Article Title

Cultural Resources Survey of the Leander Rehabilitation Center, Williamson County, Texas


In August-September 1996, personnel from Prewitt and Associates, Inc., conducted a cultural resources survey of ca. 725 acres of the former Leander Rehabilitation Center. The project area lies adjacent to U.S. Highway 183 and FM 620 in southern Williamson Counly, Texas. The survey resulted in additional documentation of one previously recorded prehistoric archeological site (41 WM452), the identification and recording of four historic archeological sites (4IWM892, 41WM893, 41WM896, and 4IWM897), and reconnaissance-level documentation of 45 historic buildings and structures.

Site 41 WM452 is an extensive upland lithic scatter and lithic procurement site which lacks subsurface deposits, features, and datable materials. Site 41 WM892 is a wood-chopper camp that contains a number of rock alignments and limited artifact deposits dating to the first decade of the twentieth century. Site 41 WM893 is a remnant of a railroad spur used during the 1937-1941 construction of Marshall Ford Dam (now Mansfield Dam). Site 41WM896 contains a small number of features and sparse artifact deposits associated with the 1937-1945 Rhodes farmstead. Site 41 WM897 is an isolated historic well with unknown associations. None of these archeological sites contains important information, and it is recommended that they be considered not eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places or for designation as State Archeological Landmarks.

The 45 buildings and structures, at 36 locations, are associated with the former State Dairy and Hog Farm. This farm was established in 1942, expanded after 1945, and reached its peak years of production as a hog farm hetween 1950 and the late 1960s, Created to serve the needs of the State Board of Control and the State Hospital, the facility is significant for its success in food production for eleemosynary institutions in Austin and throughout Texas, as well as for its role in the application of modern psychiatric treatment based on the therapeutic value of manual labor. Among the surveyed resources are dwellings, an office and warehouse building, a dormitory, a variety of agricultural buildings and structures, and infrastructural elements, all built between 1943 and 1955. Twenty-one of the 45 surveyed resources are recommended as being eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places under Criteria A and C as Contributing resources in a historic district and for designation as State Archeological Landmarks.