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History of Round Top, Texas: 3 Things You Probably Didn’t Know

Apr 22, 2021 | Round Top FYI

When it comes to the history of Round Top, Texas, there are some facts that just about everybody’s familiar with by now. For instance, you probably know all about how our world-famous Round Top Antiques Show got its start in the late 1960s. You might even know that Texas State Highway 237, our area’s main thoroughfare, served as a way for folks to flee the Mexican army following the fall of the Alamo. (And if you didn’t know those things before, you do now!) In truth, our tiny Texas town has a long and fascinating past. Here, we’ve pulled together three facts about the history of Round Top, Texas, that you might not have heard before.

English Wasn’t Commonplace in Round Top’s Early Days
Although it was English settlers who first made their way to town in the 1820s, the German culture (and language) soon took over. By the 1850s, German immigrants made up the majority of Round Top, and absolutely everybody spoke the tongue. That’s the way things remained until some modern-day technology arrived. As Sally Reynolds notes in her “Round Top Next Stop” booklet,  introduction of the television led folks — especially little ones — to take to the English language. As time progressed and older generations passed on, the English language remained.

Early Round Top Residents Were Big on Beer
Just like modern-day bars and restaurants provide a great place to kick back and catch up, the same was true when our town got its start. In fact “Round Top Next Stop” points out that there were times we had seven beer joints open at once. (That’s actually quite the feat when you consider the size of the town at the time!) Of course, modern-day Round Top has a few more options than they did back then. (And we recommend every one of ‘em.) See for yourself on our Dine page!

Round Top Might Be Small Now, But We’re Bigger Than We Were
May 6, 1870 marked an important event in the history of Round Top, Texas: The day our town was incorporated. And at that time, we weren’t just the newest incorporated town. With a whopping 65 people total, we were state’s smallest one, too. While Reader’s Digest reports that Los Ybanez, Texas, now holds that title, Round Top still isn’t all that gigantic. According to our last census stats, we’ve grown to a population of 90. (Guess that saying that everything’s bigger in Texas doesn’t always apply.)

That’s just the beginning when it comes to the fascinating history of Round Top, Texas. Looking to learn more? The Round Top Area Historical Society is a great place to start! You can also drop by our visitors’ center (the tiny white church on Henkel Square) for other fantastic resources. We look forward to seeing you, and to telling you more about the town that’s big time small.

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