Mason, Texas, located on the western side of the Hill Country, offers a beautiful combination of rugged Texas landscape, as well as historic, recreational and cultural opportunities for any visitor or resident. The first thing people notice is the town square, which is considered one of the five most beautiful squares in Texas by Texas Monthly Magazine. Once you’ve seen it for yourself, you will know why we are the “Gem of the Hill Country”.
Mason has been a significant place on the road from San Antonio to all points west since the mid 1800’s. Its proximity to water and strategic location caused the US government to establish Ft. Mason. From 1851-1869, we were the edge of the “civilized” frontier. Twenty-six generals, including Robert E. Lee, served at Ft. Mason before the Civil War – more than any other post. You can step back in time today as you tour the replica of the officers’ quarters at Fort Mason and enjoy the panoramic view from the Top of Post Hill.
The fertile land around Mason attracted settlers from Europe. In the 1920’s, Mason was known for the quality beef and mohair produced here. This same landscape also holds a treasure trove of Pre-Cambrian fossils, pink granite, and blue topaz which bring rock hounders, rock crawlers, and geologists from around the world.
Wildlife is an abundant resource in Mason County, with an average of 12 -15 deer annually scoring higher than 145 on the Boone & Crockett scale. Those deer graze upon the same roadsides and pastures which are filled with wildflowers from April to July. Mason’s most populous animal can be seen every night from 6 pm -8 pm from May to October when millions of bats emerge from the James River Bat Preserve located just over 15 miles from Mason.
German heritage and Texas pride have allowed Mason to prosper, not only financially but also culturally, for over 150 years. Mason’s Odeon Theater was built in 1928 and is West Texas’ longest running theater. It was here, in 1957, where the movie ” Old Yeller “ premiered, written by Mason native Fred Gipson. Today, this icon boasts high-definition digital projection and dolby surround sound.
Through the years Mason has been the home of many famous individuals including writers, statesmen, craftsmen, and artists. Two famous artists who have called Mason home for many years are Gene Zesch and Bill Worrell. In recent years Mason County has become home to a handful of vineyards and the award winning wines of Sandstone Cellars Winery.
Once you’ve seen the history, bought some antiques, ogled a star-cut topaz, viewed some art, tasted some wine, and seen the wildflowers, well, your Mason adventure is just beginning. Now, slow down, stay a while, soak up a sunset and enjoy the “Gem of the Hill Country”.