Elgin is a relatively small town about 19 miles east of Austin, Texas just off US Highway 290. Downtown Elgin is home to a train depot which originally was designed to sit exactly in the middle of a one mile area creating the town. In later years, the depot became the city’s Police Department building. It is now an historic museum. The “g” in Elgin, Texas is pronounced as in the word “good”—unlike the “g” in the city of the same name in Illinois. Elgin was named after Robert Morris Elgin—a land commissioner for the railroad. There is still a train that runs through the town.
Main Street in Elgin
Elgin’s Main Street looks very similar to hundreds of other classic small town main street across middle America. Elgin’s downtown area started to take shape from the 1870s and continued through the late 1940s. 14 city blocks make up the commercial and industrial area of the historic district. Most of the buildings in the downtown area were constructed from bricks from local brick yards. Elgin has been famous for bricks and hot sausage for many years. The historic Meyer’s Elgin Smokehouse and Southside Market compete for best barbeque in Elgin every year.
Many residents of Elgin enjoy a quiet lifestyle yet enjoy a short commute to work into the larger city of Austin. Some Elgin residents also enjoy more affordable homes than those often found closer to Austin. Some just prefer the peaceful areas of the Elgin countryside that are more difficult to find closer to the big city.