Historical Markers Information
Burnet County

Source: Vertical File, Herman Brown Free Library

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SHADY GROVE COMMUNITY - LOCATION: County Road off RR 1174, 5 miles N. of Bertram.

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. (1979) [Photo]


 SMITH CEMETERY - LOCATION: 2 miles SW of Oakalla on FM 963, then 2 miles west on gravel road.

James Gibson Smith, a native of Tennessee, married Sarah A. James, a native of Arkansas, soon after settling in this part of Burnet County in 1850. Together they raised eight children and set aside this site as the family cemetery. Their granddaughter, Anita Fay Smith, who died of diptheria in 1901, was the first person buried here. A neighbor, Charles McLean (d. 1901) was the second person buried here, followed by James G. Smith (d. 1902). A cemetery association formed by Smith family descendants in 1981 maintains this site, which includes veterans of the Civil War and World War II. (1993)

SOUTH GABRIEL (VILLAGE OF) - LOCATION: County Road (Old SH 29) 0.5 miles East of FM 1174, 2 miles S. of Bertram.

The South Gabriel post office open 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. (1974) [Photo]
 STEWART PIONEER HOME - LOCATION: Off FM 243, 10 mi. NE of Bertram.

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. Descendants of B.H. Stewart have owned the home for over 75 years. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1980.
 STRICKLING, TOWN SITE - LOCATION: 8 miles north of Bertram on Ranch Road 1174N.

Once a busy community, named for Mrs. Martha (Webster) Strickling, who settled here in 1853 with husband, Marmaduke. As a child, she survived Webster massacre near Leander, 1839, and months of Indian captivity. Post office opened here, 1857, and Strickling became a mail terminal and stage stop. Tons of lumber and buffalo hides were hauled through here. The town had a school, churches, a doctor's office, livery stable, blacksmith shop and saloons. Strickling gradually declined when bypassed by the railroad, 1882, the cemetery remaining. (1970) [Photo]


STRUVE HOUSE - LOCATION: on country road, 11 miles SE of Marble Falls. (From Marble Falls, 5 miles S on U.S. 281; left on SH 71 about 2 miles; right on country road, about 2 miles to the Shovel Mount School; ahead 2 miles to Double Horn Ranch.)

Amand Von Struve (1838-1902) came to Texas in 1848 with his father, a former Imperial Russian officer. Buying land here, 1858 and later, he amassed over 8,000 acres, with herds of horses, cattle, and sheep. To the wooden dwelling he added (1869) this stone spring house-kitchen, to protect food and water from Indians and animals. He married (1871) Christiana Fissler Ebeling; had 8 children. Their main dwelling was razed in 1940s. Stone annex was restored for preservation, 1950s. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1973.
 THE HILLS OF HOME - LOCATION: at lookout park on 281 up the hill south of the Colorado River at Marble Falls.

Memorial to Oscar J. Fox, Composer of this song. 1879-1961. This is the view which gave inspiration for this beautiful song. (1962) [Photo]


  THOMAS, Henry (LODGE A.F. & A.M.) - LOCATION: South of Farm Road 1431, 10 miles East of Marble Falls. Building is on the banks of Lake Travis 1 1/2 miles south of highway

In settlement started by Noah Smithwick, when he built water mill here in 1855. In 1861 he moved to California, but the mill continued in operation. A.M. Cox erected this building in 1874. Minister Henry Thomas moved the Lodge (chartered June 15, 1865) from Turkey Bend, Texas, to this place in 1876. A store occupied the lower floor. Lodge obtained upper story at death of Mr. Cox. By his will F.P. Lewis gave lower story in 1952.. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1967.  [Photo]


THOMAS RANCH HOUSE - LOCATION: On right of Hoover's Valley Road about 2 miles West of Burnet.

In 1864 a log home and a "spring house" (used to cool milk) were built on this site by Frank Thomas, rancher. Present rock house, built to catch breeze, was added 1880-82; is of limestone quarried 3 miles northeast. Fire (1910) razed log house. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1968.


