Berclair, on U.S. Highway 59 sixteen miles from Goliad in southwestern Goliad County, was established as a shipping point on the Gulf, Western Texas and Pacific rail line to serve an already well-populated ranching area. On December 10, 1889, Joseph Blackburn paid the railroad company $100 as a bonus for building through Goliad County and donated right-of-way through the southern corner of his ranch. A post office was established in 1889, along with a depot and stock pens. A hotel built at the site in 1887 to board the railroad workers later accommodated passengers from the daily train between Victoria and Beeville. In 1892 Berclair had a steam cotton gin, a saloon, a weekly newspaper called the Blossom, and eighteen other businesses serving an estimated 200 residents. For a while the Baptist church building was used by other Protestant groups, but by 1914 Methodist and Catholic churches had been built. The population and number of businesses declined in the early twentieth century; the saloon was closed by local law in 1910. By the 1920s, however, about 300 people were living in Berclair, which had twenty businesses and was designated a banking town in 1929 and 1931. The number of businesses began to dwindle; the population remained stable for a while at 350, until the 1970 census recorded a decline to sixty-one residents and two businesses. Berclair was named either by the railroad surveyor after his home in Virginia or after the given names of Bert and Clair Lucas, owners of a nearby ranch. In the mid-1980s the settlement still supplied surrounding ranches. In 1986 the post office served sixty-one residents. In 1990 the population was seventy. In 2000 the population grew to 253.

Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

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Berclair by the Numbers

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Pop. Year Source
253 2009 Local Officials