TexasEscapes.com HOME Welcome to Texas Escapes
A magazine written by Texas
Custom Search
New   |   Texas Towns   |   Ghost Towns   |   Counties   |   Trips   |   Features   |   Columns   |   Architecture   |   Images   |   Archives   |   Site Map

Bandera County TX
Bandera County

Texas Counties

Texas Towns
A - Z

Txas Trips
Texas Trips

Bandera Hotels

More Hotels



"Cowboy Capital of the World"

Bandera County Seat, Texas Hill Country

29° 43' 30" N, 99° 4' 20" W (29.725, -99.072222)

Highway 16 and Hwy 173
23 miles W of Boerne
25 miles S of Kerrville
30 miles N of Hondo
47 miles NW of downtown San Antonio
30 miles E of Vanderpool on scenic FM337
Population: 900 Est. (2019)
857 (2010) 957 (2000) 877 (1990)

Book Hotel Here › Bandera Hotels

Bandera TX  water tower & cowboy metal  sign
Bandera water tower & signature cowboy metal sign
Photo courtesy Chia-Wei Wang, August 2006

Bandera became "Cowboy Capital of the World" in part because of its numerous Dude Ranches. The area became popular with San Antonians wanting to escape the city's summer heat - and in the 20s and 30s - with increased car ownership (Bandera never had a railroad) "Dude Ranches" started appearing. Several of the oldest are still in business today.

History on a Cypress Shingle

The numerous Cypress trees along the region's creeks provided wood for shingle manufacturing and a mill was set up in 1852. This was the first business in Bandera - although the end product was sold in San Antonio.

Polish immigrants entered the area and set up St. Stanislaus Catholic Church - the second Polish Catholic Church after St. Mary's in Panna Maria (Karnes County). Father Leopold Moczygemba, founder of Panna Maria also established the Polish community here.

Several historical markers are in the immediate vicinity. One honoring the oldest founding resident (Amasa Clark who died at the age of 101) and another for the last Indian victim in Bandera County.

[ See The Bandera Tragedy Tree ]

Bandera Texas metal art signs
One of the metal art signs lining Bandera main street
Photo courtesy Chia-Wei Wang, August 2006

Bandera Area Landmarks / Attractions:

Bandera County Courthouse, Texas
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson
Bandera County Courthouse

Burlington, Kentucky and Bandera, Texas:
The Courthouse Twins

Feature to Feature Comparison of Kentucky's Boone County Courthouse & Texas' Bandera County Courthouse

Former Bandera County jail, a stone jail, Bandera, Texas
Former Bandera County jail
designed by Alfred Giles c. 1881
One block SE of Hwy 16 in Bandera
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, January 2003

Historical Marker:

Bandera County Jail

Built 1881.
Local stone, cypress floors used.
Housed county offices until 1890. Used 57 years.
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, 1965.

More Texas Jails

St. Stanislaus Catholic Church, Bandera Texas
St. Stanislaus Catholic Church
Photo courtesy Byron Browne, December 2007

  • St. Stanislaus Catholic Church: 7th Street and Cypress Street. The Church dates from 1876, although the steeple wasn't erected until 1906

  • Frontier Times Museum:
    13th Street at Pecan Street 210-796-3864
    One of the more interesting museums in the state since it started so early (1920s) when historical items curios were abundant. Over 30,000 items on display.

  • Other architecturally interesting buildings are:
    The Old First National Bank Building 309 Main Street
    The Oldest Stone Building c.1855 Cypress Street at 11th Street
    The Huffmeyer Store at Main and Cypress c.1875
  • Hill Country State Natural Area
    11 miles southwest of Bandera 5,400 acres of primitive camping and equestrian trails. Over 4,500 acres provide trails for people who bring in their own horses to ride. The area was a gift from Louise Lindsey Merrick who presented it to the state in the 1970s. 830-796-4413

  • St. Stanislaus Catholic Cemetery, Bandera Texas
    St. Stanislaus Catholic Cemetery
    Photo courtesy Byron Browne, December 2007
    Visiting Bandera
    by Byron Browne

    Texas - Bandera Hanging Tree
    Photo courtesy Irene Van Winkle, July 3, 2011
    See The Bandera Tragedy Tree

    Bandera TX - Texas Rangers mural 'Kelly's Coffee'
    "Kelly's Coffee" mural by Bill Stevens
    Photo courtesy Bill Stevens
    More Bandera Texas Murals

    Polly, TX -Polly's Chapel
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, August 2004
    Polly's Chapel in Polly, Texas
    (NE of Bandera)

    Bandera Pass

    1936 Centennial Marker:

    Bandera Pass
    Celebrated Indian pass known from the earliest days of Spanish settlement. Identified with many a frontier fight and many a hostile inroad. Old Ranger trail from the Medina to the Guadalupe River and the United States Army route between frontier posts followed this route through the mountains.

