BBQ/Gas Station from the
Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake, 2003
Barbecue keeps Cele on
the Travis County
map 100 years after the community lost its post office.
photo by Gerald E. McLeod
CELE, TEXAS. Cele is two miles west of Farm Road 973 and seven miles north of Manor in northeastern Travis County. It was established in the 1890s and was supposedly named for Lucille Custer, daughter of a local store owner. A post office opened there in 1896 with John Pitts Johns as postmaster. When the office was discontinued briefly in 1899, the community's mail was sent to New Sweden. The Cele post office reopened that same year but was again discontinued in 1902, when mail was routed through Manor. From the 1930s to the 1960s the population of Cele was reported at twenty-five. Cele was still listed as a community in 1990.
The back roads of northeastern Travis County snake around enough to make a Sunday drive seem like a journey. A sign in the Cele General Store says "Population 92," but in 1899 they lost their post office due to lack of interest. Delicious barbecue from noon Friday until it sells out around noon on Saturday keeps the community name and the General Store alive. About a mile or so northwest of New Sweden, the former gas station, bar and convenience store is on Cameron Road, the next north-south county road west of FM 973. For directions, call 512/251-3562.
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