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A Brief History of Wimberley, Texas with Photos and References
A glance across time... from prehistoric Wimberley, to today's tourist and retirement village.

Prehistoric Wimberley was home to native Americans, and evidence of their presence is found near now extinct stream beds and along the river. 16th century Spanish explorers came here looking for gold and adventure and by the 17th century Spanish church representatives arrived to stake a claim on the population and natural wealth.

By the mid-1800s several families were living in this area, and explorers and adventurers from the southern states came to the Hill Country. Stephen F. Austin, Sam Houston, James Bowie and David Crockett became legends and died in the more populous areas here. Land along waterways was sought after, and trading posts were established near stream crossings. First came the grist and flour mills, followed by schools and churches. Thus a village was formed at the little trading post at Cypress Creek. This was Wimberley.

In the mid 19th-century, William Winters built a two-room cut limestone home on the north side hill of Cypress Creek and constructed the first grist mill on Cypress Creek. (See the Winters-Wimberley House above.) The home and mill were eventually purchased by Pleasant Wimberley for $8,000 in gold. His family moved here and the mill was used for a flour, grist, sorghum, as a saw mill and a cotton gin. Pleasant also helped establish a church and a school here. In 1880 an application for a post office for "Wimberleyville" was made, and the postmaster general shortened the name and granted it. Thus, Wimberley became an official postal destination.

The windmill that once provided water to travelers between Blanco and Wimberley.
West of Wimberley lies Blanco, another destination for travelers. Water along the travel route between Wimberley and Blanco was precious, and legend has it the windmill still operating at Wimberley Valley Ranch furnished the only watering place between the two settlements. First travelers on horseback and by carriage, then those in early cars, stopped at this location on the "Blanco Road", now FM 2325, for water.

In May of 2000 a central portion of the Wimberley area was incorporated as the Village of Wimberley (click here to see incorporated area), comprised of approximately 10% of the Wimberley area residents and many of the centrally located businesses.  But the Village of Wimberley survived only until 2007, when that city council voted to make it a "city," not without controversy. Now it's just plain Wimberley. However, the 13,000 plus residents of the Wimberley Valley are those that make up Wimberley as most folks refer to it, still defined by the zip code assigned by the postal service, 78676.

Because of its natural, rugged beauty, Wimberley has traditionally drawn retirees and others seeking a retreat from the hectic pace of cities like Houston and Dallas. Development is creating a threat to many of  Wimberley's natural resources, as in much of the world. This challenge is stimulating activism to protect and maintain watersheds, air quality and diversity of the wildlife and flora that has always made Wimberley special.

Wimberley boasts a strong tourist trade and is home to world renown authors, artists, and musicians looking for the quiet life. Wimberley has been recognized as an attractive tourist destination by such publications as Travel Holiday Magazine who placed it on a list of 2003's "America's Ten Best Small Towns."



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