In western Kerr County, the North and South forks of the Guadalupe River begin their journey through the native limestone toward the Gulf of Mexico. At the confluence of the North and South forks of the River, twelve miles west of Kerrville, is the village of Hunt.
In the late 1850’s, settlers began moving west from Kerrville up the Guadalupe River Valley. They came to farm and raise livestock, thus establishing farming and ranching as the earliest economic mainstay of the area.
By 1879, the area had two churches, the Baptist and the Church of Christ. The vicinity’s first post office, called Japonica, was opened three miles up the North Fork of the Guadalupe River in 1880. At about the same time, on the South Fork of the Guadalupe River, a post office and store served a small community known as Pebble.
In 1912, Alva Joy and his wife, Lizzie, bought land at the confluence of the forks of the Guadalupe River from Robert Hunt. The following year Joy established a store and post office on this land and named the new area, Hunt, for his good friend who had sold him the land. By 1918 the post offices at Japonica on the North Fork and Pebble on the South Fork joined with the new post office in Hunt. Ranchers and farmers began to come to Hunt for mail, church, and groceries. When the post offices moved to the confluence of the forks of the Guadalupe, the schools followed and assumed the name of Hunt School. On April 7, 1934, the Hunt ISD was incorporated replacing the Hunt Rural High School District #5.
By the late 1930’s five stores were open in Hunt, Carder’s Store on Honey Creek Road, Orr’s Store near the school, Hardin’s Store in the stone building located just beyond the old low water Hunt Bridge and Koehler’s Store located on the south fork just across from “Koehler’s Kottages.”
In the 1920’s the economic base of the Hunt area broadened to include the first organized summer camps for children, lodges for their families, tourist accommodations, as well as retreats and retirement homes. By the 1930’s, many Houstonians built or acquired summer homes in and near Hunt, and the area began attracting artists.
In 1932 and again in 1935, the small town-center of the Hunt area at the confluence of the upper forks of the river was destroyed. The camps sustained major damage. Again and again, the area rebuilt through personal courage and sheer determination to survive.
Exotics in the Hunt area date back farther than most residents realize. Some exotics have been on ranches over fifty years. Kerr County has become a hub of the exotics industry.
Hunt, Texas is a unique place where preserving the past assures the future. Perhaps nothing so typifies Hunt, Texas, as “The Hunt Store”. With its open porch and rustic trappings, quaint signs and swinging screen doors, “long-necks” and barbecue; the public is welcomed today to a non-air-conditioned world where a sense of Hunt’s historic past is still very much alive.