FYI Taylor County Texas

Friday, July 12, 2024

History & Culture

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See the Hippos

Take a photo on Hutto’s seven-ton concrete hippo statue named Henrietta, which has been a downtown icon on East Street since 1982. The statue celebrates the early history of the town when a hippo escaped from a circus train and was later captured near Brushy Creek. Tour the town to see the wide variety of uniquely-decorated smaller hippo statues in front of local homes, businesses and civic buildings. The statues are painted with a variety of designs, such as the Dalmatian hippo at the city’s fire station on Exchange Boulevard or the hippo dedicated to American Troops donning camouflage at Hutto City Hall on Front Street. For more information, call the Hutto Area Chamber of Commerce at (512) 759-4400.

Williamson County Museum
The Williamson Museum offers free and exciting handson educational programs to the public through innovative exhibits, tours and outreach. In addition to the museum and exhibits in Georgetown, events such as “Chisholm Trail Days” at San Gabriel Park, “Pioneer Day” at Old Settlers Park, and “Archeology Day” at Berry Springs Park & Preserve help share the story and history of Williamson County. The museum is located on the Georgetown Square at 716 S. Austin Ave. and is open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call (512) 943-1670 or go online to

Taylor's Moody MuseumMoody Museum
The Moody Museum shares the story of Texas Governor Dan Moody’s passion for justice, his family and the Taylor community that helped shape his legacy as Texas’ youngest governor and prosecutor of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s. The home is a piece of history in Taylor that helps chronicle life at that time and tell the story of this influential Texan and his family. The museum is open Tuesdays and Fridays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 2-5 p.m. Sundays, but alternate tour times are available by appointment. The museum is located at 114 W. Ninth St. in Taylor.

Taylor Liberty Garden
Located at the entrance to Taylor’s Murphy Park, the Liberty Garden honors those who have served or who are currently serving in the armed forces, fire department, police department or emergency response services. It also serves as a memorial for loved ones lost in the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001. The Garden provides a quiet place to remember and reflect on the sacrifices of these individuals.

Inner Space Caverns
These limestone caverns in Georgetown offer a look at nature’s wonders in a comfortably constant 72-degrees. With a variety of tour lengths there is something for every visitor. In addition to the cavern tour don’t miss the chance to mine for gems and minerals at the Innerspace Mining Co. Inner Space Caverns is located at exit 259 on I-35 in Georgetown. For more information call (512) 931-2283 or visit online at

The Round Rock - round rock
The round rock, protruding from the waters of Brushy Creek near the bridge on Chisholm Trail Road, was not the original namesake of the
community that sprung up around the natural crossing point for the creek. But in time the community was named for the recognizable landmark and makes a great location for photos.

Austin Steam Train
The Austin Steam Train takes riders back in time on a variety of train excursions through the Central Texas Hill Country. The locomotives and coaches in use on the line range from the 1920s to 1960s. The association also hosts special events for children, holidays and other excursions throughout the year. The depot is located at 401 E. Whitestone Blvd. in Cedar Park. For more information, call (512) 477-8468 or visit online at

 Howard Theatre
The 80-year old Howard Theatre in Taylor shows first-run movies in a historic setting, making it an ideal movie destination in Williamson County. During the summer months the theater is open daily and the theater is also available for rental for special events. The Howard is located at 308 North Main St. in Taylor. For more information, call (512) 352-2995 or visit online at

Sample Some Wine

A number of wineries in the area make it easy to sit back and try a variety of your favorite wines or even some new ones.

Georgetown Winery
715 South Main St., Georgetown
(512) 869-8600

The Vineyard at Florence
111 Via Francesco, Florence
(254) 793-3363
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dance Halls

Coupland Dance HallDo Some Dancing at one of Eastern Williamson Counties popular dance halls. From polka to country and others, these venues offer great atmosphere, good music and food from hamburgers to steaks and barbecue. All have live music and friendly faces.

5025 FM 619, Taylor
(512) 352-9139

Coupland Dance Hall
103 Hoxie, Coupland
(512) 856-2226

Granger Cotton Club
212 E. Davilla St., Granger
(512) 859-0700

Palace Theater
Palace TheaterThe theater just off the square in Georgetown opened for movies in 1925, but today is home to live shows throughout the year. The historic venue plays host to musicals and plays – about eight per year – with “Annie Get Your Gun” running through July 2012 and “A Chorus Line” in August. The Palace is located at 810 S. Austin Ave. in Georgetown. For more information, call (512) 869-7469 or visit online at

Williamson County Courthouse
The county courthouse nestled in the center of the Georgetown square was built in 1911 and is celebrating its centennial this year. A recent major refurbishment effort has restored its original look and feel, making it a great place to step back in time in the county’s history. Walk the grounds and read the historic plaques, sit in the shade of the many trees or take a tour inside the building. The courthouse is located at 710 Main St. in Georgetown. For more information, call (512) 943-1100.

