Bankersmith, Texas

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Ghost town
Coordinates: 30°08′23″N 98°49′09″W / 30.13972°N 98.81917°W / 30.13972; -98.81917Coordinates: 30°08′23″N 98°49′09″W / 30.13972°N 98.81917°W / 30.13972; -98.81917
Country USA
State Texas
County Kendall
Founded by San Antonio, Fredericksburg and Northern Railway
 • Total 0 (Officially)

Bankersmith (also sometimes written as Banker Smith[1]) is a ghost town in Kendall County, Texas, USA.[2] The town was founded in 1913. It lies approximately halfway between Fredericksburg and Comfort, near the border of Gillespie County.

History and geography[edit]

Bankersmith Train Station[edit]

Bankersmith originated in 1913 as a train station along the San Antonio, Fredericksburg and Northern Railway which served nearby Grapetown, Texas, running between Fredericksburg and Comfort.[3] The town and rail station drew its name of "Bankersmith" from Temple Doswell Smith, an important Fredericksburg bank president who financed the railroad.[3][4] In the early 1940s, the railroad abandoned the line running through Bankersmith.

Old Route 9 / Old San Antonio Road[edit]

Old Route 9 / Old San Antonio Road is the first paved road running north into Fredericksburg, that ran through Bankersmith after the founding of the Bankersmith Train Station.[3]

However the much later U.S. Route 87 did not pass through Bankersmith, it later on became an important alternative route between Fredericksburg and Comfort.[3][4]

Bankersmith Post Office[edit]

During the 1920s, Bankersmith reached its peak population of approximately 50. The post office was sometimes listed as being in Kendall County and sometimes listed in Gillespie County, depending on the abode of the current Postmaster. It was surrounded by a small business district which served the train station.[4] By the 1940s, the town was all but abandoned and the post office was gone—although some residents persisted into the 1960s.[4]

The Old Tunnel of the San Antonio, Fredericksburg and Northern Railway[edit]

As the town was located in the Texas Hill Country, it is near one of the few railroad tunnels in the state (the only railroad tunnel in Texas when it was constructed). The tunnel is 962 feet in length, took 6 months to dig, and cost $134,000 at the time.[3] The tunnel is now part of Old Tunnel State Park and the home to thousands of bats.[5] The Old Tunnel State Park provides an extensive amount of parking area for would be visitors, it is at the intersection of Old San Antonio Road and Alamo Road. Meanwhile the southern end of the tunnel resides at 30°6'2"N and 98°49'15"W.[6]

Major Highways[edit]

Plans for Bikini, Texas[edit]

In 2012, it was reported that restauranteur Doug Guller had purchased parts of the town on Craigslist, saying that he would rename the town to "Bikinis, Texas" after Bikinis Sports Bar & Grill, his restaurant chain. The identity of the seller and the purchase price are not known, also some have questioned Guller's ability to rename a town that no longer officially exists.[7]

Guller declared his intentions to turn the town into a tourist destination by creating a hall of fame for the bikini swimsuit, presenting its history beginning with its invention in 1946. Guller has said he had no plans to open a Bikinis Sports Bar & Grill restaurant at the location, but might start a bar inside an abandoned bus there.[7] The bus resides at 30°8'24"N and 98°49'8"W.[8]

In 2015, Guller reverted to the name Bankersmith, wanting to mend fences with Fredericksburg.[9]


  1. ^ "Bikinis, Texas: History in a Pecan Shell". Bikinis Sports Bar & Grill. 17 July 2012. Retrieved 26 July 2012. 
  2. ^ "Bankersmith, Texas". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Zelade, Richard (2011). Lone Star Guide to the Texas Hill Country. Lone Star Travel Guides (6th ed.). Lanham, MD: Taylor Trade Publications. ISBN 1589796098. 
  4. ^ a b c d Smyrl, Vivian Elizabeth (1999). "Bankersmith, Texas". The Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 26 July 2012. 
  5. ^ [1] 'The old railroad tunnel of Bankersmith, Texas'
  6. ^ [2] The Southern End of the Old Tunnel
  7. ^ a b Shaw, Alexis (19 July 2012). ""Breastaurant" Chain Owner Buys Texas Town, Renames it Bikinis". ABC News (ABC News). Retrieved 26 July 2012. 
  8. ^ [3] 'The Abandoned Bus'
  9. ^ "Bye, bye, Bikinis, Texas. Hill Country town no longer exists". Austin American-Statesman. June 24, 2015. Retrieved June 27, 2015.