History

Hill Country Ghost Towns to Explore When Quarantine Ends: Part 3

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Since Native Americans were the sole population of the Texas Hill Country, communities and settlements have come and gone, changing with railroads, zoning, and environmental fluctuations. Below is the final part of some ghost towns to explore online and visit when quarantine ends!

Telegraph: Travel to Junction, then head 13 miles southwest on US Highway 377 to catch a glimpse of what little remains of this community named for the series of telegraph poles cut from here to support the communication lines strung to early United States Army forts to the east, in Telegraph Canyon. The 1920s saw this spot as popular with sportsmen and campers.

Hill Country Ghost Towns to Explore When Quarantine Ends: Part 3

Photo: envato elements

The Ditch: Also known as Leona Ditch, this community was established in 1874 along the waterway of Leona Irrigation and Agricultural Association. When a flash flood in 1894 washed away the majority of the settlement, most people moved to the town of Uvalde, seven miles away. A historical marker stands at this spot in the county, and a cemetery there still remains.

Trio: This site was never actually a town but instead the site of three schools which were combined: the Live Oak School, Hackberry, and Prairie View. The remains of the red brick, two-story school building stands today at FM 127 at Little Blanco Creek, near Sabinal. Local rumors say the ruins are haunted by ghostly adolescents. It belongs on any list of ghost towns in the Hill Country.

Hill Country Ghost Towns to Explore When Quarantine Ends: Part 3

Photo: envato elements

Vance: Located in Real County, stories persisted until the town’s ultimate demise telling of robbers who had buried treasure nearby, sometime after 1905. A cemetery remains on the site of the town, as well as a historical marker that notes the community’s previous status as the county seat.

Verand: Officially the first town in Schleicher County, Verand was established by an assembly of people from the state of Vermont in the mid-1880s. When families arrived to the area to live, they had trouble obtaining lot titles to the town lots. In response, land surveyor W. B. Silliman offered lots in Eldorado for free. Nothing remains for the settlement but a historical marker today.

Welfare: Found about ten miles outside of Boerne, this spot was known as Bon Ton (French for “high-toned” or stylish) prior to 1880, then Welfare, which is believed to be a mangled version of Wolhlfarht, German for “pleasant journey.” Drought, fire, boll weevils, then being bypassed by Highway 87 spelled the end for Welfare as a thriving community, but a few businesses still remain there today including the Welfare Café & Goat Barn.

Sources: Texas State Historical Association, TexasEscapes.com