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Texas Hill Country Trail Region

Participant in the Texas Historical Commission's
Texas Heritage Trails Program

Blanco


LAVENDER CAPITAL

This picturesque spot along the banks of the Blanco River grew into its role as ranching and farming trade center, acquiring a pastoral rural character that it continues to express today. It’s hard to see that Blanco was no stranger to a bit of tough luck. It lost a Masonic lodge, a courthouse, and all of the Blanco County records in a fire of 1876 and before the end of the century it would also lose the county seat to a neighboring town. But Blanco also knows how to rally and please visitors. Now host of a park favored by summer-loving Texans, the Blanco State Park, established on either side of the Blanco River, provides ideal swimming and picnicking opportunities courtesy of Civilian Conservation Corps labor. Blanco’s visitor center and community hall is located in the 1885 county courthouse, a historic native stone Second Empire edifice designed and built by the Ruffini brothers and built to replace the one lost to fire. The Blanco Historic District, listed on the National Register, covers eight blocks in the town center with the limestone courthouse as its centerpiece. The courthouse has competition, however, in the lavender farms surrounding Blanco. This regional crop, a profuse summer bloomer and theme of the Blanco Lavender Festival, responds to the local climate and terrain with a robust harvest.   


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