In the first half of the 20th century, Bastrop County was a hotbed for lignite mining as companies extracted the low-grade coal for fuel. The mine companies recruited workers from Mexico, and several mining towns sprang up between Bastrop and McDade. In the town of Phelan, a community band took shape, performing throughout the county in concerts and parades. This picture of the Phelan Band was taken about 5 miles north of Bastrop at the Glenn-Belto Mine during a Diez y Seis de Septiembre celebration. This spring, the Bastrop County Historical Museum opened a new permanent exhibit documenting the local coal-mining boom.

Know of any fascinating vintage Texas photographs? Send copies or ideas to [email protected].

From the August 2019 issue
The March 2024 cover of Texas Highways Magazine

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