Palm House
Built in the 1860s, the historic home now contains a two room museum and the Round Rock Chamber of Commerce. In the kitchen and parlor hang photos and artifacts from Round Rock’s early days, including items connected to legendary outlaw Sam Bass. The museum is located at 212 E. Main St. in Round Rock. For more information, call (512) 255-5805.

Old Settlers Association
The Williamson County Old Settlers Association property features many exceptional amenities such as RV parking, historical pioneer sites, the Palm Mansion and the annual Old Settlers birthday celebration. It features nationally known artists as well as some great local talent. The grounds are located at 3300 East Palm Valley Blvd. in Round Rock. For more information, call (512) 388-1733 or visit online at

Chisholm Trail Park
Chisholm Trail Park The Chisholm Trail Crossing Park provides visitors with a simulated scene of Round Rock’s historical role in the Chisholm Cattle Drive. Commemorative plaques in the park tell of the history of Round Rock. The bronze sculptures of four steers and pioneer woman, Hattie Cluck, and her son, Emmitt depict Round Rock’s history as a crossing location along the Chisholm Trail. The round rock is near the park in the Brushy Creek and the limestone crossing is marked with ruts from the wagons that crossed while on the cattle dive. The park is located at 500 Chisholm Trail Rd. in Round Rock.

Sam Bass Community Theatre
The Sam Bass Community Theatre has been offering quality live theater to the area for more than 25 years, with a wide variety of theater during each season. Six to seven productions are offered annually which includes four mainstage productions. The Old Depot Stage was actually the original Depot building for the railroad that ran through Round Rock. The theater is located at 600 North Lee St. in Round Rock. For more information, call (512) 244-0440 or visit online at

Williamson County Symphony
The Williamson County Symphony Orchestra was formed under the name Hill Country Community Orchestra in early 2002. The orchestra usually performs three concerns in the spring and three in the fall at various venues throughout Williamson County and most performances are free. For more information, visit online at

Round Rock Memorial ParkRound Rock ArtSpace
ArtSpace hosts monthly exhibits representing Round Rock area artists and occasionally hosts demonstrations and artist lectures. The Round Rock Area Arts Council presents new art exhibits the beginning of each month and invites the public to attend First Thursday Artist Receptions from 5:30-7 p.m. These are come and go events to meet the artists and view their work. ArtSpace is located at 231 E. Main St. in Round Rock. For more information, call (512) 689-2450.

Cedar Rock Railroad
The Cedar Rock Railroad located in the Southwest Williamson County Regional Park, is a quarter-scale train that takes passengers on a relaxing 1.3 mile ride through the nature-filled fields and forests of the park. The park is located at 3005 County Road 175 in Leander. For more information, or to reserve a train ride for a special event, call (512) 413-1705.

Dig for Dinosaurs
At Champion Park a unique playground provides children of all ages an opportunity to have fun and make new discoveries in its inland sea theme that features a covered children’s dinosaur dig area with concrete casts of dinosaur bones hidden beneath sand to uncover. A large blue whale spurts water to cool kids off on hot days, and specially designed boulders allow for climbing. The park is located at 350 Discovery Blvd. in Cedar Park.

Old Williamson County Jail
In 1888, the lawlessness of the frontier days prompted county fathers to commission a fortress-like jail, the county’s fourth. The limestone building with was designed by prominent Waco architects, Dodson and Dudley, in a style reminiscent of the French Bastille. This historic building no longer serves as a jail, but has become a landmark, housing offices in downtown Georgetown at 312 Main St.

Fountainwood Observatory
Southwestern’s large research-quality reflecting telescope, a Meade LX-200 with Schmidt-Cassegrain optics and a 16-inch primary mirror has a digital CCD camera for taking digital images that can be viewed and processed on a computer. This instrument is used by faculty and students for research, and programs of general interest to the public are conducted each month during the academic year. The observatory is located on the Southwestern Campus, 1001 E. University Ave. in Georgetown. For more information, call (512) 863-1242.

Southwestern University
Southwestern’s 700-acre, residential campus is built around grand buildings radiate from the heart of campus - an open-air academic mall. Walk the campus and admire the historic structures and enjoy the green space. The campus also offers a sixhole golf course and two live-performance theaters as well as a variety of Division III NCAA athletics. The campus is located at 1001 E. University Ave. in Georgetown. Form ore information, call (512) 863-6511 or visit online at

Taylor’s Main Gallery
The Main Gallery in Taylor features several group and private exhibitions each year. The Main Gallery, in association with the Taylor Artist Guild is open every Wednesday at 7 p.m. for Sketch Club. The gallery is at 200 N. Main St. in Taylor. For more information, contact Judy Blundell at (512) 269-8339 or Karen Burges at (512) 964-9608.

Coupland Depot
The Depot, which is Coupland’s original historic depot, was rescued by the Coupland Civic Organization for Coupland’s Bicenntenial Project in 1976. The Depot was recently renovated and is used for small meetings and contains exhibits of community artifacts and railroad memorabilia. The Depot is open by appointment. To visit the Depot, call Barbara Piper, 856-2635, or Susan Garry, 856-2564.

Last modified on Friday, 20 July 2012 17:12
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