Long before white men arrived, this region was inhabited by Tonkawa and Comanche Indians. In 1691 the first Spanish explorers crossed this territory en route to east Texas. From their route, parts of "El Camino Real" (the King's Highway) were blazed, thus placing Bastrop on a major early travel artery.
Because El Camino Real crossed the Colorado River here, this was a strategic spot. In 1805 the Fort "Puesta del Colorado" and accompanying community were founded here to protect commerce on the road. In 1825 this area became "Mina," one of the first settlements in the colony of Stephen F. Austin. It was named for revolutionary leader Xavier Mina.
In the years that followed, many members of its first 100 families served in the Texas Revolution (1836), the Mexican War (1846-1848), and were active in political life in the Republic and State of Texas.
In 1837 when the town incorporated, the name was changed to "Bastrop" to honor the Baron de Bastrop, influential early land agent and statesman. The city was also designated county seat in 1837.
From 1851-1870, this was seat of Bastrop Military Academy, an important Texas school. First courthouse was built in 1853; present one in 1883 on the same spot.