Highland Lakes Sunset

The Lakes and Hills of the Highland Lakes, in the heart of the Central Texas Hill Country, is the ideal destination for a day, a weekend, or a lifetime.  Adventure, recreation, fun in the sun and hill country hospitality await you in every Highland Lakes community.   We invite you to come enjoy Lake Buchanan, Inks Lake, Lake LBJ, Lake Marble Falls, the Colorado River, the Llano River, hundreds of things to do, places to shop, eat and sleep.   With over 1,800 square miles of lakes and hills, the Highland Lakes region is one of the largest playgrounds in Texas.

BERTRAM HISTORIC SITES - BURNET COUNTY, TEXAS
Bertram, Oatmeal, Briggs

LAKES AND HILLS
HISTORIC SITES

Llano County

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Burnet County

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Historic Landmarks
Information provided by Texas Historical Commission.  Items without information are no longer included in the state's database.
Bertram Lumber Company Store
Bertram Lumber Company   Warehouse
Bertram School

Location:  from the intersection of sh 29 and Fm 243 in Bertram take FM 243 NE .5 mi.

When Bertram was founded in 1882 along the Austin & Northwestern Railroad, one of the first structures erected was a combination school, Sunday School, and Masonic Lodge hall. Rudolph Bertram, Austin Railroad executive for whom the town was named, contributed $50 for construction of the school. The frame building was enlarged as the community grew. By 1908, however, new facilities were needed for the 264 students. In May 1909, Bertram voters approved incorporation as an independent school district and construction of a new school building. This 2-story red brick structure was erected on property purchased from T. D. Vaughn. Designed by architect George Endress and built by contractor M. L. Langford, it opened in the fall of 1909 with J. N. Matthews as the first principal. Bertram was then in the midst of a cotton-growing boom, and students often missed the beginning of school to help in the fields. As the enrollment increased, sports and other extracurricular activities were introduced. a separate high school was erected in 1925 and a gymnasium in 1948. Over a period of years, several smaller county schools transferred their students to Bertram. In 1970 Bertram schools merged with the Burnet district.

Black's Fort

Location: 8 mi. N on FM 1174, then 1 mi. E on CR 210A. Marker reported toppled Nov. 2006.

Built as a defense against the Indians in 1851 by William Black (1815-1907) on land owned by him. In the stockade, constructed of cedar logs, sentries were kept on guard on moonlight nights. Guns and ammunition for public use were kept here. Abandoned in 1868.

 
Bryson Place

Location:  On private property.

John H. Bryson (1850-1930) and his wife Milda (Barton) (1852-1952) had this home constructed on their land in 1906 by local builder Marcus Langford. It is located on a site purchased in 1855 by Milda's uncle Welborn Barton and later owned by her father Decator Barton. The Bartons and Brysons had been neighbors in South Carolina before migrating to Texas. Descendants of these pioneer Burnet County families have retained ownership of the turn-of-the-century residence. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1982

 
Chris Dorbant House
Joppa Community

Location: from Bertram take FM 243 NE approx. 2 mi., then north on CR 272 for 6 miles

Some of the first settlers in this farming and ranching community were the William Alexander Faires family in 1874 and the Martin Luther Ater family the next year. The settlement was called "Pool Branch" for a nearby pool formed by a waterfall. In the 1880s a cotton gin and mill were located on the pool which was known as "Mill Pond". There was a store, a blacksmith shop, and one mile from the gin, Mrs. Hattie Snow Smith ran a hat shop in her home. J. S. and Jane Danford of Delaware County, Iowa, gave two acres in 1881 for a school and church, provided the schoolhouse was completed by March 1, 1882. Area residents met the deadline. With the establishment of a post office in 1891, the community's name changed to the biblical, "Joppa". William F. Childers served as the first postmaster. After the coming of rural mail delivery, the post office closed in 1904. Worship was held in the Joppa Schoolhouse until 1913 when the Joppa Baptist Church congregation erected this meetinghouse. The Joppa School consolidated with Bertram in 1942. All that remains of the pioneer settlement is the church house and school building which serves as a community center.

