Before Austin was Austin
On January 14, 1839, the Congress of The Republic of Texas voted to establish a new state capital (formerly at Houston) between the Trinidad and Colorado Rivers.
The Republic President, Mirabeau B. Lamar, chose a site located on the bank of the Colorado River in Bastrop County. The site was nestled between Waller Creek on the east and Shoal Creek on the west in an area settlers called Waterloo. Lamar chose to name the city in honor of Stephen F. Austin, the “Father of Texas” who had led over 300 families from the eastern US to Texas in 1825.
Once the area was chosen, the Republic directed Edwin Waller, a hero in the War for Texas Independence, to design and plat the capital city. Waller commissioned William Sandusky to stake out a 640-acre area known as a section of land (with one mile by one mile dimensions) and divide it into one-acre lots. The lots included locations reserved for the President’s House, the State Capitol, the University of Texas, churches, schools, commerce areas and residential neighborhoods.
Upon completion of the design, Lamar instructed Sheriff Charles King to auction off 301 lots to the public. On August 1, 1839, on a site located near Durham’s Spring, the lots were sold under a group of stately live oak trees for a total exceeding $180,000. These oaks, now over 300 years old, became known as the Auction Oaks. The Auction Oaks provided shade and a venue to conduct the auction that determined the design and layout for the state capital of Texas.
The Auction Oaks are located in Republic Square Park – between Guadalupe, 5th, 4th and San Antonio Streets.
Planting and caring for your Legendary Tree is easy — see the Tree Care page for more information. The saplings we sell are just over a year old, approaching 3 feet tall, and in 1 gallon containers. They are shipped in a well-designed, eco-friendly recycled paper box. We use FedEx ground and guarantee arrival within 5 business days of your order.