Stay Updated on Clear Fork Realty’s Upcoming News & Announcements
As a real estate company with a 40+ year history in the local area, we’re always growing and updating our community with relevant real estate news and information. Check back to see what’s new in our industry!
Welcome to Albany, TX
About 40 minutes northeast of Abilene, Albany is a small Texas town and the county seat of Shackelford County. A place that values history and tradition, Albany is home to great schools, recreational opportunities, and historic landmarks that embody the spirit of the Old West. This welcoming community continues to grow, supported by a rich legacy that remains alive and well.
Albany is a great place to live, work, and play! Explore local Texas history at Fort Griffin State Park, visit the Old Jail Art Center, fill your belly at one of Albany’s delicious restaurants, or enjoy cozy accommodations at a local bed and breakfast. Our friendly community and fun attractions will make you feel right at home.
Local events in Albany remind us of our heritage, bring history to life, and celebrate our vibrant, growing community. From the Town Star Party to the annual “Fort Griffin Fandangle” musical, it’s always a fun time.
The Albany Chamber helps our town thrive by expanding the economy and breathing life into our local area. We help residents and visitors get acquainted with Albany, support local businesses, and serve as a resource for the community as a whole.
Experience Life in Albany
With just over 2,000 residents, Albany is a tight-knit community that grew from humble beginnings. With an exciting history founded on the adventurous spirit of the Old West and frontier days, many of the area’s main attractions, including the Historic Courthouse, Aztec Theater, and Old Jail Art Center, are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Recreation areas like Webb Memorial Park and Pool are perfect for families, and residents benefit from a host of local businesses, good schools, and places of worship.
History, Community, and Heritage
Albany is a small and vibrant community and the county seat of Shackelford County, Texas. The town is rooted in a legacy of agriculture but continues to attract residents and visitors with its warm, small-town feel, great schools, and many opportunities for hunting, recreation, and heritage tourism.
Albany is a small and safe suburban-rural community with great schools. Known as the “Home of the Hereford,” Albany features several historic and cultural landmarks that tell the story of its history. It’s also home to the recently renovated Webb Memorial Park and City Pool, Albany Golf Course, historic Old Jail Art Center, Aztec Theater, and Fort Griffin State Park.
A spirited town full of recreational opportunities, good hunting, and Texas history, Albany is a tight-knit community that takes you back to the Old West with long-standing traditions. It invites residents and visitors to dive deep into its culture and history and discover all it is today through exciting historic landmarks, local events, and community attractions.
What would eventually give rise to the community of Albany first began as a military fort called Fort Griffin. A settlement known as “The Flat” quickly developed below the plateau where the fort stood. The frontier town was primarily home to local ranchers and farmers, but many well-known figures of the Old West also lived there or passed through, including Doc Holiday and Wyatt Earp.
The Flat grew and eventually became the designated county seat in September 1874. A man named Henry Jacobs donated the land to establish a new town in the central part of the county, since many residents wanted it to be distinctly separate from the lawlessness associated with Fort Griffin. As a result, the community of Albany was born, and it became the new permanent county seat.
The town of Albany flourished with the arrival of the Texas-Central Railroad in 1881. Farming and ranching dominated its early economy, and with a new connection to the railroad, Albany became a popular place to ship cattle (mostly Hereford cattle). Soon after, the community dubbed itself “Home of the Hereford,” a slogan that has stuck around ever since.
The discovery of natural gas in Shackelford County resulted in an economic boom during the 1910s and 1920s, and Fort Griffin’s community population dwindled as Albany expanded. By the 1940s, Fort Griffin’s only general store and post office had closed, and the school was consolidated with Albany’s.
Today, what remains of the fort is preserved at Fort Griffin State Park. The lively town of Albany continues to tell the story of its humble beginnings with an annual outdoor musical called “The Fort Griffin Fandangle,” performed just outside Albany. The performance attracts many visitors each year and has become integral to the community’s efforts to honor and remember its legacy and history.
Albany maintains a well-balanced economy bolstered by natural oil and gas, agriculture, hunting, recreation, and heritage tourism.
