in a Pecan ShellIn
1854 Joseph Bird arrived here and made
his home alongside the creek. A post office opened in the late 1850s with the
name coming from a nearby topographical feature. The community was a stop on the
stage line between Fredericksburg
By the 1880s, Round
Mountain was an established health resort and the local businesses reflected the
out-of-town clientele, while maintaining the necessary businesses for the year-round
residents. The 1890 census reported 200 people which doubled by 1896.
1900 a decline set in. From its peak of 400 residents, it fell to 100 in the 1920s
and remained there for years. Churches closed and in 1931 the local school merged
with those in Johnson Cityís ISD.
1950 it remained at 100 but by 1952 it was down to 80. Twenty years later it reached
73 people. It didnít stop there. The 1990 Census reported a new low of 59.
In 1989 Round Mountain incorporated.
The National Register of Historic
Places has entered the 1874 Round Mountain Stagecoach Inn into its rolls. The
1854 cabin of Joseph Bird has been restored, as has the 1876 Methodist church.
Round Mountain is located on FM 962 just east of US 281,
11 miles northeast of Johnson City. The Aluminum
Historical marker states that there was once a store, hotel and Post Office here.
No mention is made of the church. This marker is probably the one seen in front
of the church. - Barclay
Marker - US 281 East 1/8 miles on RR 962|
15, 1821-August 15, 1909)
more than 50 years after becoming a pioneer settler of this area, North Carolina
native Joseph Bird greatly contributed to the development of Blanco County as
a distinguished frontier Baptist minister, postmaster, Civil War soldier, county
judge, rancher, and prominent community leader. Bird married Eliza L. Doriss in
Arkansas in 1844. About 1854 they and their six children settled on land between
Cypress Creek and the Pedernales
River. They built a log cabin close to this site about 1858 and eventually
their family grew to include 12 children.
The area's pioneer settlement,
called Birdtown in Joseph's honor, was renamed Round Mountain by
the time a post office was established here in 1857. Bird served as postmaster
in 1859-66 and in 1873-74. For the Baptist churches he helped found in the area
Bird served as an itinerant pastor and performed marriages, baptisms, and funeral
services. He enlisted in the Confederate army as a first lieutenant in 1862 and
was stationed at Camp Groce, Waller County, Texas. Bird moved to Johnson
City while serving his two terms as Blanco county judge in the early 1890s.
Eliza Bird died in 1896 and in 1900 Joseph married Martha A. Gill. Bird was buried
in the Round Mountain Cemetery.
Marker - 265 Bird Lane, Round Mountain (off FM 962)|
and Eliza Bird ResidenceOnce
home to area pioneer Joseph Bird, his
wife Eliza, and their extended family, portions of this house date to the mid-1850s.
Two single-pen log cabins, built at different times and exhibiting different construction
techniques, eventually were joined together to form a dogtrot cabin under one
roof, with limestone chimneys at the east and west ends. By the 1880s, the family
built a half-story addition and full-length porch on the front, and shed rooms
at the rear. Vertical cypress siding covered the exterior until a 1980s renovation
revealed much of the original log construction.
Texas Historic Landmark - 2005
BUILD A HOUSE: Texas Log Cabins and Log Houses by C. F. Eckhardt
Texas Historic Homes
Blanco County Postal map showing Round Mountain|
(Above "N" in "B-L-A-N-C-O"
near Hays County line)
Courtesy Texas General Land Office