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Llano Travel Guide: 16 reviews and 23 photos

<font color="6699FF"> <font size="1"> <b>The abundance of springs, and diversity of plants and wildlife have attracted humans to this area for some 12,000 years. The first inhabitants survived by hunting the prehistoric mammoth and mastodon. Later, large herds of buffalo, deer and antelope provided sustenance for the American Indians. In fact, even today, the density of deer in the Llano Basin is greater than any other area in the United States.

The Tonkawa Indians were living in the Llano area when the first Europeans arrived in the vicinity in approximately 1535. Spanish explorer, Alvar Nunez Cabeza De Vaca led an expedition to explore the vast, uncharted region.

"Llano" in Spanish means plain, a name hardly fitting this spectacular piece of Hill Country. Originally, the river was named by Spanish explorers "Rio do los Chanas" or River of the Chanas -- the Chanas being a band of the Tonkawa Indians. Over the centuries the phonetic similarity between "Chanas" and "Llano" led to confusion and gradually the latter name replaced the original.

The Tonkawa Indians encountered at the time of Cabeza De Vaca were later supplanted by the Apache and in turn they were displaced by the Comanche.

It wasn't until the mid-1800's that settlers found the area. Until that time the land was West Texas Frontier-Indian Territory. The first European residents were brought here by the Adelsverein, a group of German nobleman organized to aid emigration to Texas. In 1845 the manager, John O. Meusebach, made a treaty with the Comanche which opened this area of the Fisher Miller tract for settlement.

The town of Llano was founded in 1855, on the clear, spring-fed Llano River. And in 1856 the town of Llano became the county seat when Llano County was created from parts of Bexar and Gillespie counties.

The last battle between the new Texas settlers and the Comanche Indians occurred in 1873, a few miles east of Llano on Packsaddle Mountain. With the threat of Indian attacks on the frontier settlements resolved, the area attracted ranchers, shop keepers and industry. The current courthouse, built in 1893, replaced an original courthouse that had been destroyed by fire.

The Hill Country and history surround Llano, and you will be impressed with the depth and richness of detail all immediately available. <p>
<font size="3"> The Legend of Babyhead mountain.</font>
Located in the ghost town of Babyhead just outside of Llano is Baby head mountain. This mountain has been a tourist attraction for over a hundred years. Legend has it that in the 1850's a group of indians murdered a small child and left his severed head a top this small hill. Years after the incident the town of Babyhead was born when a Post office was placed on it's soil. The town soon disapeared leaving many to believe that the soil of the area was tainted. All that now remains of Baby head is the Mountian and the cemetary that lies beneath it.

  • Intro Written Sep 1, 2001
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