Visit Brandon, Texas with Mighway

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Brandon is an unincorporated community located in Hill County in Central Texas. It is located at the intersection of State Highway 22 and FM 1243, approximately ten miles east of Hillsboro. Brandon had an estimated population of eighty in 2010. It once had its own school, located at the site of the present community center, but it burned down in the early 20th century. The building that now serves as the community center was originally built as a school building, but a dwindling population forced its closure. Area students have been attending school in the nearby town of Bynum (Bynum ISD) since at least the 1970s. Although the community is unincorporated, it has a post office, with the ZIP code of 76628. There was a cotton gin in the mid-20th century that employed a good portion of the community, it has been closed since at least the 1990s and the building no longer exists. The community at one operated with a mayoral system, the last Mayor's house still stands at the end of FM 4372, though it is severely dilapidated. A former gas station, now dilapidated, can be viewed on the north side of FM 1243, just west of the community center. It has been closed since at least the 1990s. A Methodist church stood in community until the 1990s, on the south side of the western corner of Hillsboro Street. Originally part of Navarro County, a post office was opened near here in 1852 and given the name of White Rock. A year later, with the formation of Hill County, the small community was within the Hill County lines. After the Civil War, the name of the post office was changed (several other communities were named White Rock) to Jackson. In 1868 a Dr. J.R. Harrington (dentist), founder of the town, built one of the earliest grist mills in Hill County. Corn meal, basic to settlers' diet, was ground here. Dr. Harrington Built a dam on White Rock Creek near here as a water source for power in the millhouse. A grist mill was primary need in every early community. Where bread could be made, settlements thrived. A good water supply and a grist mill were essential to a successful town. The final change of name occurred in 1873 when the doctor named the town Brandon and became the community’s postmaster. As a result of its location on the Hillsboro to Corsicana road, Brandon grew. The railroad arrived in 1888 but missed the town by a mile. The community didn’t have any problem with relocation, but a suggested change of name (to Ferguson) was not accepted. The brand new town with the old name counted 75 residents in 1890. It incorporated in 1892 and a new school was built. By 1914, Brandon had a population of 450 which fell to 260 during the Great Depression. The grist mill fell into disuse sometime before 1918. In 1936 the railroad moved and remaining businesses left or closed. By 1967 only the stone foundation of the grist mill remained. By 1980, the number of residents had fallen to 80 – where it is estimated remained for the 1990, 2000 and 2010 census (estimated as Brandon as a community is not officially on the census). A cemetery remains in the original town of Brandon. According to the Texas Historical Marker in front of the community center (dated 1967) - "Old Brandon Grist Mill. 1 1/2 miles southwest. One of earliest grist mills in Hill County. Built (1868) by Dr. Jas. T. Harrington, who also founded town of Brandon. Corn meal, basic to settlers' diet, was ground here. Dr. Harrington Built a dam on White Rock Creek near here as a water source for power in the millhouse. His grist mill served a wide area for nearly 50 years. A grist mill was primary need in every early community. Where bread could be made, settlements thrived. A good water supply and a grist mill were essential to a successful town. Today only stone foundations of old Brandon Mill remain."

Places to Visit near Brandon, Texas

The Alamo

Originally named Mission San Antonio de Valero, the Alamo served as home to missionaries and their Indian converts for nearly seventy years. Construction began on the present site in 1724. In 1793, Spanish officials secularized San Antonio's five missions and distributed their lands to remaining Indian residents. These men and women continued to farm the fields, once the mission's but now their own, and participated in the growing community of San Antonio. More than 2.5 million people a year visit the 4.2 acre complex known worldwide as "The Alamo." Most come to see the old mission where a small band of Texans held out for thirteen days against the Centralist army of General Antonio López de Santa Anna. Although the Alamo fell in the early morning hours of March 6, 1836, the death of the Alamo Defenders has come to symbolize courage and sacrifice for the cause of Liberty.

San Antonio River Walk

The San Antonio River Walk is a public park, open 365 days a year. It is a network of walkways along the banks of the San Antonio River, one story beneath approximately 15 miles of downtown San Antonio.  Lined by bars, shops and restaurants, the River Walk is an important part of the city's urban fabric and a tourist attraction in its own right. The River Walk winds and loops under bridges as two parallel sidewalks, lined with restaurants, shops, hotels and more. It connects the major tourist draws from the Alamo to Rivercenter Mall,  Arneson River Theatre and La Villita,  the San Antonio Museum of Art, and the Pearl Brewery.Over 20 events take place on the River Walk every year.

