Ideally located, Seguin is a wonderful day trip destination from Austin, San Antonio and Houston. The historic downtown is full of great shops, and gives the visitor a feel for what life was like before the advent of strip malls. The service always seems a little friendlier when trading with small businesses, and the reception you’ll get at the mom and pop type stores and cafes will surely put a smile on your face.
A Little History
Seguin, TX is steeped in Lone Star history. It was founded by in 1838 by a group of Texas Rangers who had been using the area as a camp site since 1828. Located thirty-five miles northeast of San Antonio off of I-10 and the Guadalupe river, it was incorporated as Walnut Springs in 1853. It’s name was changed to Seguin a mere six months later to honor Juan Seguin, a hero of the Texas Revolution. Born in Mexico in 1806, Seguin joined the revolution to help the Texians rid the state of Santa Anna’s rule. In the years 1835 and 1836, he recruited and commanded Tejanos for the Texian army. A statue of Juan Seguin depicts him in uniform, on horseback, saluting his saber to all of Texas in the downtown Seguin Central Park.
In 1849 it chartered a school and the first schoolhouse was built in 1850. Guadalupe High School was recognized by the state in 1962 as the oldest continuously used school building in Texas. Since 1912, Seguin has also been the home of Texas Lutheran University.
Seguin is home to the Sebastopol House State Historic Site, an 1856 Greek Revival-style house made of limecrete sitting on 2.2 acres of its original 4-acre site. By 1900, Seguin had approximately 90 limecrete (a form of concrete) structures, although fewer than 20 now remain. In his “Journey Through Texas” (1857), Frederick Law Olmsted, the famous landscape architect of New York’s Central Park, noted the use of concrete in a number of local buildings as he described Seguin as “the prettiest town in Texas.”
In 1869 the first business in Texas owned by freed slaves , the historic Wilson Pottery Site, was started by Hiram, James, and Wallace Wilson, who learned the craft of pottery making when they were slaves. Their pottery is now highly regarded as art by museums and private collectors around the world. The major forms were jugs, large and narrow mouthed jars, churns, pitchers, and bowls.
The oldest railway in Texas, the Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio Railroad, chartered on February 11, 1850. The Buffalo Bayou, Brazos and Colorado Railway Company built the first Seguin depot in 1876.
Seguin is a large producer of pecans and is often attributed the nickname “Pecan Capital of Texas.” The city boasts of having the “World’s Largest Pecan,” a five foot long, two-and- a-half foot wide concrete pecan located in front of the county courthouse.