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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Columbus in Colorado County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Robson's Castle and Columbus, Texas, Meat and Ice Company

 
 
Robson's Castle and Columbus, Texas, Meat and Ice Company Marker image. Click for full size.
By Gregory Walker, February 5, 2010
1. Robson's Castle and Columbus, Texas, Meat and Ice Company Marker
Inscription. Robert Robson (1804-1878), one of many Scotsmen seeking fortune in North America, came to the Texas Republic in 1839. On land he owned at this site, he built a concrete "castle," using native lime and gravel. It had running water, pumped from the Colorado into a tank on the roof, then through wooden pipes to its many rooms. It also had a roof garden and an encircling moat, with drawbridge. From Bastrop to Matagorda, it drew guests to Champagne suppers, card parties, and balls. Undermined by an 1869 flood, it became a ruin and was razed when site was put to new use in 1880s.

Columbus, Texas, Meat & Ice Company built its 3-story plant on this site in 1884. It was then one of three packing houses in Texas. Established to process at place of origin, the plant could handle 125 cattle a day. Some of its beef went to Queen Victoria's London. Robert E. Stafford (1834-1890), a wealthy trail driver and rancher, veteran of Civil War service with famous Hood's Texas Brigade, owner of a private bank and extensive Colorado County properties, was president, and major stockholder in the packing house. In the early 1890s, after Stafford died, the plant closed.
 
Erected 1971 by Texas State Historical Survey Committee. (Marker Number 4310.)
 
Location.
Robson's Castle marker location. image. Click for full size.
By Gregory Walker, February 5, 2010
2. Robson's Castle marker location.
29° 42.716′ N, 96° 32.818′ W. Marker is in Columbus, Texas, in Colorado County. Marker is at the intersection of Business State Highway 71 and Robson, on the right when traveling north on State Highway 71Business . Touch for map. On the south side of the Colorado River and east side of the bridge. Marker is in this post office area: Columbus TX 78934, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Site of Railway Hospital (approx. half a mile away); Townsend-West House (approx. half a mile away); The Columbus Tap Railway (approx. 0.6 miles away); Confederate Memorial Museum (approx. 0.6 miles away); 1890 Cornerstone Ceremony (approx. 0.6 miles away); Colorado County (approx. 0.6 miles away); Old Stafford Opera House (approx. 0.6 miles away); District Court Tree (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Columbus.
 
Also see . . .  Handbook of Texas Online entry for Columbus, Texas. (Submitted on April 20, 2010, by Richard Denney of Austin, Texas.)
 
Categories. Forts, CastlesIndustry & CommerceNotable Buildings
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 7, 2010, by Gregory Walker of La Grange, Texas. This page has been viewed 1,478 times since then and 83 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on March 7, 2010, by Gregory Walker of La Grange, Texas. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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