Austin County Courtshouse  The early Austin County Courthouse was built in 1854 but was destroyed by fire in 1960. The clock tower bell was restored by the Bellville Historical Society and is proudly displayed at the eastern side of the current Austin County Courthouse. The Square remains as it was laid out in 1846, and many of the historic buildings have been transformed into an wide variety of unique shops.

Austin Co Jail

The Austin County Jailhouse was built in 1896 and is located a half block off the town square and was awarded a Texas Historical Commission Medallion and is in the National Register of Historic Places. The structure has been turned into a Museum by the Historical Society.
The twelve-sided Turnverein Pavilion was built on 1897 by Joachim Hintz, a German immigrant carpenter. It's name is derived from Turnverein Gut Heil, an organized group of dance enthusiasts. The pavilion has been fully restored and still plays an important role in the social life of Bellville, being used for banquets, antiques shows, reunions and more.    
Cumings Crypt is the historical burial ground for Rebecca Cumings and her three brothers, James, John and William. They settled here from Virginia in 1821 as members of Stephen F. Austin’s “Old 300” colony and received 20,000 acres in return for building and operating a mill on nearby Mill Creek. Legend has it that Rebecca was the sweetheart of William Barrett Travis, who died at the Alamo. Fifteen members of the Cumings family are buried in this vault, which has been turned into a small public park.

Nothing Ordinary

Our buildings have a deep history in Bellville as well. On the site of the main building, James & Caroline Ervin from Georgia, married in San Felipe in 1840, became among the heaviest investors in Bellville town lots when it was first sprouting up.

In 1849 Ervin built Bellville’s first business house, including a hotel or tavern, grocery store, livery stable & residence at this location. The 150 foot long rambling structure named Ervin House had an old-fashioned southern gallery running it’s entire length. It was initial home to many of Bellville’s very first residents businessmen,…including lawyers, doctors, county officials, “drummers” (traveling salesmen), and even prisoners & their guards awaiting trial.

In 1882, Julius Haak built the 2-story brick building you see on the right, and in 1883 rented the bottom floor to Mrs. K. Morris to house a millinery shop,

advertised as having “most elegant stock of notions, fancy goods, corsets, gloves, mitts, etc.” and “drummers hotel, bathhouse and sample rooms attached. Table not excelled”.

In 1884-1885 Mary Haak, Julius’ wife, operated a millinery shop downstairs, evidently living upstairs. Advertised “hats, bonnets, tips, plumes, pompons, ribbons, flowers, gloves, neckwear, etc.”

In 1927, it was sold to E. Laas Sr. who presumably built part of the current single-story building where the Ervin hotel once stood, and was used as a Buick dealership & garage. They lived in the two-story building.

In 1939-1940, M.C. Albert, who owned and operated Bellville Motor Company, a Chrysler & International dealership on the square, purchased the buildings and moved his business here.


To read more interesting facts about some of the history of our two buildings and sites you can download our history brochure in A PDF format. We think you'll find some interesting reading.


Download Brochure


You can download the latest Adobe Acrobat Reader free of charge at the Adobe website.



Visit the Bellville Historical Society and Colonial Capital of Texas websites for more information about the town of Bellville as well as our very historic Austin County.



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Nothing Ordinary Antiques & Oddities  • 123 East Main • Bellville, Texas • 979-865-8033
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