The City of Llano is the perfect home-base for historic sight-seeing or shopping. We have a friendly, small-town atmosphere that offers the ideal change of pace from the chaotic bustle of big city life. Local attractions include an art gallery, museums, historic buildings - including inns and bed & breakfasts, gift and antique shops, clothing stores, restaurants, parks, a great 18 hole golf course and the Llano River. Llano's newly created Historic Railroad District will focus on the City's strong link with the railroads. Once you have established your home base in one of our historic accommodations or in the very comfortable local hotels/motels you are ready to explore and enjoy the vast variety of relaxing activities and educational experiences. There is something in Llano for everyone!
A Quick Historical Overview
The abundance of springs, and diversity of plants and wildlife have attracted humans to this area for some 12,000 years. The first inhabitants survived by hunting the prehistoric mammoth and mastodon. Later, large herds of buffalo, deer and antelope provided sustenance for the American Indians. In fact, even today, the density of deer in the Llano Basin is greater than any other area in the United States.
The Tonkawa Indians were living in the Llano area when the first Europeans arrived in the vicinity in approximately 1535. Spanish explorer, Alvar Nunez Cabeza De Vaca led an expedition to explore the vast, uncharted region.
"Llano" in Spanish means plain, a name hardly fitting this spectacular piece of Hill Country. Originally, the river was named by Spanish explorers "Rio do los Chanas" or River of the Chanas -- the Chanas being a band of the Tonkawa Indians. Over the centuries the phonetic similarity between "Chanas" and "Llano" led to confusion and gradually the latter name replaced the original.
The Tonkawa Indians encountered at the time of Cabeza De Vaca were later supplanted by the Apache and in turn they were displaced by the Comanche.
It wasn't until the mid-1800's that settlers found the area. Until that time the land was West Texas Frontier-Indian Territory. The first European residents were brought here by the Adelsverein, a group of German nobleman organized to aid emigration to Texas. In 1845 the manager, John O. Meusebach, made a treaty with the Comanche which opened this area of the Fisher Miller tract for settlement.
The town of Llano was founded in 1855, on the clear, spring-fed Llano River. And in 1856 the town of Llano became the county seat when Llano County was created from parts of Bexar and Gillespie counties.
The last battle between the new Texas settlers and the Comanche Indians occurred in 1873, a few miles east of Llano on Packsaddle Mountain. With the threat of Indian attacks on the frontier settlements resolved, the area attracted ranchers, shop keepers and industry. The current courthouse, built in 1893, replaced an original courthouse that had been destroyed by fire.
The Hill Country and history surround Llano, and you will be impressed with the depth and richness of detail all immediately available. Come, join us and stay a while or a life time. We'd love to share our natural beauty and great hospitality!