Have you ever traveled through Highway 281 between Dallas Fort Worth and Austin? Or maybe you’ve been on Highway 84 from Waco to Brownwood? If so, you’ve been through Evant, Texas. But in the past, you probably didn’t notice it. You might not have slowed down. And most likely, you had no idea how to pronounce the name of the town, if you even noticed the sign. (For the record, it’s “ee – vant”; rhymes with “pant”.)
Mary Ann Davison January 10, 2018
Founded in 1876
Buildings neglected and decaying by late 1990. Many years ago, Evant was a thriving community. It was founded in 1876 when Evan T. Brooks purchased 160 acres from Asa Langford. It was a leading center for mohair production (the hair from Angora goats, just for you city slickers). Ranchers raised beef cattle; and farmers grew cotton and other crops. By the 1940s, there were at least 25 businesses in town and the school had 420 students.
But with the rise of big box stores and the decline of farming, Evant – like so many other small towns – began to slowly die. Businesses left. Buildings were neglected and decaying. By the late 1990s, nearly all the shops in town sat shuttered. People whizzed by without giving a second look to Evant.
Reclaiming its heritage
One of Evant’s original descendants purchased and began restoring the buildings around the square; local residents came together to help; the Chamber of Commerce began hosting events; the Rodeo Association held frequent rodeos, drawing people from all over Texas and other states; the city established a beautiful City Park; and people once again became proud of their community.
Shopping with a purpose
Antiques, art, and woodwork; boutiques, Mexican imports, and home goods; baked goods, boots and saddles. Who knew there were so many talented people in Evant? And there’s more to come! Keep on the lookout for a Vendor’s Market, a drive-through Wildlife Ranch, an RV Park with horse stalls available, and more!
The trendy phrase “shopping with a purpose” should be this small town’s motto. The rebirth of Evant has not been about financial gain, but about a small community reclaiming its independence and its heritage. So the next time you pass through Evant, slow down. Grab a pastry and a cup of coffee (fresh roasted to boot!). Stroll the square. Visit the friendly shop owners. You’ll want to come back again and again to this thriving, charming, self-sufficient community that is The Crossroads of Texas.