Austin History

Murder at the Pitch and Putt & the Mother of All JFK Conspiracies

The Butler Park Pitch and Putt just off South Lamar near Ladybird Lake is easy to overlook. Hidden by tall trees on every side, the nine-hole, 2.5 acre course has been in business since 1950.

Hyde Park Fire Station Festival has Activist Roots

In the early ‘70s, Dorothy Richter went with her son to register his bicycle at the Hyde Park Fire Station when she heard something concerning: the station was scheduled to close down in several weeks.

Toughest Man That Ever Lived? Texans - Remember Cabeza de Vaca

I was talking to a group of friends when somehow we got on the subject of the toughest man of all time. "Muhammed Ali," said one. "Chuck Norris," said another. I had to set them straight. Without a doubt, the toughest man who ever lived was Cabeza de Vaca.

Austin Loses a Dear Old Friend in Music Writer Chet Flippo

Hard as it may be to believe these days, there was a time when Austin music was but a blip on the popular music radar, a well-kept secret in a then-small city that was the state capital and a big college town yet still something of a charming backwater.

Your University Can't Fail: UT Commencement Then and Now

All things considered, I was glad we had arrived so early. Cool breezes, a cold water bottle, a good book and an endless supply of phone-supplied crossword puzzles had enabled two hours to pass pleasantly enough. I turned off the phone, put down my book and glanced at the nearby UT Tower.

Bringing the General Home: A Controversial Corpse's Long Return to Austin

Albert Sidney Johnston wanted to come home. At least that’s what folks said in April 1862 after a bullet at Shiloh severed an artery in the Confederate General’s right leg, filled his boot with blood and drained his body of life. Johnston had once told his brother-in-law, “When I die, I want a handful of Texas earth on my breast.”

From Circus Ring to Parking Lot: The Long History of Republic Square

Where in Austin can you go to see a physical reminder of the city’s birth? Does anything remain in our modern metropolis that greeted Texas President Mirabeau Lamar upon his triumphant 1839 entry into the city he helped create?

Tragedy in Guy Town

Irish stone mason James Simms observed the changes in his Austin neighborhood with trepidation. The quiet residential community around his house at the corner of Cypress (Third) and Guadalupe streets had been invaded by sin. Saloons and gambling houses proliferated and thrived. Worse though, by 1874 at least two dozen “lewd women,” or prostitutes, lived within two blocks of the Simms home.

When the Weird was Wild - Austin's Frontier History (Part 2)

All right, SXSW fan, ready to continue your walking tour of frontier Austin? Recall that the first leg of the tour left us at the intersection of Congress Avenue and Eighth (Hickory) Street, where in 1838 Mirabeau Lamar shot one ginormous buffalo. Did you know that a couple of years ago our current governor continued this tradition of Texas politicians gunning down wildlife by shooting a coyote during a morning run?

When the Weird was Wild - Austin's Frontier History (Part 1)

So you’re in town for SXSW and you somehow woke up before noon and it’s a beautiful day outside and your first must-see band doesn’t play until suppertime. What do you do? You’ve seen Mount Bonnell, Barton Springs is too cold despite what that Speedo-wearing guy in the lobby said and your credit card has to pace itself so the Domain and SoCo are out.

Ben Thompson's March Toward Death

At age nine he arrived with his family in New Orleans aboard the Grenada after a cross-Atlantic voyage from Liverpool, England. Five months later he and his clan settled in Austin. In 1856 the by-now thirteen-year-old youth answered a dare from his friend Joe Brown by shooting him in the backside with a small shotgun.

Follow Us

Get the Post delivered:

Back To Top