Bastrop traces its beginnings to a small fort, Puesta del Colorado, established in 1804 at the junction of the Old San Antonio Road (Camino Real) and the Colorado River. Felipe Enrique Neri, Baron de Bastrop, provided the name for the community as he assisted Moses Austin and Stephen F. Austin in obtaining land grants in Texas and served as Austin's land commissioner. In 1827, Austin relocated settlers to the area and named it after the baron. Residents platted the town in 1832 and incorporated it in 1837. Near the community is Lost Pines Forest, the westernmost stand of the southern pine forest, providing much of the lumber needed in the development of Austin and other communities in the region. Bastrop offers an important collection of mid- and late-nineteenth-century architecture, though the commercial district along Main and Pine streets mostly dates to the turn of the twentieth century. The community has maintained a steady population of about 5,000 since the mid-twentieth century and today serves as a bedroom community to Austin, though the county retains a sizeable agricultural industry.
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