Site of Robson's Castle and Columbus, Texas, Meat & Ice Company
Marker Text: Robert Robson (1804-1878), one of many Scotsmen seeking fortune in North America, came to the Texas republic in 1839, on land he owned at this site, he built a concrete "castle", using native limestone and gravel. It had running water, pumped from the Colorado into a tank on the roof, then though wooden pipes to its many rooms. It also had a roof garden and an encircling moat, with drawbridge. From Bastrop to Matagorda, it drew guests to champagne suppers, card parties, and balls, undermined by an 1869 flood, it became a ruin and was razed when the site was put to new use in 1880s.
Columbus, Texas, Meat & Ice Company built its 3-story plant on this site in 1884. It was then one of three packing houses in Texas. established to process at place of origin, the plant could handle 125 cattle a day, some of its beef went to Queen Victoria's London. Robert E. Stafford (1834-1890), a wealthy trail driver and rancher, veteran of Civil War service with famous Hood's Texas brigade. Owner of a private bank and extensive Colorado County properties. Was president and major stockholder in the packing house. In the early 1890s. After Stafford died, the plant closed. (1973)
Marker No: 4310
Aluminum 27 X 42 Subject Marker
Geographic: 29.711994, -96.546989
Location: SH 71 South end of Colorado River bridge, Columbus