I'm staying in Mason, TX now for a Habitat For Humanity build and will be here for another 12 days. The city of 2,186 people makes a claim to the title of "The Gem of the Hill Country." It has good reason for being called that as I learned at the free admittance Mason Square Museum located on the picturesque downtown square.
On display in the museum is the largest light blue topaz gem discovered in North America. Topaz is the State Gem of Texas and is only found in Mason.
Mason County Courthouse
I complimented the museum docent for the quality of the museum design. It contains far than the typical hodgepodge of local historical artifacts as is so common in underfunded, rural community museums. It does an excellent job portraying local history, both the good and bad. Some of the topics covered include:
And a full complement of traditional goods and services sans Starbucks and McDonalds.
I have especially enjoyed the local Hill Country architecture. I love the use of natural brown limestone in classic farmstead construction. Every old farmstead and many city tracts had these elevated water storage tanks to no doubt combat drought conditions.
Reconstruction of Part of Fort Mason That Sits On A Hill Overlooking Mason, Texas
Old Yeller Statue
Lastly, if you are a child of the 60's you are probably familiar with the sad tale of Old Yeller. The Disney movie of the same name is based on the book by local author Fred Gipson. A Mason statue at the public library commemorates the story.
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