travelgrove Travel Guides

Austin History, Texas

Waterloo, as it was first named by the settlers who laid the first cornerstone, was founded in 1830 when the first white people settled there. Before that, an unorganized group of Indians inhabited it. Little Waterloo was considered the capital of Texas in 1839. A new city was built and named after Stephen.F. Austin who is considered the father of Texas.

Judge Waller, who was the first mayor of the town of Austin, laid out the plans for the streets which remained almost the same till now. The government then moved from Houston to Austin in Carts pulled by oxen. By 1838, the population had swelled to about 850 people. Everyone marveled at the job done by Judge Waller.

 They built the congress on a Hill overlooking Congress Avenue. The main business district grew on Congress Street and Pecan Avenue which later became 6th Street. It has stayed almost the same for 150 years. In 1845, when Texas was annexed in the union, it took two elections to keep the capital in Austin.

 In 1888, a new capitol building was built, but the site for it remained the same.  The new building was supposed to be the seventh largest in the world. It was funded by a very creative financing deal struck with the XIT ranch. Until today, it has proudly served as the seat of government. The Austin school system started in 1881 as the Tillotson College and the Normal Institute opened its doors. Now the two are together as the Tillotson- normal College.

 The reason given for the University of Texas not be located in Austin was that the students would be badly influenced by the politicians there. In 1893, they built the Great Grante dam in Austin on the Colorado River, which was able to give hydro-electric power so that Austin could have new businesses move in. They removed that dam and put 7 different ones in their place in 1938.

 By the end of the depression, Austin was a bustling city, and had many different technical companies move in, everything and everybody started getting attracted to moving to Austin. There were movie theaters, public swimming pools, libraries and it even had its own professional baseball team. Austin had put itself on the map as a city by its own right.

 The feeling was so strong about preserving Austin’s heritage that a number of politicians formed historical preservation societies. A prominent politician, who got his political start in Austin, was named Lyndon Johnson later becoming the President of the country. 

Ask our travel experts a question about Austin

Things about Austin you may be interested in


Read our members' reviews about Austin

  • mohds2Things to see in Austin
    review by mohds2 posted more then 30 days ago
    Austin is a city of the Texas that possesses countless dazzling features, exciting sites to see and background to look. It is community as to encourage 'Keep Austin Weird' jingle, but there’s lots of historical as well as architectural features and the more recent melody and media life,...
view all

Read our members' travel tips about Austin

  • cipristbLBJ Library and Museum
    travel tip by cipristb posted more then 30 days ago
    The first free Presidential museum, the LBJ Library and Museum is a popular destination for visitors who are interested in the life and work of the U.S.'s 36th President. A visit to the museum building itself is worth it, which has...
  • Sayuri87Elisabet Ney Museum
    travel tip by Sayuri87 posted more then 30 days ago
    Inspired by beauty and using science in creating amazingly beautiful artwork, the Elisabet Ney Museum holds the artist's paintings and sculptures and puts them on display for visitors. Through her work people can look at beauty in a...
  • MalikaEsther's Follies
    travel tip by Malika posted more then 30 days ago
    This comedy theater is one of the greatest I went to in Austin. Their performances are full of life and color and they make Esther's Follies a magical place to be. If you don't really have to get inside and sit through all their...
view all


the best travel deals provided by TravelZoo...
  •$98Multiple Airlines flightMultiple Airlines
    Las Vegas, NV (LAS)  Austin, TX (AUS)
    07/18/2024 08:34 am
    Austin, TX (AUS)  Las Vegas, NV (LAS)
    07/23/2024 04:49 pm
  •$167Multiple Airlines flightMultiple Airlines
    Detroit, MI (DTW)  Austin, TX (AUS)
    09/24/2024 05:00 am
    Austin, TX (AUS)  Detroit, MI (DTW)
    10/09/2024 07:18 pm
  •$168Spirit Airlines flightSpirit Airlines
    Fort Lauderdale, FL (FLL)  Austin, TX (AUS)
    06/25/2024 07:05 am
    Austin, TX (AUS)  Fort Lauderdale, FL (FLL)
    07/08/2024 10:00 am

Austin City Ratings

  • Ratingunrated
    City Rankunrated
  • History & Culture: not rated
  • Night Life & Entertainment: not rated
  • Family & Fun: not rated
  • Outdoors Activities: not rated
  • Food: not rated
  • Sightseeing: not rated
  • Shopping: not rated
  • Public Transportation: not rated
  • Must visit this place: not rated
   Welcome to Travelgrove  register tell a friend bookmark it