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Find out what's happening in the blog. Below is a list of blog items.

May 23

Stick to the Grind: How Buda's Skatepark Shreds

Posted to Adventure Friday by Gabriela Moore

My second adventure was to Jackson Tyler Norris Memorial Skatepark!

Everyone in the skateboarding community has their reasons for becoming interested in skateboarding. Mine rooted from my dad being a skateboarder when he was younger. He bought me my first skateboard when I was in late elementary school. I picked up nickelboarding in college and later had the urge to learn tricks and go to skateparks to be able to do more than I could ever do on a nickelboard. My dad helped me pick out a skateboard about six months ago, and I’ve been keeping up with it ever since. Buda’s park has been helping me ease back into it at a pace that works for me. One thing I enjoy about Buda’s skatepark is the fact that it’s a fun park to go to even when you can’t do tricks.

The Jackson Tyler Norris Memorial Skatepark holds a lot of sentiment to the Buda community, skater or not. This park was opened in late 2013 as a memorial to Jackson Norris to provide a safe space for skaters of all skill levels.

Though skating on the street can be fun, it can also be dangerous. Founder of Buda’s own Inspiration Skateboard, David Sweet says, “The skatepark has made a huge positive impact on the community by giving skaters a place to be safe and stay out of trouble.” Having a skate park in town gives local skaters a place to go to try out their new tricks in a safe environment.

There is no doubt that skateboarders have long had a negative stigma attached to them. Skateboarding is a great exercise. It gives kids and adults a fun, challenging sport to be a part of, while staying a tight knit community. Sweet has long been an advocate of spreading the positivity of skateboarding. “Skateboarders often get a bad rep, and I get it. There are always those bad apples out there, but Inspiration is about how skateboarding can be a healthy part of your adolescence, and teach you life lessons that you’ll use for years to come,” Sweet says.

Stop by Buda and check out the park! It is open seven days a week from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

May 31

BBQ Scene in Buda is Taking on the Big Players

Posted to Happy Trails by Gabriela Moore

by Jeremiah Galo

Shugabees Brisket

1. Shugabee’s

Comfort, country-style is the best way to describe this Texas BBQ trailer. The unique aesthetics of the trailer and fenced yard for seating really set the tone for the delicious meal it had to offer. To start off, we ordered a ½ lb. of lean cut brisket which came neatly wrapped in a fresh 12 in. homemade tortilla. We were given their specialty-made sauces, but first, we wanted to see if the brisket could hold its own without the help of any add-ons. The first biteShugabees Trailer with drive thru gave us a soft, juicy and tender chunk of meat. It was a thick slice, but well-cut, as it was not tough to chew. The meat had a different flavor, other than the traditional smokey aftertaste. The fat on the brisket is what held most of the flavor to give a savory taste of good seasoning. After the first few bites of eating the brisket with tortilla, we decided to crank up the heat. This is when the special sauces came into play.

Shugabee’s Unique Sauces -

Mustard Twang: If you think Honey Mustard is your go-to sauce, you haven’t tried this twang.

Shugabee’s Orange-Habanero Honey: Sweet with a hint spicy, you could distinctively taste both the honey and habanero (couldn’t stop pouring on the brisket taco).

Shugabee’s Habanero Sting: If you like spicy definitely pour this on your BBQ, but be careful because when you’re dealing with this sauce, it will sting.

Loui's Brisket plate with elote and mac and cheese

2. Louie’s

Tucked away in Downtown Buda you’ll find a modern, colorful, tex-mex style food trailer welcoming you to take a seat at their BBQ filled table. There were plenty of benches in this courtyard where the trailer and BBQ pits were set up together. After getting our food, we could smell the smokiness of the brisket on the walk to our seats. The bark on the outside layer was a nice dark color, while the inside had a nice smoke ring hue just underneath the bark giving it Loui's sign on gatethe perfect details to a well-cooked Texas brisket. Before taking a bite of the meat, we could not keep our eyes off how delish the sides looked. We ordered a side of a cheesy mac-n-cheese along with smoked elote (as anyone who loves tex-mex knows -- street corn). This corn was prepared exactly the way we like it and added a Texas BBQ twist to the meal. It was tempting to stuff our faces with a spoonful of corn and mac, but we stayed strong and took bites of the BBQ brisket we came to try first. The texture of the brisket was tender and had a satisfying smokey flavor with slices that were thick and flavor-packed. The homemade BBQ sauce added a tangy touch to the brisket that we’re 100% here for! You could argue that this BBQ trailer is a secret gem of the downtown dining scene.

