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    OTTINE, TEXAS

    Texas Ghost Town
    Gonzales County, Central Texas S
    FM 209 and FM 1586
    Adjoining the Palmetto State Park
    9 miles NW of Gonzales
    7 miles S of Luling

    Population 106 (estimate 2000)

    Ottine's Texas Area Hotels
    Gonzales Hotels

    Ottine, Texas 1890s nin-pin bowling league
    A Nine-pin "bowling" league in Ottine c. 1890s.
    Click on photo for large image
    Photo Courtesy of Gonzales County Records Center

    History in a Pecan Shell

    The town's name was cobbled together when Adolf Otto and his wife Christine decided that the previous name of Otto's Mill could stand improvement. It was also known for a brief time as Otto's Station when the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway made it a stop on their route.

    The Ottos had naming rights since it was Adolph who had built a water gin in 1879. The mill ran on water provided by the sulfur springs in the swamp next to the town. Ottine prospered enough to warrant a general store and post office by 1892. The business was opened by the sons of Christine and Adoph.

    By 1897 Ottine had two general stores as well as most essential businesses and a gristmill (courtesy of the San Marcos River).

    As difficult as it is to imagine today, local farmers produced 7,000 bales of cotton in the single year of 1899. In 1915 the population was estimated at 200 but ten years later it had declined to a mere 100.

    198 acres of the Ottine Swamp was bought by the state in 1933 and it was renamed as Palmetto State Park. Four years later the Warm Springs Foundation for Crippled Children (Texas Rehabilitation Center of Gonzales ) set up a facility at the site. As a result, Ottine's population doubled to an estimated 200 by the end of WWII.

    The population returned to the 100-person range in the mid 1960s and it decreased to 90 in 1990, rebounding to the present estimate of 106.

    See
    Ottine Post Office
    >
    Ottine, Texas Forum
    >

    Ottine Post Office

    US post office, Ottine, Texas postcard
    The Post Office as Postcard.
    TE Archives
    The post office which was considered by many (or at least the photographer who made a post card of it) to be one of the more picturesque post offices in Texas has been replaced by a modern modular post office.

    Assistant postmaster Shirley C. related the story (in 2000) of how the building had once been photographed without the permission of the postmaster. After returning from a vacation, the postmaster fired off a letter to the printing company suggesting possible litigation. A short time later several boxes of postcards were delivered to the post office and the matter was never mentioned again.
    Ottine, Texas post office, 1999
    The post office as it appeared in 1999.
    TE Photo
    TX - Ottine post office closed
    The post office front door - in the shade of Chinaberry trees
    TE Photo
    Texas - Ottine post office interior showing old mailboxes
    The post office interior in 1999.
    TE Photo
    Ottine, Texas return to sender postmark
    Return to Ottine

    Ottine, Texas Forum

    Subject: Ottine and Palmetto State Park
    I just happened across your website and I have been reading info from places I have been, I have enjoyed "Waxing Nostalgic".

    I wanted to let you know that Ottine had two rehabilitation facilities up until the 1980's. The Warm Springs Foundation Hospital and The Texas Elks Hospital for crippled (I hate that word) children. Warm Springs was funded mainly by the March of Dimes while the Elks Club of Texas funded the other. Most of the kids at the Elks Hospital were from lower socioeconomic backgrounds of which I was one. After contracting polio in 1952 I was lucky enough to wind up at the Elks Hospital for treatment. As I was reading "History in a Pecan Shell" it aroused many memories of my life there. One of my favorite memories is the canopy of trees on Park Road 11, the mustang grapes growing wild along the roadside were the best things I have ever eaten. I have enjoyed traveling all over Texas but I always feel I am home when I go back and drive around Ottine and Palmetto State Park.
    -
    Tom Billings, December 19, 2011

    Texas Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history and vintage/historic photos of their town/subject, please contact us.

    Ottine, Texas
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