McDade, Texas

HISTORY

Welcome to McDade, Texas

One Of Texas' Old Outlaw Towns.

McDade, Texas is located in northern Bastrop County off of US Highway 290. In 1869, Railroad lawyer James W. McDade established the town to anticipate the railroad coming to the area. McDade had hopes of becoming a depot town, and the bet paid off. As a result, locals often would refer to McDade as Tie City or Tie Town.

From the end of the Civil War until 1912, McDade was known for lawlessness, violence, and vigilante justice.

 

PHOTOS

Sights Around McDade, Texas

Take home your favorite prints and decorate your walls. 

Barroom
MAMIYA 6 & ILFORD DELTA 100

Barroom

The street out-front of this barroom in McDade, Texas was once one of the deadliest streets in America during the late 1800s. From 1875 to 1884, there were more assignations, lynchings, shootings, and stabbings in McDade, Texas than in Tombstone, Arizona, and Deadwood, South Dakota combined.

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Old Highway 20
MAMIYA 6 & ILFORD DELTA 100

Old Highway 20

Before US Highway 290, there was Texas Highway 20, which basically connected Hempstead to Fredericksburg. A good chunk of the old highway between Paige and Austin still exists in pieces today because US 290 originally went south through Bastrop at Paige as it continued west towards Austin.

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Outlaws Called Themselves The Notch Cutters
MAMIYA 6 & KODAK PORTRA 160

Outlaws Called Themselves The Notch Cutters

This railroad town, McDade, Texas, was wrought by vigilante justice. From 1875 to 1884, there were more assignations, lynchings, shootings, and stabbings in McDade than in Tombstone and Deadwood combined.

The Notch Cutters started off preying on the weak and defenseless but later refocused their efforts on ranchers and the respected citizens of McDade. Unfortunately, law enforcement was largely inept and ineffective, so the townspeople took it upon themselves to handle the Notch Cutters.

Vigilantism led to a very bloody Christmas in 1883 that is credited as the end of the vigilante justice movement in town, however, the violence in McDade continued.

Since we're on the topic of vigilantes, which vigilante film franchise is better: Death Wish or Dirty Harry?

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