BASTROP COUNTY HISTORICAL COMMISSION
PAIGE HISTORICAL MUSEUM
PAIGE HISTORICAL MUSEUM, Highway 290, Paige,Texas
The Paige Historical Museum in the old depot celebrates the town’s beginnings with the arrival of the Houston and Texas Central Railroad in 1872. It adjoins the community center on the south side of Highway 290. The museum is open by appointment — or “any time you see cars parked in front.”
The Paige Museum, two buildings which once served as the old train depot, may look small, but the rooms open up to a splendid display of memorabilia. There is one room completely devoted to farm tools including a 100+ year-old tobacco press. The Museum also has authentic war uniforms in such good shape one would think they were new.
The following history of Paige is taken from The New Handbook of Texas published by The Texas State Historical Association.
Paige is on U.S. Highway 290 44 miles east of Austin in northeast Bastrop County. The Old San Antonio Road, now State Highway 21, borders the north side.
Paige was established at the site of a railroad water tower on the newly built Houston and Texas Central Railway in 1872 and named for Norman Paige, a civil engineer, who had laid out the route of the railway. In 1874 a post office was established. In 1876 the railway station was moved three miles east to its present location. Fedor Soder arrived in 1877, built a store and a gin, and purchased and sold many town lots to other Germans; the population is still primarily German.
Beyond the typical Museum artifacts, the Paige Museum is different in that you'll see many items of women's apparel. You'll love the hats!
Click here for more information about the Paige Museum and to see wonderful old photographs.
In 1884 Paige reported a population of 350 and several businesses, including seven cotton gins. By 1886 the population had reached 500. The town was a railroad shipping center for cotton, cattle, hogs, cordwood, butter, eggs, potatoes and other produce. It had a pickle factory, creamery and broom factory. By 1914 Paige had a bank and telephone service, but the population had decreased to 400.
In 1941 Paige had an estimated population of 467 and 10 businesses. During World War II the population began to decline again, partially as a result of the decrease in cotton production. In 1952 the town reported eight businesses and a population of 220. In 1981 the Hou-Tex Oil Company drilled for gas near Paige and connected its well to the Giddings-Bastrop pipeline. In 1982 a volunteer fire department was established and the Paige Community Center was incorporated. In 1990 Paige reported four businesses and had a population of 275. The population remained the same in 2000.
Doris Goerner Laake, The History of Paige, Texas and Vicinity (Austin: Eakin Press, 1983).