Ledbetter was once the first town in the county to boast a rail-road, but its importance declined when nearby La Grange became a freight center. With a population of slightly more than 300, the town of Burton has a surprising number of shops and businesses, many open only on weekends. Take some time to walk around the historic buildings and drop in to the Burton Cafe. Here you can make arrangements for a guide to take you on a tour of the restored gin, railroad depot, and old caboose.
In this state, Brenham means the Blue Bell Creamery. This is one of the biggest independent manufacturers of ice cream in the country, selling over 25 million half-gallon containers a year. Thus, when the seat of government was moved to Austin, the town hung on, kept alive by its position on the river. Eventually, though, in the 1850s, Washington was bypassed by the railroads, and the community dwindled to a tiny dot on the map. One of the hidden treasures of the Texas parks system is the Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historical Park.
© Paris Permenter & John Bigley/The Globe Pequot Press. All Rights Reserved.