History

Hill Country Ghost Towns to Explore When Quarantine Ends: Part 1

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Since the days when 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 part one of some ghost towns to explore online and visit when the coronavirus quarantine ends!

Hill Country Ghost Towns to Explore When Quarantine Ends: Part 1

Photo: envato elements

Anhalt: Located 28 miles of New Braunfels on Highway 46, this community was settled by German pioneers in 1859 and originally known as Krause Settlement. It’s now known as Anhalt, which comes from the German word for “stopping place” as well as a German region of the same nomenclature. A meeting hall was built in 1887, then enlarged in 1896. The hall is still open for monthly dances and annual festivals.

Bettina: Settled in 1847 by a society of highly educated German freethinkers, Bettina was the seventh and final of the Texas Adelsverein colonies. Named after a Germanic writer, the social experiment lasted less than a year, but was briefly home to persons who went on to make significant impacts to Texas. The site is memorialized by a 1964 state historical marker found near Castell.

Blewett: Five miles southeast of Cline is Blewett, a limestone mining community that formed in 1888 around a bitumen mine. John Blewett Smyth found new use for the original failed venture by creating new road-paving material. Although initially successful, the decline of the material meant the decline of the town. It is reported that the only thing left here are holes in the earth.

Hill Country Ghost Towns to Explore When Quarantine Ends: Part 1
Photo: envato elements

Blowout: Named for an explosion at the fault of bats, this settlement was fifteen miles from Johnson City. There is a natural cave nearby which was once the dwelling of thousands of bats, and therefore, a great accumulation of guano. The story goes ammonia and other gases from the decaying feces built up in the cave, then lightning struck at the opening and kaboom!

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