Saturday, February 14

I stayed in Llano for three nights, but I did not explore the downtown much. Here are a few photos of the downtown area and near the hotel


Click on these photos for a higher resolution image.
They will be sl o o o w to load with a dial-up connection.


On a trip to New Braunfels Geary and I went to the Coopers Bar-B-Q there. It is the new one. The original one is here in Llano.

Early one morning I noticed the fire going so I went over to take a few snaps.

To the left is the wood storage area and on the left are all the pits where the meat is smoked.


A closer look at the fire. When it has burned down to the right stage the coals are shoveled out and placed in the pits.


This place gets very busy so they need big supply of Mesquite.


There were about 8 smoking pits. Next time I will try to get some photos of the actual process of smoking.


The Cooper name is synonymous with barbecue in the Texas Hill Country, and the dynasty started in George T. Cooper's backyard pit in Mason. In 1953, Cooper decided to turn his hobby into a successful business. He purchased an already operating concern for $160, forked over $10 for rent every month, and fired up his family's future over mesquite coals. George operated Cooper's Pit Bar-B-Q in Mason for 29 years, and the restaurant has thrived under the ownership of Duard Dockal since Cooper's retirement. George and Viletha Cooper raised three sons who all learned the family business working with the master. "He started me out working when I was about 12 and taught me the whole operation," recalls youngest son Gary Cooper, the owner of Cooper's Pit Bar-B-Q in Round Rock since 1985. "He also shared recipes and techniques with guys outside the family who wanted to start up a business."

Oldest son Tommy Cooper was the first to strike out on his own, opening Cooper's Old Time Pit Bar-B-Q in Llano in 1964. Deer hunters spread the word about the great barbecue at Cooper's in Llano, and, it gained statewide and national acclaim for its impressive outdoor pit and no-frills cinderblock building full of picnic tables. After Tommy Cooper's death in 1979, the restaurant was operated by Kenneth Laird (now owner of Laird's BBQ in Llano) for several years and eventually purchased by current owner Terry Wooten in the mid-Eighties. Under Wooten's stewardship, it remains the most famous of all the Cooper's outlets. Another generation of Cooper's has recently stepped up to the pit to make the old man proud. Middle brother Roy Cooper and his son Mark are the proud owners of the newest Cooper's, smokin' on I-10 in Junction since August of 1999.

Source: Copyright © 1995-2009 Austin Chronicle Corp. All rights reserved.


My home for three nights. There are about 15 units. My first night there was one other room occupies, the second two, the third, five. So. it was mostly unoccupied. By contrast, the Days Inn parking area had two full size two tour buses along with the usual army of pick-up trucks and SUVs.


On think you cannot miss while wandering around rural Texas is the often gauche and ostentatious gates to ranch driveways and commercial game ranches. Here is a place which makes some of them. Pretty fancy metal work at no doubt a pretty fancy price.


Some details.








Some of the raw materials.


Llanos' beautiful courthouse. This, the second one was finished August,1893. It replaced the one which burned on January 22, 1892.

Llano, the county seat and largest town of Llano County, is on the Llano River and State Highway 71, seventy-five miles northwest of Austin. It was founded in compliance with a February 1, 1856, state legislative act establishing Llano County.

Tracts donated by John Oatman, Sr., Amariah Wilson, and the Chester B. Starks estate provided a surveyed site of 250 acres for the county seat on both sides of the Llano River near the center of the proposed county. An alternative site, on Wright's Creek, was proposed by the residents of the Bluffton-Tow Valley area. The Llano River location was chosen in an election held on June 14, 1856, under a live oak on the south bank of the river, near the present site of Roy Inks Bridge in Llano.

Into the 1870s the town was little more than a frontier trading center, with a handful of log buildings housing business establishments, a post office, and a few homes. In 1879 the first bank, Moore, Foster, and Company, was founded, and during the 1880s Llano acquired a number of new enterprises that served the county's farmers and ranchers.

After the county outgrew the one-story stone building that had housed its public offices, in 1885 an ornate brick courthouse was completed on the square on the south side of the river. A fire on January 22, 1892, destroyed this courthouse; the present county courthouse was completed and occupied on August 1, 1893. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Source: Copyright © Texas State Historical Association








Here is a good article about Llano.


A bar, dry goods store and movie theater. What else does one need?




Clint is coming to Llano!!!




The Library, complete with Wi-Fi.


I bet some of the locals like this idea. A garish Chinese resteraunt right in front of their historic train depot. GAWD!


"Back east" catalog sales are pretty much a thing of the past. Not so in small town Texas.


There are a number of smoke houses and BBQs in Llano. This one also processes deer and hogs as wells sells smoked meats. It is just across from the Hungry Hunter resteraunt where I had breakfast.


Day 25: - FINIS



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