    Bandera Pass marker
    Bandera Pass Centennial Marker
    TE Photo, 2001
    Bandera is situated along the banks of the Medina River. The name, according to legend, was either named after a Spanish Officer named Bandera or after a large flag (Bandera) that marked the Bandera Pass - the agreed upon boundary that kept the Indians separated from the Spanish settlers. The pass was the scene of several encounters between Rangers, and Indians.

    The pass is north 12 miles on Hwy 173 just north of the cutoff for FM 2828.

    Bandera TX - Longhorns crossing the Medina
    Longhorns crossing the Medina
    Photo courtesy Bill Stevens
    See Bandera Texas Murals

    Bandera Texas ruins of the Silver Spur Dance Hall
    Ruins of the Silver Spur Dance Hall.
    Photo courtesy Byron Browne, December 2007
    See Visiting Bandera
    by Byron Browne

    Downtown Bandera Texas,  water tower & cowboy metal sign
    Downtown Bandera
    Photo courtesy Chia-Wei Wang, August 2006
    More Texas Water Towers

    Bandera TX   cactus
    Cactus in Bandera
    Photo courtesy Chia-Wei Wang, August 2006

    Book Hotel Here
    Bandera Hotels | More Hotels

    Bandera Chronicles
  • Lizzie Hay and the Demise of the Lone Highwayman by Mike Cox

    Sometimes, no matter how good the story, a compelling tale gets forgotten. That’s sure the case with the Texas outlaw known in his day as “the lone highwayman.”

  • Frontier Times by Mike Cox

    In the fall of 1923, with the Old West still very much alive in the memory of many who had lived it, a peregrinating newspaperman named J. Marvin Hunter started a monthly magazine called Frontier Times... In all, his name had appeared on the masthead of 16 newspapers at various times, but the Bandera New Era (which he published from 1921 to 1935) and later the Bandera Bulletin (1945 until his death in 1957) were his two longest-running newspapers.

  • Hardin Ranch Rodeo - Early Rodeos Were Thrilling and Dangerous by Michael Barr

    "Toots Mansfield from Bandera won the calf roping and the double mugging events at the Hardin Ranch Rodeo in 1935. Toots was a 6 time World Champion calf roper and a member of the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame."

  • Bandera Texas Forum
  • Ezra Alpheus Chipman Family Photos from 1907

  • Bandera Texas, 1907, Ezra Alppheas Chipman family

    Bandera Tourist Information
  • Bandera County Convention and Visitor's Bureau
  • Bandera County Texas Chamber of Commerce
    P.O. Box 171 Bandera, Texas 78003
    Phone: 830-796-3045 Toll Free: 800-364-3833

  • TX Bandera County 1920s Map
    Bandera County 1920s map
    From Texas state map #10749
    Courtesy Texas General Land Office

    Take a road trip

    Texas Hill Country

    Bandera, Texas Nearby Towns:
    Boerne | Kerrville | Hondo | Vanderpool | San Antonio

    Scenic FM337

    See Bandera County

    Book Hotel Here:
    Bandera Hotels | More Hotels

    Texas Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history, stories, landmarks and recent or vintage photos, please contact us.

























































    Texas Escapes Online Magazine »   Archive Issues » Home »
    Texas Counties
    Texas Towns A-Z
    Texas Ghost Towns

    Central Texas North
    Central Texas South
    Texas Gulf Coast
    Texas Panhandle
    Texas Hill Country
    East Texas
    South Texas
    West Texas

    Rooms with a Past

    Gas Stations
    Post Offices
    Water Towers
    Grain Elevators
    Cotton Gins

    Vintage Photos
    Historic Trees
    Old Neon
    Ghost Signs
    Pitted Dates
    Then & Now

    Columns: History/Opinion
    Texas History
    Small Town Sagas
    Black History
    Texas Centennial

    Texas Railroads

    Texas Trips
    Texas Drives
    Texas State Parks
    Texas Rivers
    Texas Lakes
    Texas Forts
    Texas Trails
    Texas Maps

    Site Map
    About Us
    Privacy Statement
    Contact Us

    Website Content Copyright Texas Escapes LLC. All Rights Reserved