Buffalo Gap Today
With less than a thousand residents, Buffalo Gap is a small, tight-knit community that boasts one-of-a-kind restaurants, shops, lodging accommodations, and both outdoor and family attractions.
Building on the pioneering spirit of the past, Buffalo Gap is home to the Taylor County History Center — a fascinating open-air frontier-town complex of buildings from the 1880s to 1920s — and is the nearest community to the popular Abilene State Park that offers year-round wildlife, camping, fishing, trails, yurts, star-gazing, and educational opportunities, along with seasonal swimming.
The small town is home to two nationally acclaimed service organizations: Camp Able, offering equine therapy and horse rescue, and Shades of Hope Treatment Center providing addiction resources.
Buffalo Gap also hosts numerous family-owned businesses, civic-minded residents, places of worship, and a top-notch elementary school. The town is renowned for beautiful, peaceful trees; dark, starry skies; and the famous Perini Ranch Steakhouse.
In the 1870s, buffalo migrated from Montana into Texas through the natural gap in between the Callahan Divide in southern Taylor County, now known as Buffalo Gap, Texas.
In 1877, the population of Buffalo Gap had reached 100, permitting the town to have its own post office. By the next year, the population had quadrupled.
Then-Governor Richard Hubbard recognized Buffalo Gap as the official county seat of Taylor County on July 3, 1878. In 1879, construction began on a new courthouse, and other new businesses appeared such as a hotel, blacksmith shop, general store, newspaper, saloons, stables, and banks. In 1885, the Buffalo Gap College opened.
As the area grew, so did talk of bringing the railroad to town. Landowners rushed to buy land, hoping that the railroad would buy it or that the presence of the railroad would increase the value of their property. In 1895, the Santa Fe railroad came through town. Yet the landowners who won over the railroad company owned land north of Buffalo Gap in Abilene, a flatter area away from the Callahan Divide.
Although Buffalo Gap held on, Abilene grew faster, and the Buffalo Gap College closed in 1902. The remaining townspeople still took great pride in their community and started the Old Settlers Picnic in the 1920s. The town picnic was held at the Old Settlers Grounds which is still used today for community events and the town’s monthly flea market.
In 1956, Ernie Wilson purchased the original Taylor County Courthouse from 1879, and created the Museum of the Old West, which became the Buffalo Gap Historic Village. Today it’s known today as the Taylor County History Center.
Jim Ned Consolidated School District
Committed to providing superior education to local youth, the Jim Ned Consolidated School District has gained recognition as top-rated school district in Texas.
Named after a Delaware Native American chief who served as an interpreter in the 1840s near Mexia, Jim Ned CISD includes Jim Ned High School, Jim Ned Middle School, and Lawn and Buffalo Gap Elementary schools.
Jim Ned is also the name of the creek that runs through the school district and the surrounding communities are part of the Jim Ned Valley.
Smart Connected Community
Buffalo Gap is the first city in Taylor County to receive the “Smart Connected Community” designation, thanks to Taylor Telecom. This means that every residence and business in the Buffalo Gap community can get fiber optics installed underground to their location at no charge*. Many small communities are still dependent on cable or satellite internet, especially in rural areas. Fiber optics is critical for businesses, home-based workers, new real estate development, and families relient on dependable, high-speed connectivity.
*Installation only. Monthly service plans apply. Taylor Telecom offers many internet service plans to fit your budget and needs.