bastrop, Texas, features the small shops and old-fashioned architecture typical of small Texas cities.
Nickname(s): The Most Historic Small Town in Texas;
Heart of the Lost Pines
Location of Bastrop, Texas
Location of Bastrop, Texas
Coordinates: 30°6′43″N 97°19′1″W / 30.11194°N 97.31694°W / 30.11194; -97.31694Coordinates: 30°6′43″N 97°19′1″W / 30.11194°N 97.31694°W / 30.11194; -97.31694
Country United States
State Texas
County Bastrop
Area
 • Total 9.1 sq mi (23.6 km2)
 • Land 9.0 sq mi (23.3 km2)
 • Water 0.1 sq mi (0.3 km2)
Elevation 367 ft (112 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 7,218
 • Density 801/sq mi (309.3/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 78602
Area code(s) 512
FIPS code 48-05864[1]
GNIS feature ID 1330128[2]
Website www.cityofbastrop.org

Bastrop is a city and the county seat of Bastrop County, Texas, United States. Located about 30 miles (48 km) southeast of Austin, it is part of the Greater Austin metropolitan area. The population was 7,218 according to the 2010 census.[3]

Geography[edit]

The Colorado River of Texas at Bastrop Riverside Park

Bastrop is located near the center of Bastrop County along the Colorado River. The downtown business district of the city is located on a bluff on the east bank of the river, but the city extends to the west side of the river as well. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 9.1 square miles (23.6 km2), of which 9.0 square miles (23.3 km2) is land and 0.12 square miles (0.3 km2), or 1.23%, is water.[4]

Three miles (5 km) northeast of the town, Lake Bastrop is a 906-acre (3.67 km2) reservoir on Spicer Creek operated by the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) since its impounding in 1964. Although primarily used as a cooling pond for the Sim Gideon Power Plant, the lake is also used for recreation, and the LCRA maintains two public parks on the lake.

Education[edit]

The Bastrop Independent School District serves Bastrop. Austin Community College conducts night and continuing education classes at the Bastrop High School.

Economy[edit]

According to the Bastrop Economic Development Corporation as of 2004, the area's three largest employers are the Bastrop Independent school district, Wal-Mart, and the Bastrop County government. The Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa opened on June 2, 2006 and gave a boost to employment in the area. The Texas Boot Company, which opened in 2010, draws people from around the state to Bastrop in search of the perfect pair of boots.

Media[edit]

The first edition of The Bastrop Advertiser and County News (now The Bastrop Advertiser) was published on March 1, 1853, giving it claim to being the oldest continuously published weekly (semi-weekly since September 5, 1977) in the state of Texas. The wider Bastrop County is also covered by papers such as the Elgin Courier.

Film industry[edit]

Several movies were at least partially filmed in Bastrop, including Lovin' Molly (1974), the original The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), Home Fries (1998), Courage Under Fire (1996), and the 2004 remake of The Alamo. Projects not yet released include All The Boys Love Mandy Lane and Fireflies in the Garden, which was filmed in Bastrop in April 2007 starring Willem Dafoe and Julia Roberts. Recently, the remake of Friday the 13th was also partially filmed in Bastrop. Filmed in and near Bastrop: The Life of David Gale with Kevin Spacey and Kate Winslet; Michael 1996 With John Travolta, Andie MacDowell and William Hurt; Hope Floats 1998 With Sandra Bullock, Harry Connick Jr.; True Women 1998 (TV movie) with Angelina Jolie, Dana Delany and Michael York; The Tree of Life 2010 with Brad Pitt and Sean Penn. Bernie 2010 with Jack Black, Shirley MacLaine and Matthew McConaughey. Also partially filmed near Bastrop on the Buck Steiner Ranch was A Perfect World with Kevin Costner, Clint Eastwood and Laura Dern. In late 2012 and early 2013 the film Joe Ransom starring Nicolas Cage was partially filmed in Bastrop at the Lost Pines Boy Scout Park. Prince Avalanche (2013) starring Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch was shot in Bastrop, Texas, after the Bastrop County Complex fire.

Climate[edit]

Bastrop tends to be cooler than other central Texas cities, but can reach 100°F in the summer. Extreme temperatures range from -1°F to 111°F.

