Austin was first laid out on 640 acres, one square mile, on the Colorado River in 1839. It was a somewhat odd place for the capital city as it skirted what was Comanche and Apache territory immediately to the west and was also far from Galveston, which was the largest city in Texas at the time. It took days over rough and rutted dirt roads to reach the city from the most populace areas of the state. For a time, there was tension among factions of Texans who wanted to move the capital back to the coast. Tension over the location wasn't resolved until the capital had moved to Houston, then to Washington-on-the-Brazos for a time, and then finally back to Austin in 1845. It was not until a vote in 1872 that Austin was designated the permanent capital and its fate sealed.
Much has happened on the original square mile since 1839; some of the history is known or revealed in the historic structures and markers left behind. But countless stories are hidden, and you would have no idea the event happened on the site. There are stories of murder, politics gone wrong, community resilience, business acumen – stories of people great and small that all have an impact on Austin’s story. The AHC uncovered and offer 13 "hidden" stories about Austin, stories that reverberate today but have no physical remnant on the sites in which they occurred.
Or watch individual stories from Hidden Austin in the video playlist below