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Burnet County TX
Burnet County

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Bluebonnet Capital of Texas

Burnet County Seat, Texas Hill Country

30° 45' 32" N, 98° 13' 35" W (30.758889, -98.226389)

FM 963
Hwy 281 and 29
54 miles NW of Austin
30 miles E of Llano
36 miles W of Georgetown
22 miles S of Lampasas
13 miles N of Marble Falls
100 miles N San Antonio
ZIP code 78611
Area code 512
Population: 6,406 Est. (2019)
5,987 (2010) 4,735 (2000) 3,423 (1990)

Book Hotel Here › Burnet Hotels

Burnet TX - Clock and City Hall
S.E. Corner Public Square
Click on image to enlarge

Vintage postcard courtesy Dan Whatley Collection

History in a Pecan Shell

Once named Hamilton after landowner John Hamilton, settlement began around 1849. Fort Croghan's presence provided security to the settlers. With the establishment of the county in 1852 Hamilton was made county seat, but that name was refused when the post office was applied for. Hamilton in Hamilton County had had the name for some time so the town settled instead for the name Burnet Courthouse.

A petition filed in 1857 sought a name shortening to just plain Burnet and the legislature made it law in 1858. In 1882 the Austin and Northwestern Railroad arrived and Burnet thrived as settlers in counties west of Burnet shipped their goods through the Burnet depot.

A narrow-gauge spur was set up in 1885 to bring granite to Burnet for finishing before being installed in Austin for the new Capitol. 31,000 tons of granite were excavated, moved, finished and shipped to Austin.

The railroad built on to Llano in 1892, and Burnet declined as Llano's star rose.

In April 1931 work began 10 miles west on what was originally to be called Hamilton Dam. The contracting corporation failed financially and work stopped until 1934 when the establishment of the Lower Colorado River Authority allowed completion of the renamed Buchanan Dam.

The 1874 Burnet County Courthouse TX
The 1874 Burnet County Courthouse
Photo courtesy of THC

Burnet, Texas
Landmarks / Attractions

Burnet TX - Burnet County  Courthouse Monument
Photo courtesy William Beauchamp, July 2009
Burnet County Courthouse

Burnet TX - 1884 Burnet County Jail
Photo courtesy William Beauchamp, July 2009
The former Burnet County Jail

Burnet TX - Evening on Square
Photo courtesy William Beauchamp, July 2009

Burnet TX - Clock and City Hall
Photo courtesy William Beauchamp, July 2009

Burnet TX - Badger Building
The Badger Building
Former Burnet National Bank
Former Burnet Post Office
229 S. Pierce
Photo courtesy William Beauchamp, July 2009

Historical Marker: 229 S. Pierce (Courthouse square)

The Badger Building

Completed about 1883, this two-story limestone structure is representative of other commercial buildings located on the Courthouse Square in the 1880s. It was built for local financier Dr. W. H. Westfall and Captain Brandt Badger (b. 1839), a native of Georgia who had served in the Confederate Army from Texas during the Civil War. Badger and his son Walter operated a wholesale and retail drugstore on the ground floor. The second floor area, divided into five rooms, was leased for use as office space. Badger sold the business in 1885 and later, in partnership with Adam R. Johnson, helped establish the nearby town of Marble Falls (14 mi. S).

For the latter part of the nineteenth century the structure housed a hardware store. In 1903 the newly formed Burnet National Bank was located here and remained at this site until it closed as a result of the economic depression of the 1930s.

The Badger Building has also been used by the State Parks Board, the Burnet Rural Telephone Company, the Farm Loan Association, doctors, lawyers, and various businesses. From 1948 to 1959 it served as the Burnet Post Office. In 1966 the structure was occupied by the Youth and Community Center.


Badger Building Historical Marker
Photo courtesy William Beauchamp, July 2009

Burnet TX- Burnet Bulletin
The Burnet Bulletin Building
101 E. Jackson
Photo courtesy William Beauchamp, July 2009

Historical Marker: 101 E. Jackson

The Burnet Bulletin

Established in the early 1870s, this weekly newspaper has been in continuous operation for more than one hundred years. The first editor on record was George Whitaker, who served in that position until 1874. In 1898, the paper was sold to L. C. and J. H. Chamberlain, members of a pioneer Burnet County family. The "Bulletin" remained in the ownership of the Chamberlain family until 1960. The newspaper operation has survived numerous hardships over the years, including the destruction of its offices in a 1920 fire. The "Bulletin" has been housed here since 1979.

Completed in 1872, this structure was used continuously as a general retail merchandising store until about 1900. Since that time it has served as a combination furniture store and mortuary and as telephone company offices. The second floor was used as a courtroom during the 1930s, while a new county courthouse was constructed.

With historic ties to the early days of Burnet, both the "Bulletin" and this building are important reminders of the area's heritage.


