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"The Granite City"
They use all they can and they sell the rest.

Llano County
Seat, Hill Country
State Highways 16, 29, and 71
FM 152
73 miles NW of Austin
30 miles W of Burnet
34 miles E of Mason
33 miles S of San Saba
39 miles N of Fredericksburg
Population: 3,285 (2010)

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1918 Llano Water Works
The date at the ruins of the Llano Waterworks Smokestack
TE photo
American Doughboy Statue and Llano county Courthouse, Llano, Texas
American Doughboy Statue and Llano County Courthouse
Sculptor - Frank Teich
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, August 2003

Llano, Texas Topics of Interest:

  • Llano History
  • Llano County Courthouse next page
  • Llano Landmarks
  • Llano Recreation
  • Llano Chronicles
  • Llano County Towns & Ghost Towns next page
  • Downtown Llano at dusk
    TE photo

    History in a Pecan Shell

    Land donated by John Oatman, Sr., Amariah Wilson, and the Chester B. Starks estate provided 250 acres for the county seat. The donated land was on both sides of the Llano River. The county was raided by Indians during the Civil War when most of the men were fighting. Llano had a very high percentage of votes for secession - which is evident by the Confederate statue on the NE side of the square.

    A time line of significant events in Llano history:

    1856: Llano County is established by the state legislature. A disputed election that same year was held under a tree on the south side of the river to determine the county seat of government. The losing faction were residents of the Tow- Bluffton region - north of present Llano.
    : The Llano Rural - Llano's first newspaper was published. The second was The Iron City News. The Rural evolved amd merged into other newspapers, including the Advocate, the Searchlight, and the Gazette. Just after the turn of the 20th Century it became the Llano News - the name it retains today.
    1886 - 1893: Boom times for Llano when iron deposits were discovered and investment money flowed.
    : Llano suffers a series of fires that were set for insurance claims. Other businesses were consumed as well as when word got out - insurance companies refused to sell Llano fire insurance for several years.
    1890: Population is said to have been 7,000 people
    1892: Llano was incorporated, the Llano River was bridged, and the Austin and Northwestern Railroad opened a depot on the north side of the Llano River. This was also the year the courthouse burned.
    See Llano County Courthouse >

    1935: The Roy Inks Bridge was built after a flood swept away the 1892 bridge. Photos of both the Algona Hotel fire and the 1935 flood can be seen in the museum.

    In the famous drought of the early 50s - the Llano River actually went dry on two separate occasions.

    1936: Llano Gold by Mike Cox ("Texas Tales" column)
    "Washed in golden sunset, from a distance Llano County's Sharp Mountain looks like a giant Paleolithic flint hide scraper lying on its side.

    At 1,594 feet above sea level, the landmark barely deserves its mountain designation. Its summit rising 400 feet above the land around it, the huge pile of cedar-studded rock sits on private property about five miles southeast of Llano. Few today know about the long-abandoned mine shafts the mountain hides..." more

    1954: The Great Llano Uranium Boom by Mike Cox' ("Texas Tales" column)
    Since Texas' time as a colonial outpost of the Spanish crown, people have believed great mineral wealth lay hidden in what would become Llano County..." more
    Llano Texas stone yard
    One of the several working stone finishing plants around Llano
    TE photo
    1950s: Granite production becomes a million dollar per year industry

    Llano's Confederate soldier statue was made by noted sculptor Frank Teich who was instrumental in establishing the Granite Industry in Llano County. German-born, Teich made a good living designing Confederate statues for county governments across Texas and other southern states. He also supervised the extraction and working of the stone for the state capitol and several monuments on the grounds.
    The abundance of granite enabled Llano County to have some elegant County Line markers - this one is on the Llano/Gillespie county line on Hwy 16.
    TE photo
    Llano nearly became a steel town when huge iron deposits were found. The boom didn't last long, after someone noticed there was no coal for smelting. Many streets in Llano have names that date from those optimistic times.

    Marble and granite production partially made up for the steel mills that never materialized. Marble and granite was shipped all over the U.S. until the railroad went up on their rates. Llano County today continues to be trucked away daily by the ton. A proposed railroad link to Fredericksburg never made it off the drawing board, but there's little doubt it would've been a boon to the economy of both towns.

    Llano Landmarks Include:
  • Llano County Courthouse
  • Llano County Jail
  • Roy Inks Bridge
  • Railroad Through Truss Bridge
  • Old Masonic Lodge: 102 E. Main
  • Fraser House: - 207 E. Main
  • Historical Museum: 310 Bessemer Street
  • Badu House: - 601 Bessemer Street
  • The Masonic Temple: - 832 Ford Street
  • The Llano County Library: 900 Ford Street
  • Old Ice House - on the river on Berry Street

    Llano Chamber of Commerce
    Contact the chamber for a detailed walking tour of Llano.
    700 Bessemer, Llano, Texas 78643 325-247-5354
    Website: http://www.llanochamber.org/
  • The Masonic Lodge in downtown Llano
    TE photo
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, April 2014

    Llano Recreation
  • Enchanted Rock State Natural Area
    Hwy 16 South for 14 miles, then west on Ranch Road 965.
    16710 Ranch Rd 965
    Fredericksburg TX 78624
  • Llano River - and The Slab near Kingsland Texas
  • Llano Hotels
  • Roy Inks Bridge over Llano River, Llano Texas

    The four-span Roy Inks Bridge over the Llano River
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2007

    Llano Chronicles

  • Llano Gold by Mike Cox ("Texas Tales" column)
  • The Great Llano Uranium Boom by Mike Cox' ("Texas Tales" column)
  • Rooms With a Past:
    Llano suffered a fire in 1923 that destroyed a former landmark hotel on the north side of the river - The Hotel Algona. The larger-than-it-needed-to-be hotel was at one time the center for Llano society. The hotel changed hands several times, and did business as the Hotel Franklin and the Don Carlos. It was used by The Texas Military Institute for a period before being damaged in a 1900 tornado. The fire of '23 was the final chapter in the Algona's life.

  • Llano, Texas Area Towns:
    Llano County | Texas Hill Country
    Austin | Burnet | Mason | San Saba | Fredericksburg
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