Willie's BBQ Brisket Plate

3. Willie’s Joint

Making our way into the last destination, we got a distinct western and Texan vibe from this Bar and BBQ joint. The outdoor space is perfect for any entertainment and outdoor dining experience. Inside the restaurant, we ordered our meal and helped ourselves to a serving of pickles, jalapenos and their very own original BBQ sauce and Mustard BBQ sauce. We patiently waited to taste the sauces until our food was brought out. Our order for the day was a ¼ lb. of lean-cut brisket with a side of spicy baked beans and potato salad. The brisket slices held a nice pink color and smoke ring while juices dripped off the inside layer. The first bite gave us a moist, mouth-watering taste with a soft texture. The fat held onto the juicy flavor, Washer pit and tables at Willie's Jointhowever, the brisket overall had a unique blend of spices and seasoning. It gave us enough flavor to enjoy without requiring the addition of any sauces, but we did add some just for looks. The original BBQ sauce was sweet, thick and peppery, while the Mustard BBQ sauce packed a zesty and tangy kick to the brisket. After lighting up our taste buds with the brisket and homemade sauces, we shifted our focus on the sides. The potato salad was a good mixture of ingredients to give a sweet and creamy flavor. Taking on the spicy baked beans, we were surprised by the balance of sweet and moderate spicy bites of these Texas BBQ style beans. The sides did a great job of adding a sweet kick to the sharp taste of BBQ.  

May 23

Welcoming Visitors Once Again: A Short History of the Stagecoach House

Posted to Historic Preservation in Buda by Gabriela Moore

When you walk through the double doors of the Historic Stagecoach House in Buda, TX surrounded by elements of decades leaving their mark, you step into an iconic structure of the 19th century. The now-enclosed dogtrot that serves as the foyer between two large rooms, was once a wide open breezeway looking out onto Onion Creek and the old stagecoach bridge. Your feet would sink into the earth below and the ceiling above revealed the strong cedar rafters that hold the roof above you. For a few short years the wind would kick up dirt in a whirlwind through the dogtrot until the 1880’s, when the Post Office would inevitably outgrow the tiny limestone building behind the cabin and T. E. McElroy would transform the stop into the home we see today.

View of Stagecoach House from the Main Street Side walk
Let’s go back a couple 100 years to post Civil war era America. Floods of people were moving to Texas, pushing more families into Hays County as Austin began to overflow (not at all familiar, right?) As a sign of the time period, access to mail was a key component to a thriving community. Post offices and stagecoach stops began popping up into Hays County in close proximity to the major highway of the time, Old San Antonio Road. Onion Creek held all the desired amenities for these stops--water to tend to the horses from a long journey, easy access to the major highway and safety from the treacherous country roads of the time known to be prone to flooding and rocky terrain. By the 1870’s, the county population had nearly doubled from the previous census and on April 3, 1875, the Onion Creek Post Office and Stagecoach House broke ground and George W. Waters was appointed as postmaster.

The post office would see a few short years of delivering mail, servicing horses, and hosting overnight travelers until the International and Great Northern Railroad would lay iron from Austin to San Antonio and Cornelia A. Trimble would sell her first commercial block of land to postmaster J.A. Chandler in 1881. Just a quarter mile from the post office and platted along the new railroad, Trimble would name her town Du Pre. It wouldn’t be until the around 1885 when Chandler moved the post office into town that the name would inevitably change to Buda at the command of the U.S. Postal Service after noting there is already a town named Du Pre in east Texas.

Newly vacated and surrounded by 234 acres of land, T.E. McElroy purchased the Onion Creek Post Office and Stagecoach House in the mid-1880’s. Within a few short years he View of heritage oak trees in front of the Stagecoach House in Historic Stagecoach Parkadded over 1,000 acres of land to his name and turned the old post office and stage stop into a ranching estate where he raised livestock and cultivated the fertile soil. With wealth and ambition on his side, McElroy transformed the rugged cabin into the elegant home we see today by enclosing the dogtrot, expanding the home and adding the luxuries one would expect in a home like flooring and a ceiling. Remnants of an old porch under what is now the back room point to a re-orientation of the front porch to look towards Loop 4 (Main Street) heading into a now thriving Buda and away from the abandoned stagecoach bridge.

Throughout the years as pieces of land were sold off, the home would continue to bare the markings of each decade with hand-hewn joists in the attic revealing its pre-railroad construction and french doors showcasing the the trend of the 1920’s when European styles reverberated throughout American homes. Though the home was renovated back to its circa 1920s appearance, one lasting mark of those who lived there in later years still exists in the west room. On the fireplace mantle you will find it to be painted blue with gold stars on either side and a gold arch enveloping the opening. It was dated by historians as a 1970’s style work-- a time when the house was rented out by owners Victor and Joe Stanzel to a group of college students in the artist community.

In 1998 the Stanzel Brothers Trust would transfer the 51 acre property to the City of Buda and the Stagecoach House would once again welcome travelers from far and wide as the Visitor Center for the thriving town of Buda.