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Independence
is located on La Bahia Trail, an historically important east-west travel corridor that connected Louisiana and Texas.

 

 


"Several droves of horses passed through here last week en route to Louisiana."

"Independence Locals" column, Brenham Banner, October 4, 1877

 

 

 

Now and Then: The 1912 documentary photograph shows the row of buildings in the Blanton complex.

For centuries, Native Americans, explorers, and Texas colonists had traveled along the Trail that paralleled the arc of the Gulf Coast.

By the late 1820s and before Independence was established, travelers on La Bahia Trail found lodging at the site known today as the Blanton Block. Portions of the original complex were built of native limestone in the late 1820s-early 1830s. The buildings accommodated a hotel, stagecoach and mail depot, general store, and residence.

Although positioned on a major overland trail, Independence not only was bypassed by the railroad but also was frequently inaccessible because of terrible roads. After Baylor relocated its campuses in 1886, the Blanton complex, as well as the other hotel in town, gradually fell into decline.

In the 1980s, the Zwiener family reconstructed two stone structures that were part of the Blanton Block. Today, the buildings—used as the offices of Countryside Realtors and a private residence—serve as landmarks both to the community and to travelers on Highway 390.

 

Find where this site is located on our Independence Map.

Return to TOURING INDEPENDENCE to see other historic sites.

 
1912 photo: Texas State Library and Archives Commission. Large current photo: Doug Zwiener. Other photos: Ellen Beasley. Research and content by Ellen Beasley.

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Independence Preservation Trust
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Houston, Texas 77027-2893
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