 
Joppa Iron Bridge-N-Gabriel - Bertram
Lockett-Reed Building
Mahomet Cemetery

Location: from Bertram take FM 243 NE approx. 10 miles, then SE on Cemetery Rd. approx. .3 mile

This cemetery, with interments dating back to the 1850s, became a community graveyard for the Sycamore Springs and Mahomet rural communities. In 1909 J. W. Williams and J. W. and Nellie Greer deeded the cemetery property to the community of Mahomet. Among the hundreds of people buried here are many of the area's pioneer settlers and their descendants and veterans of wars ranging from the Mexican War (1846-1848) to the Vietnam War. Mahomet Cemetery remains active and is maintained by an association of descendants of people buried here. Sesquicentennial of Texas Statehood 1845 - 1995

 
Mahomet-Sycamore Springs Community

Location: from Bertram take FM 243 NE approx. 6 miles to ROW

Settlement in this part of Burnet County began in the 1850s. Two early communities were Mahomet and Sycamore Springs, originally located 8 miles from each other. Pioneers of Mahomet were George Ater, William G. Hall, and Mr. Sanford, while Sycamore Springs was settled by the Smart, Stewart, and Williams families. Although Sycamore Springs once had 3 gins, a general store, a school, and 2 churches, little evidence of the community now remains. Much speculation has taken place over the years concerning the origin of the unusual name of the Mahomet settlement. Research now indicates that the town was probably named by first postmaster George Ater, who came to Texas from Mahomet, Illinois. both the original Mahomet Post Office and an Austin-Lampasas Stage stop were located at his home. The Mahomet Christian Church, moved from Sycamore Springs in 1899, continues to worship near this site. Mahomet is also the home of the Mt. Horeb Masonic Lodge, which was relocated from nearby Williamson County in 1915. The community burial ground (.5 mi. SW dates from the early 1850s. The history of these two related settlements is an important part of Burnet County's heritage.

 
Middle Gabriel Iron Bridge
Mount Horeb Lodge

Location: from Briggs, 4 mi. SE on US 183, then 3 mi. SW on FM 243

Chartered Jan. 21, 1854; met in log schoolhouse. Erected own lodge hall 1856 on land given by Grand Master Sam Mather and B. K. Stewart. First floor used as church and school. A fire in 1915 razed hall. Lodge rebuilt here 1916 on land given by G. T. and W. J. Williams. (1967)

 
Mount Zion Cemetery

Location:  from Bertram take FM 243 SW approx. 3.4 miles to CR 330, then east on CR 330 .6 mi. to CR 330A; then north on CR 330A .5 mi. to cemetery

John Jennings (1802-1867), his wife Sarah C. (Sally) (1806-1879), and their family came to this area in 1851. The settlement which grew up around their farm became known as Jennings Creek community. After Burnet County was created in 1852, John Jennings was instrumental in organizing the new county government. He was a county commissioner for four years. The oldest documented burial in this graveyard, which was originally known as the Jennings Family Cemetery, is that of Mary Ann Jennings (1835-1856). Other early burials include those of John and Sally Jennings, members of their family, and neighbors. The Jennings Family Cemetery became known as Mount Zion Cemetery when the Mount Zion Cumberland Presbyterian Church was built about one-half mile south of this site in the 1890s. The land on which the cemetery is situated remained in the Jennings family until 1944. Among the more than five hundred grave markers here are tombstones of veterans of the Civil War and the Spanish American War. A cemetery association incorporated in 1972 cares for the historic graveyard.

 
Oatmeal Cemetery - Oatmeal

Location:  from Bertram take FM 243 SW approx. 5.2 mi., then east on CR 326 approx .3 mi., then south on CR 327 approx. .7 mi. to cemetery

Some of the earliest pioneers of the Oatmeal community are interred in this cemetery. The oldest documented burials are those of Mary Smith and her year-old daughter, Fanny, both of whom died on September 16, 1854. Mr. and Mrs. J. L. Roundtree deeded the two acres of land containing the cemetery in 1871. Among those interred here are veterans of the Civil War, World War I, and World War II. An additional land acquisition in 1983 enlarged the cemetery to three acres. A cemetery association formed in 1945 maintains the historic graveyard.

