Unique and distinctive places are scattered all over the great state of Texas, but there are none more unique than Last Stand! In the 1800s it was merely a wide spot in the road, a way station with only a trading post, a smithy, and a saloon—until the Texas Revolution spread out to engulf the tiny community. The few locals took shelter in the only solid building there was, the Last Stand Saloon, built of Hill Country limestone. And that tiny band of Texans held off a full contingent of Santa Anna’s troops with sheer courage and gallows humor. One of those jokes, about making their last stand in a saloon as opposed to a mission like the Alamo, led to the town’s name. And those who survived that battle dedicated themselves to turning that tiny outpost into a town any Texan would be proud of. Descendents from that battle live in Last Stand to this day. That saloon is still standing and operational, complete with bullet holes from the battle in its walls. And every year in January, Last Stand celebrates its past on Heritage Day, with a re-enactment of the famous battle.
Last Stand grew, its expansion accelerated by the addition of a train depot. Today it is a thriving community of ranchers, cattle and horse breeders, farmers who take advantage of the climate to raise glorious peaches, vintners working hard to make the Hill Country the primary wine country of Texas, and it hangs on to a touch of its more reckless past by being the home of Outlaw Tequila.
But Last Stand has more than history to interest you! Every spring on the second weekend of April, Last Stand holds one of the biggest Bluebonnet Festivals in the state, with a parade, vendors, and tons of activities to keep you and the kids entertained.
Summer marks the Last Stand 4th of July Rodeo, a fully sanctioned event that draws talent from around the country, along with our local stars. There are exhibitions, demonstrations, and events for the younger crowd whether they ride or not.
Fall brings us to an Oktoberfest, celebrating the German heritage of the Hill Country. With everything delicious and highly drinkable you would anticipate, it’s one of the highlights of the year.
The Christmas season in Last Stand is a wondrous experience, with a community tree lighting and Christmas parade the first weekend, a Christmas marketplace with everything you or the smaller ones in your family could wish for. The season culminates with the annual Christmas ball, a formal affair that raises money to support the summer rodeo.
So whatever the season, Last Stand has something to offer everyone. Come and be welcomed with some Hill Country hospitality!
Author Eve Gaddy took the time to answer a few questions about the new Tule town of Last Stand, Texas, and her release out April 11: Heart of the Texas Doctor!
Ann B. Harrison took some time to chat about her second Hansen Brothers book, The Convenient Cowboy.