Bastrop, first established in 1804 as Puesta del Colorado – a fort built along the banks of the Colorado River – acquired its official name later from Stephen F. Austin. Austin’s longtime friend and coworker, German colonist Baron de Bastrop, received the honor when Austin attempted to form his “Little Colony” at the location, wanting to move a hundred families to the riverside site. Comanche depredation overwhelmed the first colonists, however, and it wasn’t until the 1830’s that Bastrop began to flourish. Proximity to the vast loblolly pine forests turned Bastrop into a lumber town, a prosperity that lasted into the early 20th century. Its population swelled during World War II thanks to the establishment of nearby Camp Swift. Adjacent Bastrop State Park enjoyed the benefits of Roosevelt’s New Deal as Civilian Conservation Corps crews built roads, structures, dams, and helped revitalize forest land compromised by clear-cutting.
Today, Bastrop has recaptured and restored the best of its past, including the Bastrop Opera House and, as a Texas Main Street City, the charm of its commercial riverside downtown. Make your first stop the Bastrop Visitor Center at 702 Main Street. All the information you need is at your fingertips including six walking and driving tours featuring homes, history and cemetery lore. Stay to shop for local art, dine and watch the sun set on the Colorado with guides to featuring great shopping, favorite restaurants and historic accommodations from rustic to stately.
Bastrop boasts a state cultural district designated by the Texas Commission on the Arts. Explore all they have to offer on your next visit!