 
Oatmeal School - Oatmeal

Location:  from Bertram take FM 1174 S approx. .5 mi. to CR 326; west on CR 326 approx. 1.5 mi. to CR 327; south on CR 327 .5 mi.

This building, once a combined school and church, was erected in 1869 in Oatmeal, second oldest community in Burnet County. The settlement, founded in 1849, had a post office from 1853 to 1876. This limestone structure was successor to the first school of 1858. Excepting minor repairs and addition of a board floor, building looks much as it did in 1869. It is a church today. A third school, built in 1924, now houses a community center. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1968

Prairie Point Community, Site of

Location:  from Bertram take FM 243 N approx. 5 mi. to CR 274, then east on CR 274 approx. 2 miles to intersection with CR 280

Anglo settlement of this part of Burnet County began in the 1850s. By the 1870s settlers had established cattle and sheep ranches as well as a number of family farms. A community school opened in 1882 and remained in operation until 1921. The Prairie Point Missionary Baptist Church was organized in 1883 and met in the schoolhouse until it burned in 1890. The congregation worshipped in a brush arbor until a new school was erected, then met at the school until 1906, when a new sanctuary was built. The church eventually was disbanded in 1957.

 
Ray House  
Reed Building
Shady Grove Community

Location:  from Bertram take FM 1174 N approx. 5 mi. to CR 200, then west 200 yds.

In the 1850s and 60s families settled on this farm and ranch land along the Middle Gabriel river. The Old Austin-Lampasas and Burnet-Belton roads intersected here. Six acres deeded by Alexander M. Barton in 1877 later became the site of a schoolhouse, church and cemetery. At first the community was called "Russell Gabriel". The Cumberland Presbyterian Church organized and met in the school building in 1878. Soon the name changed to "Grove" because the schoolhouse was located in a grove of live oak trees. The settlement boasted a cotton gin and corn mill, a general store and blacksmith shop, a doctor and a Masonic Lodge. In 1882 the Presbyterian, Methodist and Baptist congregations built a Union Arbor for camp meetings and revivals. For a few months in 1902 there was a post office. Since there was another Shady Grove in Texas, the name "Tamega" was used. A general store by that name operated here for 50 years. The Presbyterian fellowship erected this church structure first and then in 1905 built this tabernacle. The school consolidated with Bertram in 1942. When the Presbyterian congregation merged with Bertram in 1966, this property became a community center and homecoming site.

 
South Gabriel, Village of

Location:  from Bertram take FM 1174 S approx. .5 mi., then east on CR 322 approx. .3 miles

The South Gabriel Post Office opened in Postmaster Thomas Lewiston's mercantile store on Sept. 29, 1871. The village, named for the South San Gabriel River, was also called Lewiston. Located on the Austin-Burnet Road, the hamlet soon had two stores, a hotel, saloon, cotton gin, school, church, and wagon, saddle, blacksmith, and carpentry shops. The population in 1880 was 39. The Austin and Northwestern Railroad passed to the north of the settlement in 1882, and on Dec. 8, 1882, the post office moved to the new town of Bertram (2 miles N) and South Gabriel disappeared.

 
Stewart Pioneer Home

Location:  off FM 243

Benjamin Hansford Stewart (d. 1932), a native of Tennessee, came to Texas in 1851. A farmer and rancher, he also served as Burnet County sheriff, 1874-75. He constructed this frame house in 1905 as a residence for his son Homer and daughter-in-law Viola. The Texas style home, similar to other area ranch houses of the early 1900s, features a chimney of hand-hewn limestone. Six generations of the B. H. Stewart family have owned and used the home. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1980

 

 

City of Bertram Chamber of Commerce

 

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