Small towns with the commitment to preservation have an inherent appeal. When there is an interesting character or twist in its history, the appeal is ratcheted up a few notches.
Welcome to Bastrop, Texas, located about thirty miles southeast of Austin. While I introduce Baron de Bastrop, I will show photos of the Bastrop Opera House.
"Felipe Enrique Neri was born Philip Hendrik Nering Bögel in 1759 in Dutch Guiana and moved to Holland with his parents in 1764.
"By April 1795, he had arrived in Spanish Louisiana, where he represented himself as a Dutch nobleman. During the next decade he received permission from the Spanish government to engage in several business ventures in Louisiana and Kentucky. After Louisiana was sold to the United States in 1803, Bastrop moved to Spanish Texas and was permitted to establish a colony between Bexar and the Trinity River. In 1806 he settled in San Antonio, where he had a freighting business and gained influence with the inhabitants and officials.
"During his tenure as representative of Texas at the capital, Saltillo, Bastrop sought legislation favorable to the cause of immigration and to the interests of settlers; he secured passage of the colonization act of 1825; and he was instrumental in the passage of an act establishing a port at Galveston. His salary, according to the Mexican system, was paid by contributions from his constituents. The contributions were not generous; Bastrop did not leave enough money to pay his burial expenses when he died, on February 23, 1827. His fellow legislators donated the funds to reimburse Juan Antonio Padilla for the expenses of the funeral. Bastrop was buried in Saltillo.
At one time, Bastrop had the oldest drug store in the state. That burned down, but Lock's is still around.
Although not quite so old (it dates back to the 70's), Lock's has a turn-of-the-century interior and an old-time soda fountain.