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Bandera County TX
Bandera County

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AKA J.P. Rodriquez Settlement

Texas Ghost Town
Bandera County, Texas Hill Country

2 Miles N of State Highway 16
About 6 Miles NE of Bandera on Privilege Creek
Population: Unknown

Polly, Texas Area Hotels:
Bandera Hotels | Austin Hotels
Polly TX - 1882 Polly's Chapel
The 1882 Polly's Chapel
Photo courtesy The John J. Germann Collection, May 2018

History in a Pecan Shell

The settlement dates from the late 1850s when José Policarpo (Polly) Rodríguez started ranching here. There were enough school-age children just after the Civil War for it to qualify as one of Bandera County's school districts. In 1991 the state granted its first free school. 1888 saw the opening of a post office.

The population peaked in the mid-1890s when 300 residents called the place home. Shortly thereafter, residents started moving away and the post office closed its doors in 1912, two years prior to the death of the town's namesake.

A historical marker 8 miles NE of Bandera on SH 16 commemorates "Polly's Chapel." Built of native stone by Mr. Rodriquez himself in 1882.

Polly's Chapel

From Bandera, SH 16 about 8 miles NE to Privilege Creek Bridge.
North on County Road about 3 miles to Polly's Chapel.
Polly TX - 1882 Polly's Chapel
Polly's Chapel
Photo courtesy The John J. Germann Collection, May 2018
Polly TX - Polly's Chapel historical marker
Polly's Chapel historical marker
Photo courtesy The John J. Germann Collection, May 2018
Historical Marker

Polly's Chapel

Named for Policarpo Rodriguez (1829-1914), Texas Ranger, Army Scout and Guide; 1858 Privilege Creek settler. Converted here to Methodist faith, built with his own hands, in 1882, chapel of native stone, where he and others have preached.
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, 1965.
Polly TX - Polly's Chapel cornerstone
Polly's Chapel cornerstone
Photo courtesy The John J. Germann Collection, May 2018
More Texas Cornerstones
Polly TX - Polly's Chapel est. 1882
Polly's Chapel, est. 1882
Photo courtesy The John J. Germann Collection, May 2018
[ More Texas Churches ]

Polly's Chapel Cemetery

Privilege Creek Cemetery,
Jose Policarpo "Polly" Rodriguez Cemetery,
Polly's Cemetery

NE of Bandera on Privilege Creek Road
west of Privilege Creek
Polly TX - Bandera County  Polly's Cemetery
Polly's Cemetery sign & gate
Photo courtesy The John J. Germann Collection, May 2018
Polly TX - Jose Policarpo Rodriguez  tombstone
Jose Policarpo Rodriguez tombstone
Photo courtesy The John J. Germann Collection, May 2018
Jose Policarpo "Polly" Rodriguez
Portrait of Jose Policarpo "Polly" Rodriguez, Founder of Polly, Texas
Polly TX - Bandera County  Polly's Cemetery tombstones
Polly's Cemetery tombstones
Photo courtesy The John J. Germann Collection, May 2018
Polly TX - Bandera County  Polly's Cemetery
Polly's Cemetery
Photo courtesy The John J. Germann Collection, May 2018
[ More Texas Cemeteries ]

Polly TX Schoolhouse

Polly Schoolhouse
Photo courtesy The John J. Germann Collection, May 2018
More Texas Schoolhouses

Photographer's Note:

"I stumbled upon a bygone community in the hill country of Bandera County - Polly. Except it's not completely bygone, thanks to the efforts of a small group of very proud and history-conscious locals who formed the Polly Texas Pioneer Association. They have done quite a bit of restoration already to begin bringing the originally Tejano town back to life. And they hope to do more, with increased volunteers and donations (see www.pollytexaspioneerassociation.org)." - John J. Germann, June 03, 2018

A Trip to Polly's Chapel
(From Bandera, Texas by Byron Browne)

"... Our final stop that day was to ‘Polly’s Chapel’. This small sanctuary was built, by hand, by José Policarpo Rodriguez, a Mexican immigrant turned army scout turned Methodist preacher who determined, in 1882, that the town of Polly, Texas, then around 300 people, needed this church. Located off highway 16 about six miles east of town we had to double back since I missed the turn the first time. The road to the chapel is called “Privilege Creek” and runs off of a street named ‘Bear Creek Road’ according to the Bandera county map we acquired from the visitor’s bureau. If you come in from the east you will see a large white marker indicating the road and chapel. If you, like us, are leaving town, all you can make out is the blank, back of the sign. (That’s my excuse.)

If you’re making the journey (it should be described as nothing short of that) just remember that you are probably going the right direction and keep following the small, hand-made signs for a few miles. The one lane paved road crosses a couple of draws before it becomes dirt and rock and stays this way until you reach the church. As with so many Texas destinations, the chapel really is “just around the bend.”

Polly’s Chapel is such a unique spot that I’ll resist trying to describe it. I could never do it justice. The chapel is open most days and in fact, there is a flyer in doors describing who to call for events there.

Like the town of Bandera, this little church in the woods is best described by each individual who visits..." › Read full article

© Byron Browne
January 31, 2008

Polly, TX Bandera County 1910 postmark info
Polly, TX Bandera County 1910 postmark
Postcard canceled with Polly, TX 1910 postmark
Courtesy The John J. Germann Collection

TX Bandera  County 1907 Postal Map
1907 Bandera County postal map showing Polly NE of Bandera
near Kerr County line
(From Texas state map #2090
Courtesy Texas General Land Office

Take a road trip

Polly, Texas Nearby Towns:
Bandera | Kerrville | Medina | Vanderpool
San Antonio
See Bandera County | Hill Country

Book Hotel Here:
Bandera Hotels | More Hotels
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