People often ask us why we named our community Kissing Tree. The answer starts more than 150 years ago, with a true Texas tale that still echoes today.
Yes, that Sam Houston
It’s July, 1857. On the west bank of the San Marcos River, war hero and statesman Sam Houston stops to stump for the governorship of the state he recently helped create. The settlers of the new town of San Marcos rally around to hear a man who had become known nationwide for both his grit and his thoughtful eloquence. In those days, a speech like that brought the community together. Banners are hung. Music is played. And in the shade of an enormous live oak, Sam Houston, standing on an overturned bucket, makes his case.
Behind him is a Texas flag newly made by some of the ladies of San Marcos, in preparation for the visit. He’s so impressed with their generosity that after his speech, during the handshakes and back slaps, he finds this group of women and thanks each of them with a kiss on the cheek.
Now in 1857, that had just a touch of impropriety, and it gave people something to talk about. Enough so that the majestic live oak, standing in the cool breeze of the river, became known as The Kissing Tree.
That feeling of coming together — that welcoming spirit — is what you’ll find here today. It’s why we named our community after the landmark, and the legend: Kissing Tree.
Hill Country heritage
Let’s jump back in time to 1709 when the first recorded explorer, a missionary named Isidro Félix de Espinosa, blazed a trail through Hays County. Over the next 130 years, more travelers followed that trail and expanded it, linking Austin and San Antonio. The spot where Kissing Tree is located today was originally called Stringtown—a small outpost along this important road.
Between 1850 and 1856, log houses, a general store, a Brown & Tarbox stagecoach stop, and a one-room schoolhouse sprung up. Ever since, this little corner of Texas has been a center of activity and a place where communities can grow.
It’s a fascinating area, full of inspiration, and compelling characters. Through the Civil War, the excitement and turmoil of the 20th Century, and right up until present day, there’s a rich history to discover. It’s a classic Texas tale of determination, adventure and new beginnings.
Our community has been designed to make the most of this special place, with wide Hill Country vistas from expansive porches, and big, sun-drenched windows. It’s a feeling that’s not only rooted in this spot — it’s something that just couldn’t exist anywhere else.
The home for fun and freedom
And now, let’s take a look at today. And tomorrow. Let’s imagine for a moment.
Last year, Kissing Tree celebrated its fifth anniversary. We have hundreds of residents who take advantage of the golf course, the fitness center, the pickleball courts, the indoor and outdoor pools, the events, the Biergarten, and the spirit of togetherness that this community was founded on. Daily life here at KT is a living reminder that our active adult community was custom-built with a Texas attitude. That means a focus on community perfectly balanced with independence. It’s a place where you can live life on your own terms. And if that’s not Texas, what is?
If you can see yourself living your best life here, come check it out for yourself. You can build your dream home from the ground up or choose one of our quick-move-in homes. You can go big or downsize to a Cottage or Villa with lawn care included. And whichever way you go, you can start using the amenities as soon as you sign your contract.