Llano (population 3,325) was founded as the county seat of Llano County in 1856. Initially a frontier trading center, the community's economy boomed in the 1880s and 1890s after the discovery of iron deposits nearby. Later important industries included farming, ranching, and granite quarrying.
The historic downtown district centers on the courthouse square and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. On the north side of the square is the Lantex Theater (1927). Home of the Llano Country Opry and other events, the building is owned by the city, which is committed to its rehabilitation and continued use as a cultural and economic asset.
The city is also working with Llano County, the Hill Country Railroad Association, and other partners to bring excursion trains to the historic rail line between Llano and Kingsland. The line and its associated structures are listed in the National Register, and Federal Transportation Enhancement funds are being used to repair tracks and build a new museum in Llano.
The city is further working to promote heritage tourism by participating in development of the Texas Historical Commission's Hill Country Trails Region initiative.
Designated a Preserve America Community in August 2004.