Places to See
Things to Do
There’s something for everyone in Albany! From historical tourism to outdoor recreation, art, and theater, check out these fun and interesting attractions for all ages.
Albany Golf Club
1005 N. 3rd St., Albany, TX | 325-201-5473 | 325-627-3598
Albany’s golf course is a simple, well-maintained 9-hole municipal golf course with a driving range that serves Albany and the surrounding areas. It features flat terrain and mature trees lining the fairways for a pleasant golfing experience. The golf club also hosts regular community tournaments for residents and visitors, offering great fun no matter your skill level. The panoramic views of the hills north and east of town aren't too shabby either.
The Aztec Theater
141 S. Main St., Albany, TX | 325-762-3133 | aztectheater.wordpress.com
Located in downtown Albany, the Aztec Theater is a restored historic building that has become a community hub. Originally built in 1927 as a theater for western movies, the theater has long been a staple in the community. Today, it hosts local music concerts, touring artists, and plays. It also serves as a venue for weddings, showers, reunions, private parties, corporate meetings, and other special events.
The Flying A Car Museum
129 S. Main St., Albany, TX | 325-338-4072 | 325-338-1574
The Flying A Car Museum is a dream come true for car buffs. This private collection features beautifully restored vintage cars, bicycles, gas pumps, vintage gas station signage, photos, and memorabilia. It’s open Saturdays from 1-5 p.m. and during local events.
Fort Griffin Fandangle
1490 FM 1084, Albany, TX | 325-762-3838 | fortgriffinfandangle.org
The Fort Griffin Fandangle is an outdoor musical put on each summer at the Prairie Theater to celebrate the area’s history. Written and performed by Albany locals, the show draws many tourists to the area and tells the history of the settlement near Fort Griffin, which gave rise to the community of Albany. The show has been performed every summer for 70 years. Performances are held on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings during the last two weeks of June.
Fort Griffin State Park & Historic Site
1701 N. US Highway 283, Albany, TX | 325-762-3592 | visitfortgriffin.com
Located 15 miles north of Albany, Fort Griffin was a U.S. western defensive fort established in 1867. Now a Texas State Park, the Fort Griffin State Historic Site features partially restored ruins of the fort and is home to the official State of Texas Longhorn Herd. The area also offers fishing, hiking, stargazing, and living history, and camping is available along the banks of the Clear Fork of the Brazos River. Visitors also enjoy hiking the nature trails connected to the campground.
Historic Courthouse Tour
225 S. Main St., Albany, TX | 325-762-2232, ext. 116 | shackelfordcounty.org
The Shackelford County Courthouse was built in 1883 from native limestone and has been in continuous use since then. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and visitors and residents can schedule a tour to view its beautiful interior, featuring intricate patterned hardwood floors, detailed hardware, and stunning staircases. You can also view several monuments, memorials, and a Victorian gazebo outside on the Courthouse Square.
The Old Jail Art Center
201 S. 2nd St., Albany, TX | 325-762-2269 | theojac.org
Albany’s old jail was the first permanent jail built in Shackelford County in 1877 and is one of the historic buildings in the Shackelford County Courthouse Historic District. The structure was eventually repurposed into an art museum, which opened to the public in December of 1980. Today, it’s known as the Old Jail Art Center (OJAC), a nationally-accredited art museum. It features a collection of Chinese tomb figures dating from the third century B.C., a collection of pre-Columbian art, and 19th and 20th-century paintings and sculptures. The center also houses a regional history archives collection. The Old Jail Art Center is a designated historical landmark listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Webb Memorial Park and City Pool
900 N. Railroad St., Albany, TX | 325-762-3133
Webb Memorial Park is a community park featuring a 5,392-square-foot swimming pool with a water slide, play features, diving facilities, and swimming areas. This fantastic park is also home to a multi-purpose trail, baseball and softball fields, a skate park, playground, outdoor basketball court, and soccer field. The public picnic shelters at Webb Memorial Park are perfect for outdoor group lunches with family and friends.