Bastrop is a city and the county seat of Bastrop County, Texas, United States. Located about thirty miles southeast of Austin, it is part of the metropolitan area. The population was 7218 according to the 2010 census.
Spanish soldiers lived temporarily at the current site of Bastrop as early as 1804, when a fort was established where the Old San Antonio Road crossed the Colorado River and named Puesta del Colorado.
Bastrop's namesake, Felipe Enrique Neri, Baron de Bastrop was a commoner named Philip Hendrik Nering Bogel, who was wanted for embezzlement in his native country of the Netherlands. In Texas, he assisted Moses and Stephen F. Austin in obtaining land grants in Texas, and served as S. F. Austin's land commissioner. In 1827, Stephen F. Austin located one hundred families in an area adjacent to his earlier Mexican contracts. Austin arranged for Mexican officials to name a new town there after the baron who died the same year.
Overlooking the center of the town is the Lost Pines Forest. Composed of loblolly pines, (Pinus taeda), the forest is the center of the westernmost stand of the southern pine forest. As the only timber available in the area, the forest contributed to the local economy. Bastrop began supplying Austin with lumber in 1839 and then San Antonio, the western Texas frontier, and parts of Mexico.
A fire in 1862 destroyed most of downtown Bastrop's commercial buildings and the county courthouse. As a result, most current downtown structures post date the Civil War. In 1979, the National Register of Historic Places admitted 131 Bastrop buildings and sites to its listings. This earned Bastrop the title of the "Most Historic Small Town in Texas."
On September 4, 2011, two wildfires started when trees fell against power lines. The first fire started in the community of Circle D-KC Estates near Bastrop State Park and the other fire started approximately four miles north. The two fires merged into the Bastrop County Complex fire. On September 6, two lives were lost as well as 600 homes with 0% containment. On September 7, firefighters on the ground were able to get 30% containment. On September 11, fire crews had the fire 50% contained and had already lost more than 1,500 homes. On September 17, light rainfall in the area helped fire crews fight the flames. The fire was 85% contained. The fire burned until October 10 when fire officials declared the fire 100% contained. This was the worst and most destructive wildfire in Texas history as it destroyed 1,691 homes, killed two people, and caused $325 million of insured property damage. The drought in Texas at the time combined with strong winds from the gulf caused by Tropical Storm Lee helped fuel the fire.