Hamilton Pool Preserve

This collapsed grotto, which is surrounded by shady forests, has been turned into a swimming hole, complete with refreshing waterfall. It's also a short, 20-minute drive from Austin-- perfect for hipsters who want a swimming solution that's a little less mainstream. The grotto has a long history. It was once an underground river, until the dome collapsed due to erosion, forming the canyon-like pool we see today. Before the pool was owned by Morgon C. Hamilton, the area was inhabited by the Tonkawas and Lipan Apaches. Then, Hamilton bought the land in the 1860's, and he and his brother, Texas governor Andrew Jackson Hamilton, would frequently visit the grotto. After that, the land was purchased by the Reimers, a family of German immigrants who planned to use the land to raise cattle. According to legend, their 8-year-old son rediscovered the pool. While such a feature could pose problems for cattle-raising, the Reimers recognized the pool's potential as an attraction for public use.  It wasn't until the 1960's, however, that the pool's popularity really took off. In 1985, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Association bought the pool with the intent to restore the area's natural plant and wild life that had been disrupted by years of cattle ranching. Currently, the ecosystems are recovering nicely. Such an incredible area hasn't gone unnoticed by Hollywood location scouts either. Hamilton Pool has been featured in films like 1990's The Hot Spot, 2010's Predators (oh, hello shirtless Adrian Brody) and 2011's The Tree of Life.  If you want to take a dip in the magical pool, then plan on getting there early, because its popularity hasn't subsided. Since the pool is a protected area, there's a limit to how many people can be allowed in at once, and it fills up FAST, especially on hot Texas summer days. According to the Austin Convention and Visitor's Bureau, 21 million people visited in 2012. It's 100% worth any potential wait, though-- I mean, just imagine how good it'll feel to swim underneath that waterfall! -Roadtrippers Hamilton Pool Preserve is a historic swimming hole which was designated a preserve by the Travis County Commissioner's Court in 1990. Located 3/4 mile upstream from its confluence with the Pedernales River, Hamilton Creek spills out over limestone outcroppings to create a 50 foot waterfall as it plunges into the head of a steep box canyon. The waterfall never completely dries up, but in dry times it does slow to a trickle. However, the pool's water level stays pretty constant, even during periods of drought. The uplands of the preserve are a juniper and oak savannah with a variety of native grasses and wildflowers. Several rare plant species including canyon mock-orange, red bay (western-most colony of this eastern species), and chatter box orchid are known to occur in the canyon areas along Hamilton Creek. A unique natural area surrounds this pool, collapsed grotto and canyon, formed by thousands of years of water erosion. Lush plant communities, a variety of wildlife species and natural shelter attracted the area's first inhabitants. Cultural remains date back over 8,000 years. Prior to the 1800s, Tonkawa and Lipan Apaches lived in the area. In the mid 1860s, Morgan C. Hamilton owned the property now known as Hamilton Pool Preserve. His brother, Andrew Jake Hamilton (the 10th governor of Texas), evidently visited this beautiful grotto while he was governor. In the 1880s, the Reimers, an immigrant family from Germany, bought the property to raise sheep and cattle. Legend has it that their eight-year-old son discovered the collapsed grotto.

Waco Mammoth National Monument

The Waco Mammoth National Monument is a paleontological site and museum in Waco, Texas, United States where fossils of twenty-four Columbian mammoths (Mammuthus columbi) and other mammals from the Pleistocene Epoch have been uncovered. The site is the largest known concentration of mammoths dying from a (possibly) reoccurring event, which is believed to have been a flash flood. The mammoths on site did not all die at the same time but rather during three separate events in the same area. A local partnership developed around the site after the initial bone was discovered. The Waco Mammoth Foundation worked in partnership with the city of Waco and Baylor University to develop the site. In 2015, they successfully sought the National Monument designation to bring the expertise of the National Park Service into the partnership.

Campgrounds and RV Parks near Brandon, Texas

Palo Duro Canyon State Park

Along the famous route 66

Palo Duro Canyon State Park opened on July 4, 1934 and contains 29,182 acres of the scenic, northern most portion of the Palo Duro Canyon. The Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930's constructed most of the buildings and roads still in use by park staff and visitors.The Canyon is 120 miles long, as much as 20 miles wide, and has a maximum depth of more than 800 feet. Its elevation at the rim is 3,500 feet above sea level. It is often claimed that Palo Duro Canyon is the second largest canyon in the United States. The largest, the Grand Canyon, is 277 miles long, 18 miles wide, and 6,000 ft. deep.Palo Duro Canyon was formed by water erosion from the Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River. The water deepens the canyon by moving sediment downstream. Wind and water erosion gradually widen the canyon. Early Spanish Explorers are believed to have discovered the area and dubbed the canyon "Palo Duro" which is Spanish for "hard wood" in reference to the abundant mesquite and juniper trees. 

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Enchanted Rock State Natural Area

One of the largest batholiths in the US

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area consists of 1,643.5 acres on Big Sandy Creek, north of Fredericksburg, on the border between Gillespie and Llano counties. It was acquired by warranty deed in 1978 by the Nature Conservancy of Texas, Inc., from the Moss family. The state acquired it in 1984, added facilities, and re-opened the park in March 1984, but humans have visited here for over 11,000 years. Enchanted Rock was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1970 and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. The Rock is a huge, pink granite exfoliation dome, that rises 425 feet above ground, 1,825 feet above sea level, and covers 640 acres. It is one of the largest batholiths (underground rock formation uncovered by erosion) in the United States. Tonkawa Indians believed ghost fires flickered at the top, and they heard weird creaking and groaning, which geologists now say resulted from the rock's heating by day and contracting in the cool night. A conquistador captured by the Tonkawa described how he escaped by losing himself in the rock area, giving rise to an Indian legend of a "pale man swallowed by a rock and reborn as one of their own." The Indians believed he wove enchantments on the area, but he explained that the rock wove the spells. "When I was swallowed by the rock, I joined the many spirits who enchant this place." The first well-documented explorations of this area did not begin until 1723, when the Spanish intensified their efforts to colonize Texas. During the mid-1700s, the Spaniards made several trips to the north and northwest of San Antonio, establishing a mission and presidio on the San Saba River and carrying out limited mining on Honey Creek near the Llano River.

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