Located in Bastrop County, Elgin was established as a flag stop on the Houston and Texas Central Railroad in 1872 and named for Robert Morris Elgin, the railroad land commissioner who laid out the townsite. The city owes its existence to a major flood of the Colorado River in 1869. Originally, the railroad was to have run 10 miles east of Elgin. When the river rose 60 feet over its banks, the railroad surveyed a new line through Elgin to Austin.
Elgin's economy is based on light industry, agriculture, and brick manufacturing, and at one time was called "The Brick Capital of the Southwest." No visit to Elgin would be complete without tasting Elgin's hot sausage. It's wonderful! Three sausage companies make the tasty specialty. Information on their locations is available at the visitor center. In fact, Elgin was named by the Texas Legislature as the "Sausage Capital of Texas."
Be sure to visit the antique mall on U.S. 290 with more than 50 dealers offering a large variety of antiques and collectibles. All through the city, keep an eye out for beautiful old homes. Also, downtown, a Main Street City, is recapturing its early look by refurbishing and reusing its historic buildings. Bed and breakfast accommodations are available in some of the historic buildings in the city and surrounding area, and the Greater Elgin Chamber of Commerce is in the newly restored H&TC Freight Depot on Central Ave. Movies and TV commercials often use Elgin's quaint streets as backdrops. Elgin lies along the Presidential Corridor linking the George Herbert Walker Bush Library in Bryan/College Station with the Lyndon B. Johnson Library in Austin.