Medina is at the intersection of State Highway 16 and Farm Road 337, twelve miles northwest of Bandera in central Bandera County. As early as 1865 a sawmill had been built in the area, and several families were settled nearby. The Medina post office was established in 1880, and by the end of the next decade the community had a gin, a corn mill, a hotel, a private bank, two churches, three general stores, and a population of 150. Many area residents raised stock as their primary occupation. By 1914 Medina had a population of 400; it fell to 250 in the early 1930s, when the Great Depression caused many residents to move away in search of jobs. The community recovered fairly rapidly, however, and had a variety of businesses, four churches, and 475 residents by the late 1940s. Most of the area land was devoted to livestock and to recreational hunting leases until the 1980s, when apple farming was introduced to the area. Baxter Adams, Jr., started an experimental orchard of dwarf apple trees in 1980, and the first apples were ready for sale in 1984. The dwarf trees produced regular-sized apples that were 40 percent sweeter than large-tree varieties and proved to be an extremely efficient use of the land, with 1,000 to 2,500 trees an acre. In 1989 the Texas Department of Agriculture declared Medina the Apple Capital of Texas. The 300,000 trees in the Medina area produced 100 tons of fruit in 1990, and more orchards were being planted each year. The annual Medina Apple Festival, held on the last Saturday of July, attracted 20,000 visitors in 1990. The population of Medina was listed as 515 in 1990, but the actual number of residents in Medina proper was closer to 250. By 2000 the population had more than doubled to 515 residents.
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.
Vivian Elizabeth Smyrl | © Texas State Historical Association
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