With a population hovering right around 100 souls, Mountain Home is one of the smallest towns in the Texas Hill Country. Its history isn’t one where the town boomed and became huge briefly and then reduced over the decades; rather, its population has held fairly steady over the past 80 years or so. Ranching has always been the chief economic driver in this little town about 17 miles northwest of Kerrville, in Kerr County.

It’s rare for a settlement to achieve any permanence without one important factor: a steady source of fresh water. Johnson Creek, a tributary of the Guadalupe River, flows by Mountain Home, and the creek itself has a history of name changes. It was originally called Minter’s Creek after one of the first white settlers in the area. In the late 1850s Colonel Albert Sidney Johnston (later to become a Confederate General) set up a military road along the creek, and it was renamed after him. After the Civil War, the creek changed names again, only slightly; it became known by its current name of Johnson Creek. It’s believed the final name change took place because there were several settlers in the area by that name, but it’s not beyond reason that the names “Johnston” and “Johnson” became confused with one another over a period of years.

As for Mountain Home, there’s only historical speculation as to why it got that name. All the same, it’s no real mystery; it’s likely the original settlers took in the lofty vistas of what would become the Texas Hill Country surrounding them, and they named their village in celebration of their newfound Mountain Home!

Tragedy marked the early history of Mountain Home. In 1878 four young children in the Dowdy family were slaughtered in an Indian raid. Though this would turn out to be the last such raid in Kerr County, that was cold comfort to the Dowdys, who had high hopes when they settled in the region. Unfortunately, such occurrences were somewhat commonplace as white settlers claimed their stakes in the Hill Country.

Despite the Dowdy tragedy, or perhaps in defiant reaction to it, the following year Mountain Home was granted a post office by the federal government, with Hiram L. Nelson as the town’s first postmaster. Although to this day Mountain Home is an unincorporated community, it still has its own ZIP Code: 78058. Because of all the ranching land within its boundaries, it’s one of the largest land areas covered by a single ZIP Code in the US.

Briefly in the early 20th century, Mountain Home was known as Eura; this alternate name is noted on several maps and official documents of the era. Unfortunately, the reason for the name change, or its origin, are lost to time. It’s slightly confusing, because both town names were used during this period. Just a few years later, it was back to being Mountain Home.

Since its inception, the town of Mountain Home has drawn its economic and social strength from ranching, and the land in its vicinity in northwestern Kerr County is blanketed with many picturesque and productive ranches to this day. The region is also known for summer camps located there, including the Texas Catholic Boys Camp established by the Society of Mary in 1951. Since the early 20th century, the population of Mountain Home itself has remained fairly steady around the 100-person mark, with its full ZIP Code serving about 1,200 people in total.

In our research we found an error in articles referring to Mountain Home, and we’d like to correct it here. In 1936, the State of Texas erected a historical marker in Cherokee County in eastern Texas. The marker is titled “Mountain Home,” and it denotes the birthplace of James Stephen Hogg, the first native Texan to serve as governor. In this case, “Mountain Home” refers to the Hogg homestead, and not the Hill Country town. We found articles that referred to both places as being one and the same, despite the two locations being 336 miles apart!

When your travels bring you to the Hill Country’s Mountain Home, we’d love to help you find your way around! We’ve researched businesses and attractions in this awesome town, and 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 Mountain Home are just a click or two away. It’s a perfect 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 2,100 local businesses and attraction lsitings in over 30 towns, 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.