The Martindale Central Historic District is an eight-block area of the Central Texas town's historic core next to the San Marcos River. It is a cohesive collection of late 19th-to-mid-20th century commercial, industrial, agricultural, and residential properties representing Martindale's initial settlement and development into a national leader in cottonseed processing and distribution. After the late 19th century, technological advancements in ginning made it easier to separate the cottonseed from cotton lint; it became one of the state's most lucrative commodities. Martindale's location in a region dependent on cotton cultivation and riverfront site, which supplied energy to run gins, made it well-suited for the new industry. By the mid-1900s, Martindale boasted two of the nation's top hybrid cottonseed companies and was a bustling community of 600. Extant commercial buildings, warehouses, and silos in Martindale's central business district and on the riverfront reflect the industry's importance to the town. Fine residential, commercial, and institutional buildings show a range of popular late 19th and early 20th-century architectural styles that demonstrate a prolonged period of local prosperity and growth that resulted from the profitable industry. When West Texas became the state's leading center for cottonseed production in the 1960s, Martindale suffered economic losses that virtually halted development and led to a steep population decline. In the late 20th century, Martindale became a popular site for movie and television productions drawn to the town's significant collection of historic commercial, residential, and industrial architecture.
The Martindale Central Historic District's current built environment reflects historical development patterns that occurred in the area. Martindale formed in 1855 when Nancy Martindale, an Anglo-American settler from Mississippi, donated 1,000 acres of land she and her late husband George purchased along the San Marcos River from one of Caldwell County's original settlers, John Crayton.1 The first building erected and site established in the Martindale Central Historic District reflect this early period when the town was founded. These resources are located along the banks of the San Marcos River. They include the Nancy Martindale House in the southwest and the Crayton-Spruill Cemetery in the district's northwest portion. Additional large scale residences continued to populate the southern portion of the district into the late nineteenth century as more settlers moved to the area, such as the A.H. Smith House and the Martindale-Rohlack House.
Austin Street • Crockett Street • Farm to Market Road • Jennings Street • Johnson Street • Lockhart Street • Madison Lane • Main Street • Main Street North • Martindale Street • River Road NW