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 Texas : Towns A-Z / Hill Country :

ROUND MOUNTAIN, TEXAS

Blanco County, Texas Hill Country
US 281 and FM 962
11 Miles N of Johnson City
25 Miles N of Blanco
S of Marble Falls and Burnet
Population: 111 ( 2000) 059 (1990)

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Round Mountain Tx -  Closed Church
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, August 2006
More Texas Churches

History in a Pecan Shell

In 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 and Austin.

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.

After 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.

In 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.

Photographer's Note:
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 Gibson
Round Mountain Tx Closed Building
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, August 2006
Round Mountain Tx - Rock house with rock wall
Rock wall, rock house
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, August 2006
Historical Marker - US 281 East 1/8 miles on RR 962

Joseph Bird

(July 15, 1821-August 15, 1909)
For 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.

(1994)
Historical Marker - 265 Bird Lane, Round Mountain (off FM 962)

Joseph and Eliza Bird Residence

Once 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.
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 2005

Suggested Reading:
TO BUILD A HOUSE: Texas Log Cabins and Log Houses by C. F. Eckhardt
Related Topics:
Texas Buildings
Texas Historic Homes
Blanco County Texas 1907 Postal map
1907 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
Round Mountain, Texas
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