Jonestown is a small community on the north shore of Lake Travis where inhabitants can enjoy all of the advantages of small town living but still be a short drive from a large metropolitan area such as Austin. Jonestown also offers some of the most breathtaking scenery in the Hill Country as well as access to Lake Travis and its many natural wonders. Jonestown is located on Highway 1431 twenty miles north of Austin, and is nine miles west of the intersection of U. S. 183 and 1431. The community was settled in the late 1930s by the Jones brothers, Warren and Emmett, when they built the first commercial structure, around 1940. The community was first settled as a village of mostly fishermen and boaters, but when Mansfield Dam was raised in height and Lake Travis filled, the small city began attracting resort dwellers and became a haven for more affluent residents who commuted to Austin after building large homes on estate lots, most with lake access or views.
In 1982, U. S. Highway 183 was widened and straightened, and the easy access to the communities around the lake spurred many new residents to settle. Jonestown was incorporated as a city in 1985, with a population of 683 in 1988, and rapidly grew to a population of 1681, which was the reported population in the 2000 census. At the present, the population is estimated to be over 2000 inhabitants, and many amenities of a larger metropolitan area have been created or built, including schools, churches, parks, and various other developments.
The city boasts two well developed parks, Veterans Park and Jones Brothers Park, and there are two less developed parks, Shady Park and Pecan Park, and two more parks are in the process of development at this time. Eventually, there will be six complete parks in Jonestown with nature trails, hike and bike trails, wildlife observation points, and various other features, including picnic sites, ball fields and courts, and playscapes. Jones Brothers Park is a thirty-two acre park, with miles of shoreline and three boat ramps for easy access to Lake Travis as well as two covered pavilions for lakeside activities. The boat access ramp fees and pavilion fees are very reasonable, and visitors to the park have a choice of purchasing either yearly launch access passes or pay a daily fee, which is currently $7.00 per vehicle or trailer. Both Jones Brothers Park and Veterans Park are open from dawn to midnight on a daily basis, and the sites are available first come first serve, unless reservations have been made in advance.
Veterans Park, which is located on 1431, has numerous picnic sites as well as a memorial to the men and women who have served our country in battle sculpted by Jonestown resident Jim Thomas, entitled “Going Home". The bronze statue of a young soldier on his way home from war offers a quiet, dignified place to reflect on the sacrifices made by these brave individuals under a canopy of stately oaks while appreciating the serenity and beauty of the lake and surrounding terrain.
The population of Jonestown is diverse, but primarily white, with about 87% of the residents being Caucasian or non-Hispanic. The remainder of the occupants are either Hispanic, a group which comprises about 9% of the local inhabitants, black, Asian-American, or Native American, with a smattering of other ethnicities as well. The median age in the community is about 37 years old, and the median family income is about $45,000, with median home values being about $114,000, which are all slightly higher than the average in Texas.
There is a community library in Jonestown on 1431, and the community holds a yearly festival on the shores of the lake called Lakefest, which is a popular event for residents and visitors alike. Jonestown is known for its peace and quiet as well as natural beauty, and with its proximity to Austin, it is an ideal location for water enthusiasts as well as those wanting to live a quiet, rural life yet have easy access to the attractions Austin has to offer, so consider Jonestown when visiting central Texas if you are interested in having it all!
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