The Burnet Bulletin Historical Marker
Photo courtesy William Beauchamp, July 2009

Burnet TX - Galloway House
The Galloway House
108 E. League
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark

Photo courtesy William Beauchamp, July 2009

Historical Marker: 108 E. League

The Galloway House

The original part of this house was built in 1856. The adobe and rock residence, owned by Maj. Hugh H. Calvert, also served as an inn. Local landowner Enoch Brooks bought the home in 1885 and made major additions to the structure. Significant changes were also made by W. C. Galloway (1856-1936), who became the owner in 1899. A prominent businessman and an organizer of the First State Bank of Burnet, he served as county tax collector and mayor of the city.
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1981

The Galloway House Historical Marker
Photo courtesy William Beauchamp, July 2009

Burnet TX - Masonic Lodge, Oldest commercial building
Masonic Lodge
Oldest commercial building in Burnet
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1966
Photo courtesy William Beauchamp, July 2009

Historical Marker: 313 S. Main St., Burnet

Oldest Commercial Building in Burnet

Logan Vandeveer (1815-55), a hero of the 1836 Battle of San Jacinto, came here about 1849 as a Fort Croghan beef supplier. He became first United States Postmaster in Burnet and in 1854 built this native stone structure. With a partner named Taylor, he had a store on the ground floor. Vandeveer was a charter member of Valley Lodge No. 175, A. F. & A. M., which occupied the top floor from 1855 to 1969. The Lodge still owns the building.
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1966

Masonic Lodge Historical Marker
Photo courtesy William Beauchamp, July 2009
More Texas Lodges

Austin & Texas Central Railroad, Burnet Office.
See Texas Railroads

Photo courtesy William Beauchamp, July 2009

Burnet Texas - Our Mother of Sorrow Catholic Church
Our Mother of Sorrow Catholic Church.
More Texas Churches

Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, March 2005

Burnet TX - 1883 Bldg
1883 Building.
Photo courtesy William Beauchamp, July 2009
More Pitted Dates

Burnet TX - 1917 First Electric Plant
1917 Building - First Electric Plant
Photo courtesy William Beauchamp, July 2009

Burnet TX - Magill Cemetery
Magill Cemetery
Photo courtesy William Beauchamp, July 2009

Historical Marker: Burnet Municipal Airport

Magill Family Cemetery

Surrounded by a rock wall, the small pioneer family cemetery just west of this site is located on land that was once part of the William H. Magill homestead. Magill, a veteran of the Battle of San Jacinto, moved his family to Burnet County in 1850. He established this graveyard with the burial of his 15-year-old son, John, in 1863. The remaining four marked graves include William H. Magill (1813-1878); his second wife, Elizabeth (1831-1914); and his parents, Nancy (1792-1865) and Samuel (1783-1865) Magill. At least one unmarked grave is known to exist.


Magill Cemetery Historical Marker
Photo courtesy William Beauchamp, July 2009

Burnet TX - Cemetery View
Photo courtesy William Beauchamp, July 2009
More Texas Cemeteries

Burnet, Texas Attractions

  • Burnet County Courthouse

  • Burnet County Jail

  • Black Rock Park - 18 miles west on Lake Buchanan

  • Burnet County Park - Fishing camp. Hwy 29 West, RM2341 North.

  • Fort Croghan Museum

  • Highland Lakes CAF Air Museum

  • Highland Lakes Golf Course

  • Hill Country Flyer -Two-hour steam train ride through scenic Hill Country to and from Cedar Park City Hall and Burnet.
    Saturdays and Sundays. Fare. 512-477-8468.

  • Inks Lake National Fish Hatchery

  • Inks Lake State Park - 12 miles west
    3630 Park Road 4 West Burnet TX 78611 512/793-2223

  • Longhorn Cavern State Park -
    11 miles SW, US 281 and Park Road 4.
    P.O. Box 732 Burnet, Texas 78611 1-877-441-CAVE 830/598-CAVE

    Scenic Drive
    Take Hwy 29 W to RM 2341 northwest, a scenic route to Spider Mountain overlooking Lake Buchanan

    Annual Event
    Annual Bluebonnet Festival - Second weekend in April

    Burnet Tourist Information
    Burnet Chamber of Commerce - 512-756-4297

  • Wildflowers in Burnet County Texas
    Wildflowers in Burnet County
    Photo courtesy Ernie Wymer, May 2007

    Burnet, Texas Chronicles

  • Peaches by Mike Cox
    Most peach trees seldom make it past their first decade of existence. That’s what made the peach tree outside the old stone structure in Burnet at the site of Fort Croghan so unusual...more

  • The Mysteries of Buffalo Cave by Michael Barr
    Buffalo Cave, near Johnson City in Blanco County, has been a place of mystery since cattlemen first discovered its dark entrance while grazing their herds along the Pedernales River in the 1800s.

  • Burnet, Texas Forum

  • Subject: Waldine Tauch
    I read with interest your article on Waldine Tauch and her father. Thank you for this. However, I would point out that seven Tauch pieces are part of our collection, including the original plasters from which the bronzes were cast for the Texas Ranger, Pippa Passes, Higher Education, and Buckner Group. Tauch had a special relationship with Panhandle-Plains as she also left twelve Pompeo Coppini pieces to PPHM as well. You might add Canyon and Burnet (Buckner Children's Home) to the places one can see her work. Keep up the good work about Texas. - Respectfully, Michael R. Grauer, Curator of Art Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, Canyon, Texas, September 23, 2005

  • Take a road trip

    Texas Hill Country

    Burnet, Texas Nearby Towns:
    Marble Falls
    See Burnet County

    Book Hotel Here:
    Burnet Hotels | More Hotels
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