Independence Trail Region

Think Lockhart and think barbecue. The Texas legislature even named it the “Barbecue Capital of Texas.” It’s also known for a nine-block historic district centered on the elaborate 1894 Second Empire-style Caldwell County Courthouse. A historical marker on the square recounts the 1840 Battle of Plum Creek, in which a volunteer army ended a nearby Comanche uprising, pushing the warriors westward.

Vast herds of cattle moving north on the Chisholm Trail passed through Caldwell County. Two routes converged here, one heading north from Lockhart and another through the northwest corner of the county along the old San Antonio-Nacogdoches Road. In Lockhart, the Caldwell County Museum houses county memorabilia and offers exhibits detailing its involvement in the cattle-driving era. Lockhart celebrates this heritage at the Chisholm Trail Roundup and Kiwanis Rodeo the second weekend in June each year. The festival has events and activities for everyone, including a fiddling contest, barbecue cook-off, parade and rodeo.

Just twelve miles northeast of Lockhart is St. John Colony, a freedmen’s community that took its name from the St. John Missionary Baptist Church, founded in 1873, shortly after settlers led by the Rev. John Henry Winn arrived in the area. Across the road from the church is the official marker for the cemetery, which includes the graves of many of the colony’s original inhabitants. (SM) 12 miles northeast of Lockhart on FM 672, 0.2 miles east of CR 294/CR 167 intersection.