Zodiac

Name:

Zodiac

County:

Gillespie

Zip Code:

 

Latitude / Longitude:

30°13’29″N 98°47’37″W

Elevation:

1,594 ft (486 m)

Time Zone:

Central (CST) (UTC-6)

Comments:

Zodiac is a vanished Mormon settlement established in 1847 on the Pedernales River, located 4 miles (6.4 km) southeast of Fredericksburg, in Gillespie County, in the U.S. state of Texas. The area it was located on eventually converted to private acreage, and no trace of the settlement remains today. It was the first Mormon colony established by Lyman Wight in Texas. The second settlement was Mormon Mill, Burnet County, Texas in 1851, and his third and final settlement was Mormon Camp in 1854 in Bandera County. In 1936, Zodiac was designated a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, Marker number 10133.

Remains:

Wight led a group of 200 followers into Texas in 1845. The group first entered Texas at Grayson County, at a site known as Mormon Grove, where they spent the winter months before moving on during the spring thaw, arriving in Austin in June 1846. The Mormons hired themselves out as laborers to help build the city jail. After constructing a sawmill and gristmill on the Colorado River, the group migrated towards the Texas Hill Country.

Established:

 

Disestablished:

 

Current Status:

After the departure of the Mormons, the area saw a succession of Germans, English and Danish colonists. Before and during the Civil War the area formerly known as Zodiac became a slave labor cotton farm, purportedly the only slave labor cotton plantation in Gillespie County. If that claim is accurate, this is possibly the property on which future Texas State Senator Matthew Gaines  was forced to work as a runaway slave during the Civil War. In the 1860 census, Gillespie County had thirty-three slaves.

Remarks:

The Rocky Hill school was built in 1885, and Zodiac was renamed for the school. The cemetery was plowed over and destroyed. The area is located on private property.