De Leon

Forts Trail Region

The Texas Central Railroad reached the Leon River valley in 1881, enroute to Colorado, and established De Leon to attract Southern cotton farmers to this fertile area. By 1910 the Mexican boll weevil thwarted cotton production, so farmers turned to peanuts and fruit. Right away De Leon saw the benefit of promoting its agricultural prowess. In 1914 the town held its first Peach and Melon Festival, and the annual event still draws locals and visitors each August for a parade, domino tournament, classic car show and watermelon seed-spitting contest. While in town visitors grab a milkshake or float at the 1920s soda fountain at Weaver Drug, which four generations of Weavers have operated since 1904. You can also marvel at the dozen or so four-wheeled wonders at the Terrill Antique Car Museum. The flashiest car is undoubtedly the fire engine-red 1941 Packard Deluxe Convertible Coupe. Hands down the most unusual, however, is the rare 1901 Coffin steam carriage, the only one ever made.