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This town is the seat of Live Oak County. It was named for George Washington West, a rancher who set out to build a town on the site of his ranch. He built a courthouse, school, highways, bridges, waterworks, light plant and a hotel. The town is a center and shipping point for the surrounding ranch and farm area. The area is experiencing a boom from the Eagle Ford shale play. Excellent hunting and fishing are available in the area.
It was designated as the Storytelling Capital of Texas by the state Legislature, and an annual Storytelling Festival is held the first weekend in November. The Brush Country Big Buck Contest also begins that first weekend in November. Other annual events include the Cinco de Mayo Celebration and the Ranch Home Tour in May.
A renovated movie theater, Dobie West Theater, hosts performing arts. Tours are available on request. 361/449-2033.