While there is actually not much of a connection between Sam Bass and The Hairy Man, it does make a great title for a blog post, doesn’t it? 😉 So why mention either of them, and who are they anyway? Because this is an “Only In Texas” post, and it’s Friday!! (I apologize for not posting anything for the past few weeks.)
I first noticed “Hairy Man Road” when I was house hunting in the area before we moved out here. It is a road in Round Rock, Texas. I thought it was an odd name for a road, but quickly forgot all about it, until we drove down that road the other day. Gaylon and I began discussing why they called it “Hairy Man Road”. He conjectured that it was probably “because some guy who is really hairy lives on this road.” I thought that explanation was too banal, and lacked creativity. So, I based my speculation on the fact that the road is very heavily wooded and sort of spooky! I proposed that maybe they had some sort of Big Foot legend or something of the sort going on.
I was right. The Hairy Man is part Big Foot legend, part Ghost Story. Seems a group of pioneers left a baby behind back in the 1800’s as they were passing through Round Rock. The baby was then, of course, forced to survive on his own, and grew up to be extremely large and, naturally, hairy. And he forgot he was human. So, when folks would pass by along Brushy Creek, he would try to scare them away.
But at some point, he met his grisly demise under the wheels of a passing wagon. And now, as any freakishly large hairy man-creature would, he haunts that stretch of road along the creek. I suppose in some sort of misguided effort to make it up to him, the city of Round Rock decided to name the road “Hairy Man Road”. And, just in case a road wasn’t good enough, they actually have an annual festival in his honor!
So, there you have it. A great telling of this story can be found here: TexasEscapes. Maggie Van Ostrand does a great job!
But what about Sam Bass? Well that is another road here in Round Rock, and Mom thought it was named after some Texas Oil Baron. I wondered why, here in South Central Texas a road would be named after an oil baron. That seemed like more of a West Texas thing. So I Googled it. Sam Bass was not an oil baron, but an outlaw bank robber!
Apparently he met his end in Round Rock, when the Texas Rangers set up an ambush for him. He was shot and killed by a couple of the Rangers when he went into a store to buy tobacco. (See, smoking really is bad for you!!) He died on July 21, 1878, his 27th birthday.
So is there any connection between Sam Bass and the Hairy Man? Well, of course! Hairy Man road dead-ends into Sam Bass. 😉