TOBEY CEMETERY - LOCATION: Burnet County Road 221, 3 miles NE of Oakalla.

This cemetery, which began with the burial of Mary J. Tobey in 1872, overlooks a stretch of the Lampasas River Valley named for nathaniel Wheeler Tobey (1810-1892). A blacksmith from Connecticut, Tobey settled on several hundred acres here about 1870 and built a two-story rock house nearby in 1875. Nathaniel Tobey, his wife Winnie (Dennis) (1828-1878), and Mary J. Tobey are the only Tobeys buried here.

About 1875 William H. Reavis (1821-1885) and his wife Harritt (Ellis) Reavis (1830-1893) purchased land along the Lampasas river east of this site. William and Harritt and a large number of their descendants are buried here. In 1895 John Priest, Sr., (1839-1908) and Mary (Castleberry) Priest (1841-1925) purchased a significant portion of the Tobeys' original estate, including this cemetery. John and Mary Priest and many of their descendants are also buried here. Successive generations of the Reavis and Priest families have owned land in this area of Tobey Valley.

Tobey Cemetery contains the burials of many of the pioneer families and their descendants who lived in Tobey Valley including the Bell, Williams, Shed, Castleberry, and Black families. This historic cemetery is maintained by a cemetery association. Sesquicentennial of Texas Statehood 1845-1995.


TOBEY COMMUNITY CEMETERY - LOCATION: On Dobeyville Road, via FM 1431, 7 miles NW of Marble Falls.

The Nat Tobey family moved from Indiana to Northeast Burnet County in the 1850s. Sons Avery and Samuel bought land here in Backbone Valley in 1868. At the death of N.W. Tobey, aged 12, this cemetery was opened in 1872. A church and school stood nearby, serving people of the ranches and farms of the valley. Within a century, over 200 graves were placed in this burial ground. In 1964 Tobey Cemetery Association was formed to care for the one remaining community landmark, since church and school were phased out in the 20th century. (1976) [Photo]


VANDEVEER, LOGAN HOUSE - LOCATION: Fort Croghan Museum complex.

Logan Vandeveer (1815-55) came from Kentucky in 1833. He was badly wounded fighting for Texas at San Jacinto, 1836. Moving here to sell beef to Fort Croghan, 1849, he was one of the organizers of the county and original postmaster of the town. In the early 1850s he built this house near Hamilton Creek for a daughter. It stood at 502 South Water Street. Burnet County Historical Society moved it here for preservation in 1973. Porch was floored with stones from an early Burnet county courthouse.

Cabin Donors: Mmes. Leona Rogers Huges; Nancy Riggs Young; Helen Riggs Woodard; and Patricia Riggs Phinney; all Vandeveer descendants.
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1974. [Photo]


WHITAKER HOUSE - LOCATION: 802 S. Main Street, Burnet.
Built 1870 by George Whitaker, early settler, of hand-hewn rock. Has inside cistern, stones from old courthouse used in 1939 addition. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1966. [Photo]


WIRTZ, ALVIN (DAM) - LOCATION: at the south end of Wirtz Dam just north of Ranch Road 2147, south of Marble Falls bridge to West.

Respectfully dedicated to the memory of Alvin J. Wirtz, a man of vision; pioneer water conservationist; Under-Secretary of United States Department of Interior; State Senator; legal council. He conceived, fought for and led development of Lower Colorado River authority and its mighty dams, his idea of controlling and putting to useful work the waters of Colorado River today have been realized.


WOLF, MR. AND MRS. JACOB - LOCATION: just west of Highway 281 about 12 miles north of Burnet.

Jacob Wolf (1812-1874) and wife Adeline Faulkner Wolf (1814-1870) came from Tennessee to Texas about 1850. Obtaining land in Burnet County, they settled at Dobyville, and were pioneers, supplying their own provisions, buildings, medicine, and school. Menaced by Indian raids and aware of need for government, Wolf in 1854 helped organize Burnet County. Of their 8 children, 2 sons became sheriffs, one in Burnet, one in Lampasas County. (1967) [Photo]

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