On the banks of the Guadalupe River, in the center of the Texas Hill Country, you’ll find the town of Center Point. It boasts about 1,200 souls these days, and over the past 170 years or so has gone through one of the most convoluted town histories of any community in the area. From its location to its name to its official designation, Center Point has gone through many changes, and we’ll take a detailed look at those here.

The prime location on the river that would become Center Point was enticing to human habitation for centuries. From Native Americans to Spanish settlers and explorers, its combination of a source of fresh water and rich farming and ranching land led to the region supporting thousands of people over the years, though no firmly established permanent settlements really came to the area until white settlers started moving in during the mid-19th century.

On November 25, 1859, town founder Charles Ganahl opened a post office in his home on the north side of the Guadalupe River. The settlement was named Zanzenberg, after a region in western Austria, Ganahl’s ancestral home. The community grew, mostly due to an influx of settlers from Tennessee, and Ganahl remained the titular head of Zanzenberg until 1872.

Over time, more settlers settled on the south side of the Guadalupe, across the river from Ganahl. When the post office was moved in that year to accommodate the now-larger number of people on the opposite side of the river, new postmaster Dr. G.W. Harwell renamed the village to Center Point. Local anecdotal history tells us he did so because it was halfway between Kerrville and Comfort, as well as between Fredericksburg and Bandera. (If we check this with modern technology, we see he was about one mile off to the east, and 11 miles off to the south; still, not a bad estimation for the time!)

In 1888, Charles Ganahl’s widow Virginia decided to donate a generous parcel of land to the San Antonio and Aransas Park Railway...on the NORTH side of the Guadalupe. Her hope was to generate interest in a town called Ganahl where Zanzenberg/Center Point had originally been located. While those plans didn’t bear fruit, the depot did help Center Point (in its south shore location) gain a competitive reputation as a trade center for the area.

In August of 1889, the town of Center Point was incorporated as a city, to establish its own independent school district. This incorporation was considered official only so far as the town’s educational needs were concerned. This status of partial incorporation would last over two decades before the citizens decided to change things.

In February of 1913, Center Point’s citizens voted overwhelmingly to complete the process of incorporation and create their own government. Most of the time, this would be the end of the story, but for reasons lost to history, in October of that year Center Pointers voted (again, by large margins) to strip the town of incorporation!

So, it ends there, right? Oh, no. In the mid-1990s, the people of Center Point voted to incorporate, only to reverse that decision again a couple of years later. As of this writing in 2024, Center Point is officially an unincorporated community.

Center Point has an interesting, and more than a little mysterious, distinction. If you visit the Center Point cemetery, you’ll see several graves that have metal crosses alongside their traditional markers. Each of those crosses signifies that a Texas Ranger has been laid to rest there. Ranger George Moore passed away in 1886, and he was the first member of the fabled law organization to be interred in Center Point. Since then, almost 40 of his Ranger brothers and sisters have been buried there. It’s believed that the popularity of the Hill Country as a Ranger retirement spot may have had some influence on the high number of their ranks resting in the Center Point cemetery. Whatever the reason, more former Rangers lie here than in any other cemetery.

Make Center Point a...well, central point of your Hill Country travels! We’ve gathered local business and attraction information about the town, and that that info is ready for you at the bottom of this page in listings sorted by category. All the shops, parks, restaurants, and kid-friendly spots in and around Center Point are just a click or two away. It’s a great road map for your visit!

If you’d like to take a look at other towns in the Hill Country, we’ve thought of that, too! We’ve put dream vacations together in the area (we live and work here, and we love it), and all the expertise we’ve gathered since 2001 is yours with a FREE download of the Texas Hill Country Travel App! We’ve researched over 1,800 local businesses and attractions, and it’s all in the app, sorted by town and type.

In over 20 years as Hill Country property management professionals, we’ve learned from our neighbors, business people, vacation rental owners, and travelers! Our app takes that knowledge and applies it to your unique vacation needs, from property listings to booking info, from check-in to heading home, and app-exclusive perks! We’ll even keep you up-to-date on special events in the area.

This beautiful region of the Lone Star State is our home, and we love showing it off! We’ve arranged Hill Country getaways for everything from romantic escapes to gatherings like weddings and reunions. Feel free to contact us; we’d love to inspire you to fall in love with the Texas Hill Country just as we have.