Lampasas Walks: Historic Downtown Lampasas
Lampasas County Courthouse
You should be standing in the shade facing the cast iron fence of the Lampasas County courthouse. To your left is a raised open platform, with four white pillars holding up a roof.
The courthouse building in front of you was designed in 1883 by architect Wesley Clark Dodson and completed in 1884. It reflects the influences of the Second Empire and Italianate styles of architecture and features a central clock tower, arched windows and a mansard roof. In 1884, the Commissioners Court authorized the city to place a Seth Thomas clock in the tower. The clock was restored in 1984; some parts had to be custom designed, since they could not be found. The clock now keeps “perfect” time.
Settlers were drawn to the area after Moses Hughes and his invalid wife, Hannah Berry, moved near the site of what is now Lampasas in November 1853, seeking to take advantage of the medicinal springs. Early Native American tribes made yearly pilgrimages to the Hancock mineral springs. Each summer people were drawn to Lampasas to bathe in the mineral springs, and it became a tented city with hundreds of people camped nearby. The Swenson and Swisher Saltworks was established on Salt Creek in 1858; these mines furnished salt to the Confederate Army during the Civil War.
There is a lot of history to this area, but we have a walk to do, so let me explain who I am and how this works. I am Robin Henry, and I own a local B&B in a historic house in Lampasas that is not a part of this historic district, but it is nearby. I am a former history teacher and I love taking historical walks, so I thought I would make one for my own home town. I hope you will enjoy a taste of local Texas history and maybe even visit the Lampasas Museum after our walk.
VoiceMap uses your phone's GPS location to play commentary automatically. So, you can just put your phone in your pocket, and focus on what's around you. There may be some silence from time to time, but don't worry. I'll give you directions to keep you on track. If you get lost or stuck, you can look at the route map on your phone's screen.
So let's go. Turn your back to the courthouse and face the bank. We're going to walk up the road to the left of the bank, so make your way there now.