Things to Do

6 Things You Didn’t Know About Johnson City

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Things to do Johnson City Yexas

Johnson City is known as the crossroads of the Texas Hill Country. It was the hometown of President Lyndon Johnson and was founded by his uncle, James Polk Johnson.

James Polk Johnson died at the age of 40 in 1885, and by then, he had built the first gristmill, the Pearl Hotel and had began construction on the building to house a general merchandise store. This building housed the town’s first jail in its basement, as well as the first church congregation upstairs. It also served as the first Johnson City courthouse.

Here are a few fun facts about Johnson City you might not have known.

1. Texas White House

Things to do Johnson City Yexas

Photo: Flickr/Michael Coghlan

The childhood home of President Lyndon Johnson was built out of native limestone in 1894 on the grounds that would later become LBJ Ranch. He visited the home frequently when other family members lived there and eventually purchased it. It became known as the Texas White House during the Johnson Administration, and he was the first President to create a functioning White House outside of Washington.

The Johnsons frequently hosted world leaders and Washington staff for BBQs by the river and staff meetings under the live oak in the front yard. The Johnsons built a hangar and airstrip behind the house so the President could easily fly to and from Washington.

They donated the Texas White House to the National Park Service in 1972, and Mrs. Johnson continued to live at LBJ ranch part time after the President’s death. She passed away in 2007, and the Texas White House was officially opened to the public in August 2008. Many of the rooms were restored to their appearance during President Johnson’s time in office.

2. Christmas Lights Spectacular

Things to do Johnson City Yexas
Photo: Flickr/Roger Mommaerts

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