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The robust and thriving Hill Country town of Seguin (pronounced seh-GEEN) is one of the larger towns in the region, with a current population of around 30,000. Located about 40 miles northeast of central San Antonio, Seguin is also considered a “border town” of the Hill Country, right on its eastern edge. It’s also one of the oldest towns in the Lone Star State, established shortly after the dust settled from the Texas Revolution. Seguin’s history bolsters the town’s claim of being “Real Texas,” and its citizens take great pride in its heritage and influential role in the building of the great state.
Colonel Juan N. Seguin was a Tejano warrior who fought alongside white settlers against Mexico’s dictator Santa Anna for the cause of Texas Independence, and the settlement along the Guadalupe River was proudly named after him when it was founded in 1838. Like many surrounding communities, Seguin was built on cotton, ranching, and the cultivation of pecans—the Texas state tree. It’s also considered the westernmost border of the “Old South” in that its cotton plantations (a sight more common in the Gulf States) were the last to take root this far west.
Cotton, ranching, and other agricultural interests drove the growth of Seguin, and those enterprises, along with a brief oil boom in the early 1930s, kept the town thriving even through the challenges of the Great Depression. Even though Seguin has evolved over the decades to a more city-like profile, its surrounding rural areas are still dotted with ranches and farms founded by its original German and French settlers, who started pouring in as early as the 1840s. In town, a healthy mix of manufacturing, construction goods, tech, education, and tourism help keep the city vibrant and economically sound.
In the late 19th century, Seguin was influential in the development of construction-grade concrete. Experimentation in this field led to the creation of “limecrete,” which infused raw lime into regular concrete as a more durable and “breatheable” construction medium. By the turn of the 20th century, Seguin boasted one of the highest concentrations of concrete buildings in the nation, outdone only by New York City and there are those who insist to this day that Seguin even beat the Big Apple for a time!
You can’t tell the story of Seguin without mentioning the legendary Texas Rangers. The storied law enforcement agency was created in 1823 by Stephen F. Austin, who was later nicknamed the “Father of Texas.” From the 1830s to the 1850s, Seguin was the epicenter of Ranger activity, and was considered by many to be its unofficial headquarters during those trying pioneer times, which included Texas’ long and bloody struggle for independence. One of the best-known Texas Rangers was John Coffee “Jack” Hays, who forged a rugged and tough reputation during the late 1830s and 1840s as a Ranger who put down Native American and Mexican bandit raids. Hays called Seguin home for many years, and is also considered one of the most influential people in Rangers history. To evoke the image of a brave and stalwart Texas Ranger is to evoke Hays’ spirit.
Framed in the natural beauty of the Texas Hill Country, Seguin offers a rich tapestry of history, shopping, outdoor activities, food, and nightlife to intrigue its visitors! Here at Backroads Reservations, we’ve been introducing guests to the Hill Country as property management professionals since 2001. We live here, and we love our neck of the woods! We’d love to help you get to know Seguin, and all the other wonderful towns here. For unique and picturesque vacation rental options in Seguin—or anywhere in the Hill Country, for that matter—Backroads Reservations can set you up with an amazing experience in one of our local vacation rentals!