On The Trail of Something Good

Round Rock began blazing trails with its settlement in the 1850s. From cattle drivers to business innovators, Round Rock has grown steadily on personal initiative alone.

Today Round Rock has begun a new initiative to bolster its Old Town and cowboy heritage and The Williamson Museum is partnering to make this happen. 8 Chisholm Trail, one of the oldest addresses in town is revitalized and infused with the historic personalities who founded, built, and named this town. The Williamson Museum on The Chisholm Trail is delivering 19th century sense to our 21st century city. Cowboy Up is a $1 million capital campaign rounding up philanthropists in our community to make The Williamson Museum on The Chisholm Trail a leading living history museum for all our current and future residents.

Cowboy Up

Donate Now

"I cowboyed up. Will you?"

- Jim Boles


2019 has been our best year ever!

    • 24,000 students served

    • 15,600 onsite visitors

    • 60% increase in visitors to The Williamson
      Museum on the Chisholm Trail in the past year

Old Town, New Life

8 Chisholm Trial is an integral part of the old town's group of almost a dozen remaining buildings in an area along the old Austin to Georgetown highway. Over the years Round Rock has lost many irreplaceable historic structures. We are working tirelessly to save the existing ones.  The Oatts building was once the old general mercantile and first permanent post office in Round Rock. Its central location gave it a front row seat to throngs of longhorn cattle fording Brushy Creek on their way north.

Thomas C. Oatts, the owner of the store, served as the first postmaster in Round Rock and gave the town its' name. The Oatts building serves as a classroom space for our field trips, meeting area for groups like Round Rock Preservation, office space for Penfold Theatre, and hosts a general store which serves as an additional revenue stream to sustain programming.

Colorful Characters

Round Rock was settled by steady pioneers who saddled up and got the job done. Dr. Owen served as the first doctor in the county, but also traveled on exciting expeditions such as hunting Grizzly Bears in the west. Thomas Oatts operated a mercantile on the Chisholm Trail, served as first postmaster, and later joined trail drives heading north with his son-in-law Dudley Snyder. Hattie Cluck became one of the first women up the Chisholm Trail, while pregnant with her fourth child! These characters and more will be represented daily at the Owen House alongside interactive exhibit pieces allowing visitors to experience life in the 1870s on every visit.

Your Investment in the Owen House Living History Project will:

  1. Preserve two iconic historic buildings from Round Rock's storied past
  2. Highlight the heritage of the Chisholm Trail
  3. Increase heritage tourism to the city from the state and nation
  4. Provide hands on fun experiences for all ages
The Williamson Museum 2016