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  • FENTRESS, TEXAS

    Caldwell County, Central Texas S
    On the San Marcos River
    Highway 20 and Highway 80
    8 Miles W of Luling
    11 Miles SE of San Marcos
    42 Miles S of Austin
    Population: 291 (2000)

    Fentress, Texas Area Hotels:
    San Marcos Hotels

    Fentress Texas closed church
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2006
    More Texas Churches
    History in a Pecan Shell

    The town began in the late 1860 with the appropriate name of Riverside.

    It was renamed in 1892 to honor James Fentress, the town’s first physician. The following year the town was granted its first post office. The community was fortunate to be on the mail route between San Marcos and Luling, so the mail was received daily.

    The population in the mid 1890s was 150 residents.

    A waterworks was set in place in 1898 and the town was electrified four years later.

    In 1915 the population had doubled to 300 people. That same year a resort was built to take advantage of the riverside location. Facilities included bathhouses and camping amenities.

    The facilities were sold within two years and expanded under the new ownership. Dancing was permitted, which greatly concerned local churches. Soon after the churches expressed concern, the town’s water tower collapsed onto the bank. Was it divine intervention or an early case of money laundering?

    The population peaked in 1929 with 500 residents and the community had a shared experience with Luling with oil exploration. It became an important source of income during the 30s. But the Great Depression hit the town hard and by 1940 there were only 250 people left.

    The local school merged with neighboring Prairie Lea in the 1940s. One of the casualties of the decline was the closing of a hog farm that had supplied driving pigs for Aquarena Springs, the once famous tourist attraction.

    The population was reported as 85 in 1990 and has since increased to 291 for the 2000 census.
    Fentress Methodist Church
    Fentress Methodist Church
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2006
    More Texas Churches
    Fentress Tx Clearview Baptist Church
    Clearview Baptist Church (just South of Fentress)
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2006
    More Texas Churches
    Fentress Tx Clearview Baptist Church marker

    Marker for the Clearview Church
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2006
    More Texas Churches

    Fentress Texas corrugated tin structure
    Mysterious Markings on Corrugated Iron
    TE photo, March 2008
    See Texas Architecture
    Fentress Texas tree over San Marcos River

    The old swimming hole
    TE photo, March 2008

    Fentress Texas San Marcos River

    Remains of the old low-water crossing over the San Marcos River
    TE photo, March 2008
    See Texas Rivers

    Texas Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history, stories, and vintage/historic photos of their town, please contact us.
    Fentress, Texas
    Area Destinations:
    Luling
    San Marcos
    Austin

    Book Hotels:
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