Bastrop is a city and the county seat of Bastrop County, Texas, United States. Located about 30 miles (48 km) southeast of Austin, it is part of theGreater Austin metropolitan area. The population was 7,218 according to the 2010 census.
Bastrop City Hall
|Nickname(s): The Most Historic Small Town in Texas;
Heart of the Lost Pines
The Bastrop Independent School District serves Bastrop. Austin Community College conducts night and continuing education classes at the Bastrop High School.
According to the Bastrop Economic Development Corporation as of 2004, the area's three largest employers are the Bastrop Independent school district, Wal-Mart, and the Bastrop County government. The Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa opened on June 2, 2006 and gave a boost to employment in the area. The Texas Boot Company, which opened in 2010, draws people from around the state to Bastrop in search of the perfect pair of boots.
As of the census of 2000, there are 5340 people in Bastrop, organized into 2034 households and 1336 families. Thepopulation density is 734.8 people per square mile (283.6/km2). There are 2,239 housing units at an average density of 308.1 per square mile (118.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city is 72.34% White, 17.00% African American, 0.99% Asian, 0.73% Native American, 0.00% Pacific Islander, 7.02% from other races, and 1.91% from two or more races. 17.75% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 2,034 households out of which 32.8% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.6% are married couples living together, 15.3% have a female householder with no husband present, and 34.3% are non-families. 29.4% of all households are made up of individuals and 12.6% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.46 and the average family size is 3.05.
In the city the population is spread out with 25.5% under the age of 18, 8.3% from 18 to 24, 29.6% from 25 to 44, 21.8% from 45 to 64, and 14.8% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 36 years. For every 100 females there are 97.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 91.2 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $40,212, and the median income for a family is $49,258. Males have a median income of $34,388 versus $27,582 for females. The per capita income for the city is $19,862. 11.7% of the population and 10.1% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 15.6% of those under the age of 18 and 13.6% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
Spanish soldiers lived temporarily at the current site of Bastrop as early as 1804, when a fort was established where the Old San Antonio Road crossed the Colorado River and named Puesta del Colorado.
Bastrop's namesake, Felipe Enrique Neri, Baron de Bastrop, was a commoner named Philip Hendrik Nering Bogel, who was wanted for embezzlement in his native country of the Netherlands. In Texas, he assisted Moses and Stephen F. Austin in obtaining land grants in Texas, and served as S. F. Austin's land commissioner. In 1827, Stephen F. Austin located one hundred families in an area adjacent to his earlier Mexican contracts. Austin arranged for Mexican officials to name a new town there after the baron who died the same year.
On June 8, 1832, the town was platted along conventional Mexican lines, with a square in the center and blocks set aside for public buildings. The town was named Bastrop, but two years later the Coahuila y Tejas legislature renamed it Mina in honor ofFrancisco Javier Mina, a Mexican revolutionary hero and martyr. The town was incorporated under the laws of the Republic of Texas on December 18, 1837, and the name was changed back to Bastrop.
Overlooking the center of the town is the Lost Pines Forest. Composed of loblolly pines(Pinus taeda), the forest is the center of the westernmost stand of the southern pine forest. As the only timber available in the area, the forest contributed to the local economy. Bastrop began supplying Austin with lumber in 1839 and then San Antonio, the western Texas frontier, and parts of Mexico.
A fire in 1862 destroyed most of downtown Bastrop's commercial buildings and the county courthouse. As a result, most current downtown structures postdate the Civil War. In 1979, the National Register of Historic Places admitted 131 Bastrop buildings and sites to its listings. This earned Bastrop the title of the "Most Historic Small Town in Texas".
On September 4, 2011, two wildfires started when trees fell against power lines. The first fire started in the community ofCircle D-KC Estates near Bastrop State Park, and the other fire started approximately 4 miles (6 km) north. The two fires merged into the Bastrop County Complex fire. On September 6, two lives were lost as well as 600 homes with 0% containment. On September 7, firefighters on the ground were able to get 30% containment. On September 11, fire crews had the fire 50% contained and had already lost more than 1,500 homes. On September 17, light rainfall in the area helped fire crews fight the flames. The fire was 85% contained. The fire burned until October 10 when fire officials declared the fire 100% contained. This was the worst and most destructive wildfire in Texas history as it destroyed 1,691 homes, killed two people, and caused $325 million of insured property damage. The drought in Texas at the time combined with strong winds from the Gulf of Mexico caused by Tropical Storm Lee helped fuel the fire.