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Anyone that lives in or near the city of Austin probably knows something about the history of South Austin. The city itself has definitely developed its own reputation, but South Austin has a reputation all its own. Much of this has been determined by its unique and colorful past. In short, South Austin shares much of the history that is associated with the larger city, yet it also enjoys a history that is completely unique to that particular geographic region and the neighborhoods that are located there. As a result, South Austin has the reputation for being true to itself. This is probably what attracts so many people to it in the first place.

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The First Settlers

Austin has been around for a long time, even though it wasn’t always known by the name it is called today. The entire region was once open land that was accompanied by a rather large and often moody river. People first decided to settle there in the 1830’s. The area that would eventually become South Austin was first known as Waterloo. This town of Waterloo eventually became Austin. The town even served as a capital city of the Republic of Texas. As a result, the roots of state and local government started to take hold in the area and these same things are still prominent fixtures in the area today.


Eventually, South Austin became a central hub for education. The catalyst for this was the creation of the University of Texas. Since the time it was built, this university has become a major force in the state of Texas and all over the United States. People come from all 50 states to go there and the wide variety of subjects that can be studied there has helped propel South Austin into what it is today. In truth, the establishment of this university is probably the single most important thing that has happened throughout the history of Austin to make South Austin transform into the place that it currently is.

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Taking Things in a Different Direction

Today, South Austin is very different from the rest of the city. After the University of Texas was established, college students that had different ideals from their ancestors started putting those ideals to work in and around the university. This effectively created an area where it was perfectly acceptable to be different from every other member of society and to explore more creative endeavors. In addition, the university also experienced much of the same strife as other universities in the area concerning the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s. This is something that left its mark on Austin in general, but people living and working in South Austin have since taken those lessons and transformed them by changing the way that they do things in the area.

Today’s South Austin

Today, South Austin is one of the most unique places for the arts. It has become widely known as the place to be for live music and many up and coming musicians work very hard for a chance to play there. However, South Austin has also embraced other portions of the arts, ranging from artists to dancers to street performers. Perhaps it is the strife of the sixties that has enabled them to accept the fact that being different is a beautifully thing. Whatever their reasons, South Austin has a rich history. There is no doubt that current individuals who make the area what it is today will also go down as part of that history for future generations to study.