Mason, Texas the seat of Mason County, grew under the protection of Fort Mason, one of series of Texas frontier forts.
Mason is noted for camping, hunting and fishing. White-tailed deer and wild turkey attract hunters each fall and winter; fishing in the beautiful Llano River is a year round sport. Historical interest centers around Indians who once roamed area, a bloody feud known as the Mason County War, and the fort.
Many homes and businesses are constructed of original-cut sandstone blocks from old Fort Mason. Bluebonnets blanket surrounding hillsides and valleys during spring. There are picturesque rock fences stitched along scenic countryside. Topaz, the state gem, is found in Mason County’s streambeds and ravines. For information about topaz hunts, contact the Mason County Chamber of Commerce.
Visitors enjoy the historic town square. The quaint Mason County courthouse amid large pecan trees offers an excellent photo opportunity. The restored, historic Odeon Theater features movies and musical entertainment throughout the year.
Eckert James River Bat Cave
One of the largest Mexican free-tailed bat colonies is found here. Take U.S. 87 south to R.R. 1723. Go two miles and turn right on R.R. 2389. Follow the signs to the cave. Watch for cattle and wildlife on the road after dark. Call 325-347-5970 for more information.
Fort Mason – An officers quarters reconstructed on the crest of Post Hill marks location of a fort that commanded a wide view. A number of crumbling foundations still show some sites of 23 original buildings that included barracks, officers quarters, storehouses, stables, a guardhouse and a hospital. Primarily a cavalry post, Fort Mason was duty station for such military figures as Albert Sidney Johnston, John Bell Hood and Robert E. Lee.
Fort Mason was Lee’s last command in the U.S. Army. From here he was called to Washington where he refused command of the Union army being prepared for the War Between the States. Briefly activated after that war, Fort Mason was abandoned in 1869. The reconstructed building is on its original foundations. The double fireplace foundations are original, and the rock used was from the original building materials of the fort. Fort Mason is on the Texas Forts Trail. It is about five blocks south of the Mason County courthouse.
The Fort Mason City Park is a 125-acre park with picnicking facilities among large pecan trees, fully equipped RV camping sites, a 9-hole golf course, a rodeo arena, athletic fields, walking trails, and a playscape. It is on U.S. 87 1 mile south of Mason, Texas. Telephone: 915-347-6449
Mason County M. Beven Eckert Memorial Library In addition to books, magazines, and other items found in libraries, special areas highlight local literary celebrities. Fred Gipson, author of Old Yeller and Savage Sam is from Mason. Take time to look at the full exhibit on him in the library and stroll out from the library to see the “Old Yeller” statue. Other exhibits include information of the Eckert James River Bat Cave and genealogy information on early Mason families. It is open daily, except Sun. It is located just south of the square.
Mason County Museum A general collection of Mason County historical items is housed in this old schoolhouse built in the 1870s, largely from material from Fort Mason buildings. The original spring for the fort still flows just east of the museum, although not as profusely as when it served the fort. It is located at 300 Moody St.
The Mason County Veterans’ Memorial is a granite memorial located on Courthouse Square inscribed with the names of Mason County veterans. The project was initiated and completed by Mason High School’s Class of 2001 as a tribute to military service given by Mason County veterans.
The Seaquist Home (photo above) was constructed in the 1880s. It contains 17 rooms, and 14 fireplaces. It exhibits outstanding craftsmanship, unusual architecture, and unusual furnishings. It is located at 400 Broad St.