Nestled off U.S. Highways 190, rests the town of Richland Springs, Texas. Founded in December 1854 by Jackson J. Brown and his family, other pioneers soon followed with the Tankersley and Duncan families. The first settlers had a deep impact on the land, then known as Richland Creek, and a private fort was built to ward off Indian attacks. Fort Duncan was established on the springs in the late 1850s when trouble with native Indians arose on the frontier, but the story says the conflict did not last long.
In 1868, the Brown School was constructed and named after one of the original settling families. By the 1870s, the area began to attract more settlers and in the later 1800s, local production of cotton, grains, and livestock became the main ways of living for the 150 residents that lived in the area. The region’s agriculture supported the justice of the peace precinct, a constabulary, and several commercial and craft businesses. In addition to the town’s newspaper, the Eye-Witness.
In 1932, the city of Richland Springs was incorporated and adopted a mayor-council form government. Today, 244 people call Richland Springs home, per the 2020 U.S. Census.
Stagecoach Restaurant is a must! When you walk up to the restaurant’s storefront, you’ll feel like you are the main character in a Western film! Enjoy a simple menu with options like a flour taco with rice and beans, fish and fries, or the taco tater!
If you’re more in the mood for American cuisine, check out The FeedLot. This establishment acts as a saloon, beer barn, and pizzeria.
Enjoy some family fun at Richland Springs City Park. The park is located next to the town’s volunteer fire department, and families can bring snacks to eat under covered tables before enjoying the playground.
Today, the town’s founding families are remembered at John Duncan’s Fort. The settler’s fort was a set of cabins for four families formed as a stockade for defense against Indians.
Richland Springs is also home to the first state bank! In 1910, Local businessman John Burleson contracted the building to use for his banking business and housed other shops for retail and medical purposes. It was recorded as a Texas Historic Landmark in 2001.
Another site to see is Regency Bridge, also known as the “Swinging Bridge,” which is a one-lane suspension bridge over the Colorado River that was built in 1903. As 90 percent of the bridge was done by hand, the bridge was demolished by a flood in 1936, and it was erected in 1939. Bypassed by paved farm roads, it now survives as one of the last suspension bridges in Texas.