The small, incorporated town of McDade is located east of Elgin in northern Bastrop County. It dates to 1869 along the Houston and Texas Central rail line. It was a rough town in its early years, run by vigilante violence into the early twentieth century. Known for the quality McDade Pottery produced in the area but discontinued around World War II, it is today the site of a watermelon festival in July. The downtown area seems frozen in time and has been the setting for several movies and commercials, usually in association with nearby Elgin. The community is situated a few blocks north of US 290 and avoids—at least in the old town—much of the traffic between Houston and Austin. For additional information, see The Soul of a Small Texas Town: The Photographs, Memories, and History from McDade, Texas by David G. Wharton (University of Oklahoma Press, 2000).

February 28, 2021

McDade, Bastrop County, Texas

Established in 1869

Population in 2010 was 685