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Lockhart TexasLockhart, Texas is a town you probably haven’t heard of. It’s southeast of Austin. And in my opinion, it’s one of the best options for buying a home outside of the city today. I’m going to share 10 things. You probably don’t know about Lockhart and stick around till the end for the best one of all.

How Lockhart Name Came About

Lockhart was named for a guy who was doing his job. It was named for Bird Lockhart who in 1831 received the land that later became the Lockhart Town site as partial payment for his work surveying land for the Mexican government. During the 1830s, settlement in the area was limited by the threat of Indian raids. But after the battle of Plum Creek in 1840 more settlers began to arrive. And by the mid 1840s, lots of families had made their home near Lockhart Springs. And when Caldwell County was established in 1848 the new town of Lockhart became the county seat.

Special Library

It has a very special library. The Eugene Clark library is the oldest continuously operating library in the state of Texas. And it has a really interesting history. Dr Clark was a physician who practiced in Lockhart for 13 years. And even though he lived in New Orleans, San Antonio, Vienna and London – Lockhart always kind of stayed with him. So on his deathbed in 1897 he indicated a well that left $10,000. That was a lot of money back then. He left $10,000 to the people of Lockhart to build a library and fill it with books. And the architecture of this building is a source of curiosity to many professional architects. It’s visited by lots of amateur and professional architects every year, including visits by the architecture majors from the University of Texas.

Local businesses

Lockhart supports local business. We know this is a really big thing in Austin, but it’s also really important to Lockhart. We’re gonna see a few examples later on. But just wanted to touch on one thing. They have this cool thing called The Sip and Stroll. It’s an annual festival where you buy tickets and every ticket gets you 10 tastings of beer and wine at participating businesses throughout the city.
And the cool thing is that this is a fundraiser just to promote and make Lockhart more beautiful. It’s literally just come and have some drinks and let’s make the city more awesome. It’s also one of the reasons Lockhart’s focus on small business. Its one of the reasons that people are moving here from Austin because it still has kind of that keep Austin weird funky vibe that some folks say, um it’s kind of dwindling a little bit from Austin as it kind of grows and becomes a little bit more polished. Lockhart is still kind of an old Austin-e vibe.

Famous Chisholm Trail

Lockhart is on the famous Chisholm trail. If you’re not from Texas, you may not know about the Chisholm trail, but down here, everyone knows what it is. So it’s the trail that cowboys used in the 1800’s to drive cattle from Texas up to Kansas to sell. So the drive could take as long as a month with lots of dangers like river crossings, drought and of course cattle wrestlers.
What is a cattle rustler? Cattle wrestler is basically a cow bandit. It’s just random cowboys that would come and steal your cattle. So you’re trying to take these cows from Texas to Kansas to sell them. And these dudes are trying to steal them so they can sell them too. So that was a huge risk. You’ve got drought. You’ve got basically the dust bowl and then you’ve got cattle pirates who are trying to come in and take your paycheck from you. To celebrate their place on the trail – Lockhart hosts an annual four day festival the second weekend in June.

Popular Filming Destination

That really most people don’t know – Lockhart is a popular filming destination. So it’s just 30 miles south of Austin and it’s a really good place to film for a location that needs a small, quaint, Texas town vibe. So Lockhart is a film friendly Texas certified community. Some of the movies that they filmed in Lockhart are the: Getaway, Honeysuckle Rose, What’s eating Gilbert Grape, Bernie and Transformers 4.

Lockhart Texas Monthly 2018

pizza - lockhartLockhart made the cover of Texas Monthly in 2018. It was featured on the cover of Texas Monthly with this headline small town revival, dreaming of cheaper rents and a slower pace. A new generation saying goodbye to the city life. The inside story described all the fun places to visit in Lockhart, like The Pearl, which is a craft and cocktail bar and Loop and Lil, which is an amazing artisan pizza place.
It also talked about young folks flocking to these small towns outside of Austin so they can get a bigger place to live for their money and to live a little bit of a slower pace. And these are definitely qualities that appeal to buyers who are looking for a home in Lockhart. And this kind of ties into the bonus reason that I’m gonna get into later on. But just keep this in mind when we talk about it.

Life Slower than Austin

Lockhart provides the best of both worlds. So it’s a small town, it’s got a population of about 14,000 people and it gives residents a slow down relaxing quality of life and a more affordable way of living. But it is also really close to Austin – it’s 30 miles away. So whenever you want, you can head into town and go see the shows, go to the restaurants and the breweries and really experience city life and then drive back home to your quiet little home and go to sleep and not have to worry about street noise. And all the madness living in rock art is a really good choice for people who want the best of both worlds and the option to kind of go between and pick what they want on any given day of the week.

Lockhart Growing Fast

Lockhart is growing really fast. It does give out that small town feel that a lot of people are looking for. But something to keep in mind is that Lockhart isn’t just a small town that will remain tiny forever. In fact, it’s definitely an up and coming place to live. Its population has grown by 18% over the last 10 years with a lot more development coming. So if you’re looking to get on the ground floor of the next town in Austin, that’s growing pretty rapidly, you definitely need to check out Lockhart.

Barbecue Capital of Texas

Lockhart is the barbecue capital of Texas. The Texas Senate passed its resolution in 2002 and named Lockhart as literally the barbecue capital of Texas. This was an act of Congress. It is built into Texas history. It is a fact that cannot be disputed.
So with barbecue being such a big deal in Texas, this is a major honor. There are tons of awesome barbecue joints to check out there’s reit market which has been serving barbecue since 1900 where barbecue sauce and forks are not allowed if you are used to like South Carolina or Kansas City and those places where they put barbecue sauce and everything – you need to know that Texas is a dry rub barbecue state and sometimes it’s just salt and pepper. Sometimes it’s salt and pepper with a little bit of cayenne and maybe some cumin and some chili powder, but there’s no sauce. There’s sauce on the side and if you want to put it on, that’s great. But no one’s gonna serve you barbecue with sauce just so you know.
You should also check out Smitty’s Market where their food is so good that the line often winds around the building and I would say this is true for most good barbecue places in Texas. You’re probably gonna wait in line, it’s probably gonna go out the door, just expect it. Also Black’s barbecue is there and they’re known for their huge ribs for being the oldest barbecue joint owned by the same family.

Lockhart – Artist Haven

Some people from Austin are leaving that area and moving to Lockhart. Lockhart is becoming an artist haven. A lot of artists have already moved to Lockhart because 1. it’s so much cheaper than Austin and 2. because it still has kind of an old town Austin-e Vibe. So highly skilled bakers who are working at five star restaurants in Austin.
They are moving to Lockhart and they’re opening up their own shop or they’re just working for a small and independent company where the pace is a little bit slower or they’re not having to work 16 hours a day and make very little money and where their money stretches a lot farther. So bakers, artists, chefs, musicians, all these folks are moving to Lockhart and kind of creating this awesome artist Haven. More and more people who are going this route. So if you’re researching areas to live that are outside of Austin, check Lockhart out.

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