Some of the towns have faded away. Others have blossomed into new suburban communities. Each name on the map around Austin has its own story. Here are some of these stories:
Bee Cave is named after the Mexican Honeybees that flourished along Barton Creek and tributaries. A crossroads in Western Travis County, the Village of Bee Cave was incorporated in 1987 to avoid City of Austin annexation. Bee Cave is home to The Backyard open-air live music venue.
Buda started as a station on the new railroad in 1881. The depot name was change to Buda after the original name didn’t meet post office requirements. A small hotel was locally known as “The Buda House” named after the widows who worked there as cooks (Buda being a corruption of the 6mm creedmoor Spanish word “viuda” or widow). Buda was a small agricultural center for many years and is now growing into a large bedroom community south of Austin. Buda is the host of Budafest and the annual Wiener Dog races.
Attracted by the spring on Brushy Creek, Native Americans inhabited the area around what is now Cedar Park for thousands of years. The original Anglo settlement was called Running Brushy after the spring. The railroad initially called the station stop Bruggerhoff when it arrived in 1882 but the local residents didn’t like it. The community was renamed Cedar Park in 1887. Cedar Park has had long connections to the cattle industry with the founding family settling in the area with land purchased after a successful cattle drive on the Chisholm Trail.
The town was renamed from Creekmoor to Creedmoor as an expression of faith. Creedmoor was home to cotton gins for many years to support the local cotton farmers. Creedmoor is home to the famous Wilhite’s BBQ that has recently relocated at the intersection of FM 1327 & FM 1625, but still locally known for good food. The Texas Disposal System landfill is located just west of Creedmoor and includes an exotic game ranch.
Del Valle’s history goes back to a Mexican land grant to Santiago Del Valle in 1812. The community and post office was named after this land grant. The area’s farming focused changed when World War II requirements brought Del Valle Army Air Field in 1942. The airbase was renamed Bergstrom Field in 1943 in honor of an Austinite, Captain John Bergstrom, killed in the Philippines at Clark Field, December 8, 1941. In 1993, the airbase was repurposed to become Austin-Bergstrom Airport.
Dripping Springs, “The Gateway to the Texas Hill Country,” was started by three pioneer families in 1854. Dripping Springs was located along the military supply and stage road between Austin to Fredericksburg. The community was named in 1857 by Indiana “Nannie” Moss, wife of John Moss, the first postmaster. The “dripping springs” are an outlet of the Edward’s Aquifer at Milk House Branch that drips inside the limestone caves along this creek.
Elgin, the “Sausage Capital of Texas,” is home to famous Elgin Hot Sausage. The farmland in the area was part of Stephen Austin’s Little Colony founded prior to Texas independence. Elgin was named after the Houston & Texas Central railroad land official, Robert Morris Elgin, in 1872 and became a thriving depot town. The historic 1903 passenger depot at the rail junction now is a museum. Local clay deposits still support two large brick factories. The historic main street of Elgin has been used as movie sets, including 1974’s, “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.”
The first Formula One raceway will soon completely transform this small unincorporated community in Southeast Travis County. Elroy is named after a local storeowner’s son Leroy. The community was founded in 1892 and had a post office briefly 1899 to 1902. The school house building still exists just off FM 812. It was closed in 1961 when the area schools were consolidated into what became the Del Valle ISD.
The town name comes from the founder Captain Fergus Kyle of the Terry Texas Rangers of Civil War fame who donated land for the townsite. A descendant, Edwin Kyle, legendary Dean of the Texas A&M School of Agriculture is a famous former resident and namesake of Texas A&M’s Kyle Field football stadium. Kyle is home to Thunderhill Stockcar raceway.
Like most of Central Texas, the Lakeway area was Tonkawa Indian country until the tribe was displaced with Anglo settlement in the middle of the 19th century. Two early pioneers left names that are well known today. Lohmann’s Ford Road (now mis-spelled “Lohman’s” and the road was renamed Lohman’s Crossing Road) is from an industrist German immigrant John Henry Lohmann who established a crossing of the Colorado River. James Hudson and family had started a homestead in 1854 on what is now called Hudson Bend. The town of Lakeway started with a resort development including the Lakeway Inn and a marina on Lake Travis that opened in 1963. The Village of Lakeway was incorporated i