Williamson County throws 175th birthday party

A statue of Robert Williamson stands on the courthouse square in Georgetown in honor of the county’s namesake. 

Legend has it, the Texas patriot and early statewide political leader never visited the area. For Yasaman "Yazy" Mehrsa a trip to Texas was a surprise and also something of a long shot.

"When I applied for this call, I was hopeful. I like, something in my heart would say, like, you're going to get it, I don't know why," said Mehrsa.

The Iranian-born, Toronto-based artist is in Georgetown painting a mural on a wall at the county tax office. It’s part of Williamson County’s 175th anniversary, and she admits coming up with an idea took some work.

"So I did my research. I found out about what people are proud of here. How, people used to live back then. And then how the city, like civilized," said Mehrsa.

The mural is a public painting project open to anyone. Symone Wright, an art student from Georgetown High, was among those who grabbed a brush Friday afternoon.

"Yes its helps, to be part of the community, and leaving my mark," said Wright.

Mehrsa’s concept for the mural was selected by the Arts & Culture Program because the images are symbolic of the large and diverse county, according to program manager Amanda Still.

"We wanted a design that represented the entire county. There were a lot of designs that represented downtown Georgetown and that were Georgetown specific. But we were looking for a design that really did represent the entire county, which was a little, a little more difficult to try to incorporate many different symbols into one mural," said Still.

Over the past 17 and a half decades, a lot has happened in Williamson County: cattle drives through Round Rock, the oil boom in Thrall, big cotton, the railroad, outlaws, and heroes. Most of that can be found here at a museum on the town square.

"The message of the 175 is that we're still making history. So, we had those early pioneers that helped settle Williamson County. But we are continuing to grow and change, and we are developing into a community that preserves our history, but we're still making it as well," said Danelle Houck with the Williamson Museum.

A flyover above Georgetown Friday afternoon kicked off the 175th birthday celebration. The party included serving up birthday cakes baked in the shape of the county courthouse. The special events continue into Saturday, including painting the mural, which, like the county, remains a work in progress.