Before starting Violet Crown Realty we worked as a team at another brokerage then known as the Stratus Team. When trying to come up with a name that would reflect our personality and show our connection to Austin we tried on several different names before coming across our name.   Now it seems more obvious why we would choose Violet Crown because there have been a fair number of other Austin businesses that have since adopted it. Examples would be Violet Crown Cinema, Violet Crown Soap Company,

To put it in the most obvious terms we chose Violet Crown Realty as a name because Austin has been called or nicknamed the City of the Violet Crown since before the turn of the 20th century. We love Austin and what could be more appropriate than naming our company after the city we love.

We are Austin history geeks and love the tales of old Austin. If you want some insight and details about the City of the Violet Crown check out these links.

Austin History Center

Voices of the Violet Crown




City of the Violet Crown:
Origins of the Nickname

Austin borrowed the title from Athens, Greece. Originally, Athens was called the “City of the Violet Crown” or “City of the Violet-Crowned Hills.” Some say that when Athens was ruled by King Ion (Ion = “violet”), Athens acquired this name. Pindar (the Greek poet of the fifth century B.C.) used the “violet crown” term. During the 19th century, in a time when Athens was considered the cradle of western civilization, Austin called itself the “Athens of the South“.

William Cowper Brann (1855-1898), right, possibly was the first writer to use the phrase “violet crown” to describe Austin. Brann was an Illinois native and longtime Texas journalist. He first published his paper, The Iconoclast, in Austin, where O. Henry worked as a clerk, admired Brann’s work, and dreamed of becoming a writer. In Brann’s article “Garden of the Gods,” he wrote about a boom in population and industry going on in Texas at that time:“Its healthfulness, delightful climate, undeveloped resources, churches, schools, etc., have been expatiated upon many times, but little has been said of its transcendent beauty [such as] Austin’s violet crown bathed in the radiance of the morning.”

According to the Austin History Center, the phrase described Austin in an article published in the Austin Daily Statesman on Wednesday, August 8, 1894. It begins:

“May 5, 1890, was a memorable day in Austin. It was memorable for the reason that on that day the citizens of the City of the Violet Crown voted to build a granite dam across the Colorado River.”

O. Henry (William Sydney Porter) also called Austin the “City of the Violet Crown” in 1894. His short story Tictocq: The Great French Detective, in Austin. The story was originally published in his locally published newspaper The Rolling Stone on October 27, 1894. The phrase is used in Chapter Two: “The drawing-rooms of one of the most magnificent private residences in Austin are a blaze of lights. Carriages line the streets in front, and from gate to doorway is spread a velvet carpet, on which the delicate feet of the guests may tread. The occasion is the entree into society of one of the fairest buds in the City of the Violet Crown.” Most people now attribute the nickname to this short story.

More than a century ago Austin civic boosters noticed how at sunset the light often took on a rich and lovely violet hue. So they decided to capitalize on this beauty by promoting Austin as the “City of the Violet Crown.” Out on North Lamar Boulevard, then the main highway between San Antonio and Dallas, we had a “Violet Crown Shopping Center,” a “Violet Crown Cafe” and the like. A few years later, UT scientists hesitantly pointed out that our “violet crown” was in fact mostly cedar pollen, trapped by the Balcones Escarpment.

More references:

Austin Museum of Art: About Laguna Gloria: Clara Driscoll was one of the founding members and first president of the Violet Crown Garden Club in 1924. The name was undoubtedly taken from Pindar, a Greek lyric poet of the fifth century B. C., who wrote of Athens thus: “City of light, with thy violet crown, beloved of the poets, thou art the bulwark of Greece.” O. Henry, the popular American short-story author, borrowed this classical reference when he referred to Austin as the “city with violet crowned hills.” The club dedicated itself to the beautification of the city through the planting and cultivation of flowers and shrubs.

Longhorns, Aggies & the Texas State of Mind: There’s magic in Texas that everyone should experience, a magic that arrives in spring as the Bluebonnets and Indian Paintbrush cover the miles and miles of Texas Highways. The sky at sunset reflects this same magic, as do the stars under the West Texas sky, stars that burn so bright they seem to be within reach. The magic exists in the history that fills the San Antonio Riverwalk, or exudes from the high-tech hustle and bustle of cities like Dallas and Houston. That same magic illuminates Austin at night as for a brief moment the sky is illuminated by a flash of lavender, giving the capital its nickname, “City of the Violet Crown.”

14 February 1872, Fort Wayne (IN) Daily Sentinel, pg. 2?, col. 1: …even as the Athenians ostracized their designing and dangerous leaders from the City of the Violet Crown.

2 September 1884, Oshkosh (WI) Daily Northwestern, pg. 4, col. 1: It needs a patriot who loves his country as the Roman loved the City of the Seven Hills, or the Athenian the City of the Violet Crown.

25 May 1925, Salamanca (NY) Republican Press, “Poetic Name for City,” pg. 2, col. 5: The appellation “City of the Violet Crown” was bestowed upon the city of Athens by the ancient Athenians. The origin of the term is in dispute, and is variously explained. According to some authorities, the violet was the favorite flower of the Athenians, and thus became the symbol of the city. Aristophanes, in his “Equities” and “Acharnians,” speaks of Athens as the “Violet-Crowned.” According to others, Ion (the Greek for violet) was a king of Athens, was in consequence Ion’s city, the violet city, the city of King Ion, or the city of King Violet.—Kansas City Times.

Other Violet Crown groups:Violet Crown Sports Association Crown Cinema

Violet Crown TrailViolet Crown Trail

Violet Crown Community Works

Voices of the Violet Crown

Violet Crown Soap Company

Violet Crown Counseling

Violet Crown Catering

Violet Crown Cycles

Violet Crown Radio Players

Violet Crown Garden Club

Violet Crown Book Award

Violet Crown Stables

Violet Crown Community Theater

Violet Crown Computing

Violet Crown Petsitting

Violet Crown Cycles

Violet Crown Social Club

Violet Crown Canines

Violet Crown Media

Austin Historic Center