One doesn’t visit Mason, Texas just to pick apples in our orchard. It is well known for its friendly folks, small town atmosphere and the charm of our local history.
All along Highway 29, also called the Austin Highway, are many old historic buildings. One is the Apple Barn which is featured in two books, Texas Homes of the 19th Century” (p.5) and American Barns (p.86 & 87). Visitors can enjoy a tour of this barn which was here when Robert E. Lee was stationed at Fort Mason.
Another gem built in 1885, the Moran House, was already 100 years old when the current owners of the apple orchard purchased it forty years ago. It is the only stone Victorian house featured in the book, Texas Homes of the 19th Century (p.179). The Moran Carriage House, another interesting structure on this same property, is likewise featured in the book, American Barns (p.88 & 89).
There are many other circa 1890 buildings in the neighborhood lining both sides of Highway 29, very near Sonlight Apple Orchard. Just across from the orchard are two historic buildings, the Christian Church and the Apple Cottage Bed and Breakfast. While exploring, think about walking 4/10 of a mile from the orchard to Mason Square. During this stroll one can view six vintage rock homes lining one side of the street and two more large historic residences on the other side. Of course, a significant part of Mason’s history is St.Paul’s Lutheran church established in 1851, which you can’t miss on your stroll to the square.
As far as the apple orchard goes, it was started in 1984 as a test plot to gather information for the apple growers in Oregon and Washington state. We opened up the orchard to the public with our Pick-Your-Own program around 1989.