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Blanco and Vicinity (Blanco County)

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The county seat from 1858 until 1890, Blanco was established on a tract of land donated by the Pittsburgh Land Company. The first county courthouse was built in 1860, and a Masonic university planned in 1874 was abandoned due to lack of funds. The town's population never rose above 1,000 in the nineteenth century, but has since reached that milestone.

The town's plan is typical of county seats from the period, with the county courthouse located on the central public square, surrounded by commercial buildings. These buildings are included in a National Register Historic District and reflect late-nineteenth-and early-twentieth-century architectural styles. On the Main Street side of the square the Cage Building (1907) has a rough-cut limestone facade and stepped parapet. Next door, the Moderne Blanco Theater (1930s) also has a stepped parapet and its fieldstone facade is randomly punctuated with projecting stones. The marquee was added in 1938 when the theater was converted to a movie theater. The frame Comparet Building (c. 1880), named for its original owners, Edwin and Mildred Comparet, features an ornate pressed-metal facade. Next door, the two-story limestone Masonic Building (1907), although altered, retains its rock-faced facade and honed quoins and lintels. The brick and the pressed-metal-clad buildings on the southern end of the block date from the 1920s.

On the corner of Main and 3rd streets is one of the town's oldest frame dwellings. Built in the late 1870s as a hotel, it was part of a larger complex that included a stagecoach stop and livery stable. Opposite, the one-and-a-half-story cut-limestone former Adrian Edwards Conn House is now a museum. Another fieldstone building is the Old Rock Garage (1933) at 413 3rd Street. Originally a filling and service station, the projecting carport is clad with a mixture of petrified wood, sandstone, limestone, quartz, and granite.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Gerald Moorhead et al.

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