There’s something magical about a town that seems to just be suspended in time. We love Texas ghost towns for just that reason. Visiting The Grove and seeing those buildings from an era past can make you feel entirely displaced in time. You’re hit with the realization that the post office, the blacksmith, even the well – these weren’t built to look old, for our entertainment. They are actual buildings that were once part of a thriving town until the ravages of time had their way. It’s a glimpse into a time that’s long gone, but has remained romanticized in many people’s minds – ours included.
The Grove was established in 1859, and by the turn of the century, had about 400 residents. As of 2000, it had 65. The 1940’s saw the demise of the town, the story goes, when the Texas government told the town to cap the well in order to have Highway 35 run through it. The town refused, and the highway was built just outside the town, diverting the much needed traffic.
Not long after, 250,000 acres were acquired by the government to build Fort Hood, and soon after that, 50,000 acres were taken to form Lake Belton. Then WWII started and most of the town’s men left to fight, and the rest is history.
The town well stands proudly in the center of the area and has supposedly never run dry.
The Grove Texas Ghost Town
Surprisingly, The Grove has not officially been designated a Texas ghost town. It is actually considered a Historical Museum Town, as listed with the Smithsonian. It consists of a post office, saloon, well, general store (that apparently functioned as a museum until not too long ago), and a blacksmith. While none of these buildings are open for entry, you can still walk around and have a look at what a Texas town looked like, decades ago.
And, exciting news if you have some cash on hand, this Texas ghost town is for sale! The real estate listing suggests that The Grove may have the potential of becoming the next Luckenbach, in the right hands.
The Grove doesn’t have an actual address, but you can pull it up on Google Maps. The exact location is 31° 16′ 24″ N, 97° 31′ 31″ W (31.273333, -97.525278), on Farm Road 1114, off State Hwy 36. The closest town is Gatesville, TX, and it’s not too far from Waco.