Latitude / Longitude:
299 ft (91 m)
Central (CST) (UTC-6)
Cheapside is a ghost town in Gonzales County, Texas. It is located 21 mi (34 km) south of Gonzales. Once a thriving community and commercial center for cotton, only a church and the crumbling remnants of the former settlement remain.
The first settler was Thomas Baker, who built a log cabin in the area in 1857. The settlement was named after Cheapside Street in London, England, perhaps via Cheapside, Virginia. A post office was established in 1882.
As well, during World War II, the war effort created work in the cities, and returning soldiers were less willing to return to small communities. With the rise in consumerism, “places like Cheapside…were casualties of an upwardly mobile society”. Cheapside’s school was consolidated with the Cuero Independent School District in 1949 due to low enrollment, and by 1960, the only remaining business in Cheapside was a small grocery store with a post office. It closed in 1989. The Victoria Advocate wrote in 2012 that in Cheapside there are “a few buildings teetering on collapse that become less and less visible through the trees and weeds, which have started to reclaim the abandoned town”.
Some of the factors which led to Cheapside’s decline include a weakening in the price of cotton—a major commodity in the community—during the Great Depression. Soil in neighboring farmland had also lost its fertility due to over-cultivation. The gin closed during the 1940s, and most of the neighboring farmland reverted to open pasture.