Goldthwaite is a town in Central Texas. It’s the largest town in Mills County, and as such is the county seat. But still, the population falls well short of 2000. (The 750 square mile county struggles to reach a population of 5000)
Though this town is a scant 10 blocks wide by 10 blocks long and barely has enough people in it to fill a modern movie theater,
somehow they have managed to put together the modern glass and steel Goldthwaite Welcome Center, the Texas Botanical Garden, and Native American Interpretive Center, collectively known as Legacy Plaza.
I don’t know how they managed it, I mean there has to be more patron plaques scattered through the grounds than there are citizens in town, but this is an amazing gem tucked away in this tiny town.
The focus here is on the Colorado River 600 to 10,000 years ago.
In the background of this photo is a ring of interpretive panels talking about the life of the people that lived here back then.
To some eyes the foreground might look like a neglected picnic grounds, but what you're looking at is a diverse eco-system of native plants providing a rich, and sustainable, habitat for indigenous fauna.
In between is a creek bed used to collect rainfall off the butterflied roof of the welcome center and feed it into a cistern to support a water-feature that acts as a backdrop to the amphitheater.
A sample of one of the interpretive panels
In addition to the interpretive panels up front, there are others scattered throughout the gardens, some of which include hands-on projects to go along with them.
this work area for knapping your own flints. Apparently very popular with the kids brought through here in a steady stream of field-trips.
And since no-one was looking (The San Saba Garden Club came for a tour that morning but was gone by the time I got there) I tried a little knapping myself. (Hint, if you don’t do it right it hurts!)
In addition to an interpretive center, Legacy Plaza has become sort of a community center as well and this large shelter with adjacent bathrooms has been erected in the southwest corner to facilitate that.
|The amphitheater seating|
All in all, an impressive place and worth a stop if you’re in the area.
Just pull off on the very generous double-wide shoulder of SR-183 between Second and Third Streets and wander on in.