Western Trips

Western Trips

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Visit Lockhart Texas / History and the Barbeque Capital

If you happen to be looking for the official "Barbeque Capital of Texas" , you need to travel no further than the community of Lockhart. In addition to the terrific barbeque offered at Lockhart, the city also has a rich history and was the site of a battle in 1840 involving the famed Texas Rangers. Lockhart also has many historic old buildings still lining it's square and we've included several photos of these in this article.

Caldwell County Courthouse
Located in and being the county seat of Caldwell County Texas, the city is named after Byrd Lockhart who it is said was a surveyor and also the first Anglo to enter Caldwell County.

Lockhart, Texas is located about 38 miles south of Austin and about 70 miles northeast of San Antonio.

The Great Raid and The Battle of Plum Creek

The history part of Lockhart includes the distinction of being the site of what was called the Battle of Plum Creek. This was a battle between a large Comanche war party and the Texas Rangers.

Prior to this battle, the Comanches engaged in an epic raid against Texas settlers. The raid was so immense that many bands of Comanches drove all the way southeast through Victoria and onward to the then port town of Indianola on the Gulf of Mexico. This raid is considered to be the largest by Indian tribes against white towns and settlements in the history of the United States. The raid was revenge for what the Comanches had believed was a betrayal at what was called the Council House Fight that killed several of their leaders.

Chisholm Trail Ballroom
All of this occurred in early August of 1840. The Indians looted towns and homes all along the way and had collected a good deal of bullion, livestock and plunder. Texas Rangers companies along with volunteers from settlements such as Gonzales and Bastrop made plans to intercept the Indians during their return westward. All of this did come to a head when the Comanches were confronted by the Texans at Plum Creek near today's Lockhart, Texas on August 12, 1840.

The Chisholm Trail Ballroom shown in this photo is officially the oldest building around the Lockhart Texas square.

The Indians were slowed by all of the plunder they were hauling back to west Texas and this allowed the Texans to catch up with them. The battle at Plum Creek was reported to be a running gun fight where the Texans were trying to kill Comanches and recover loot at the same time. It is said that perhaps eighty Comanches were killed in the fighting however the vast majority of the raiders did escape. The Texans it seems after finding the stolen bullion cut off their pursuit to collect and divide up the loot. As a consequence the majority of the Indian raiders escaped by riding away at top speed to the west.

Lockhart's A.L.B. Bldg built in 1901
The battle site is located a few miles north of the Lockhart State Park. The park was created by the Civilian Conservation Corps between 1935 and 1938 from donated land. The park address is 4179 State Park Road. To reach Lockhart State Park, drive one mile south of Lockhart on U.S. Highway 183 to FM 20; then travel southwest on FM 20 for two miles to Park Road 10 and continue one mile south on Park Road 10

Some of the Absolute Best Barbeque in Texas

What you need to know is that if your travels take you anywhere near Lockhart, Texas you want to make an effort to visit this town. Here you cannot go wrong with Texas barbeque. In fact, we'll say this could very well be the best barbeque you ever enjoyed.

You may also enjoy the Western Trips articles on the links below... 

Visit Austin Texas' Famous Driskill Hotel

Visit the Old Frontier Settlement of Dripping Springs Texas

Tour the Historic Menger Hotel in San Antonio

A Walking Tour of Historic Gonzales Texas

Lockhart's Ray Bldg from 1898
The facts regarding barbecue in Lockhart is that there are four BBQ restaurants in Lockhart. The restaurants estimate that about 5,000 people visit their establishments each week. This would come to about 250,000 people a year who eat BBQ in Lockhart.

Lockharts four BBQ restaurants include Black's Barbeque at 215  N. Main Street. Black's opened in 1932 and is one of the oldest barbeque restaurants in the state and has been owned by the same family since it's founding. Go through the line for your sides, then your barbeque meat choice and you'll have a choice of eating inside or at picnic tables on the grass on the north side of the building.

Another is Chisholm Trail Barbeque located at 1323 S. Colorado. This popular restaurant opened it's doors in 1978. This is a famous Texas barbecue including fajitas and special sides in a cafeteria-style setting.

Black's Barbecue, Lockhart, TX
Kreuz Barbeque is unique whereas the beef, sausage or pork is served on brown butcher paper. No sides are offered. Sauce is another thing that is not an option at Kreuz. The owners feel that good barbeque doesn't require sauce. The restaurant is located at 619 N. Colorado

The fourth barbeque restaurant in Lockhart Texas is Smitty's Market. Smitty's is located at 208 S. Commerce and is noted for great barbeque. Walk to the back and order your meat from the people who will weigh it for you. Take your meat inside then order sides and drinks.

(Article and photos copyright 2014 Western Trips) 

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