Mason was the hometown of the late Fred Gipson, author of Old Yeller. Like neighboring Llano, the land around Mason is rocky and dotted with granite. This area’s a favorite with rock hounds who come to Mason County today in search of topaz, the Texas state gem, and it’s a favorite for its barbecue joints as well.
Fort Mason. In 1851, Fort Mason was built on a hilltop to afford a better look at oncoming Comanches. (The post’s best-known soldier was Lieutenant Colonel Robert E. Lee.) Constructed of sandstone, in 1869 the fort was dismantled and the salvaged stone was used to build local businesses and homes. Today this is a quiet spot; a reconstructed officers’ quarters has a back porch with a view of Mason and miles of Hill Country in the distance. Info: 204 West Spruce St.; (325) 347–5758. Free.
Old Yeller Statue. A statue of Old Yeller stands in front of the Mason County M. Beven Eckert Memorial Library. The famous story, which became a Disney movie, was written by Mason native Fred Gipson. Although your own Old Yeller can’t enter, you and your travel companion can take turns visiting the library to see the display of memorabilia about Fred Gipson and what just might be the saddest dog movie of all time. Info: 410 Post Hill Rd.; (325) 347-5446 or (325) 347-5232. Free.