Climate data for Bastrop, Texas
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 88
(31)
96
(36)
98
(37)
102
(39)
103
(39)
106
(41)
111
(44)
110
(43)
111
(44)
105
(41)
94
(34)
91
(33)
111
(44)
Average high °F (°C) 63
(17)
66
(19)
73
(23)
80
(27)
87
(31)
92
(33)
95
(35)
97
(36)
91
(33)
83
(28)
73
(23)
64
(18)
83
(28)
Average low °F (°C) 38
(3)
41
(5)
48
(9)
56
(13)
64
(18)
70
(21)
72
(22)
72
(22)
66
(19)
56
(13)
47
(8)
39
(4)
56
(13)
Record low °F (°C) −1
(−18)
6
(−14)
17
(−8)
25
(−4)
38
(3)
50
(10)
52
(11)
50
(10)
43
(6)
27
(−3)
20
(−7)
3
(−16)
−1
(−18)
Precipitation inches (mm) 2.56
(65)
2.54
(64.5)
2.85
(72.4)
2.65
(67.3)
4.50
(114.3)
3.66
(93)
2.23
(56.6)
2.19
(55.6)
3.69
(93.7)
4.82
(122.4)
3.30
(83.8)
2.72
(69.1)
37.71
(957.8)
Source: weather.com[5]

Demographics[edit]

As of the census[1] of 2000, there are 5340 people in Bastrop, organized into 2034 households and 1336 families. The population density is 734.8 people per square mile (283.6/km2). There are 2,239 housing units at an average density of 308.1 per square mile (118.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city is 72.34% White, 17.00% African American, 0.99% Asian, 0.73% Native American, 0.00% Pacific Islander, 7.02% from other races, and 1.91% from two or more races. 17.75% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 2,034 households out of which 32.8% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.6% are married couples living together, 15.3% have a female householder with no husband present, and 34.3% are non-families. 29.4% of all households are made up of individuals and 12.6% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.46 and the average family size is 3.05.

In the city the population is spread out with 25.5% under the age of 18, 8.3% from 18 to 24, 29.6% from 25 to 44, 21.8% from 45 to 64, and 14.8% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 36 years. For every 100 females there are 97.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 91.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $40,212, and the median income for a family is $49,258. Males have a median income of $34,388 versus $27,582 for females. The per capita income for the city is $19,862. 11.7% of the population and 10.1% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 15.6% of those under the age of 18 and 13.6% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

Historic buildings with quaint shops and restaurants line Main Street in Bastrop.
Roadhouse Restaurant on Texas State Highway 21 in Bastrop across from the entrance to Bastrop State Park

History[edit]

Spanish soldiers lived temporarily at the current site of Bastrop as early as 1804, when a fort was established where the Old San Antonio Road crossed the Colorado River and named Puesta del Colorado.

Bastrop's namesake, Felipe Enrique Neri, Baron de Bastrop, was a commoner named Philip Hendrik Nering Bogel, who was wanted for embezzlement in his native country of the Netherlands. In Texas, he assisted Moses and Stephen F. Austin in obtaining land grants in Texas, and served as S. F. Austin's land commissioner. In 1827, Stephen F. Austin located one hundred families in an area adjacent to his earlier Mexican contracts. Austin arranged for Mexican officials to name a new town there after the baron who died the same year.

Map of city in 1887

On June 8, 1832, the town was platted along conventional Mexican lines, with a square in the center and blocks set aside for public buildings. The town was named Bastrop, but two years later the Coahuila y Tejas legislature renamed it Mina in honor of Francisco Javier Mina, a Mexican martyr and hero. The town was incorporated under the laws of Texas on December 18, 1837, and the name changed back to Bastrop.

Overlooking the center of the town is the Lost Pines Forest. Composed of loblolly pines (Pinus taeda), the forest is the center of the westernmost stand of the southern pine forest. As the only timber available in the area, the forest contributed to the local economy. Bastrop began supplying Austin with lumber in 1839 and then San Antonio, the western Texas frontier, and parts of Mexico.

A fire in 1862 destroyed most of downtown Bastrop's commercial buildings and the county courthouse. As a result, most current downtown structures postdate the Civil War. In 1979, the National Register of Historic Places admitted 131 Bastrop buildings and sites to its listings. This earned Bastrop the title of the "Most Historic Small Town in Texas".

2011 fire[edit]

On September 4, 2011, two wildfires started when trees fell against power lines. The first fire started in the community of Circle D-KC Estates near Bastrop State Park, and the other fire started approximately 4 miles (6 km) north. The two fires merged into the Bastrop County Complex fire. On September 6, two lives were lost as well as 600 homes with 0% containment. On September 7, firefighters on the ground were able to get 30% containment. On September 11, fire crews had the fire 50% contained and had already lost more than 1,500 homes. On September 17, light rainfall in the area helped fire crews fight the flames. The fire was 85% contained. The fire burned until October 10 when fire officials declared the fire 100% contained. This was the worst and most destructive wildfire in Texas history as it destroyed 1,691 homes, killed two people, and caused $325 million of insured property damage. The drought in Texas at the time combined with strong winds from the Gulf of Mexico caused by Tropical Storm Lee helped fuel the fire.

Notable citizens[edit]

See also[edit]

Bastrop Christian Church is located adjacent to the municipal library.
The Bastrop Library is located in the western end of the Historic District near the First Christian Church.
Calvary Episcopal Church of Bastrop is in the Historic District.
Ascension Catholic Church on Pine Street in Bastrop is across from the county courthouse.

References[edit]

External links[edit]