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Leander is one of the fastest-growing cities in the Austin area

Leander has a rich history, but it also has a bright future.

LEANDER, Texas — The Austin area is booming – but few places are growing as fast as Leander.

Leander has history going back more than 10,000 years. It's first-known resident, lovingly named the "Leanderthal Lady," is one of the earliest and best-preserved archeological finds in the country.

Fast-forward a few thousands years. In the 1840s, Leander was called Bagdad, Texas, and a tree in the area served as a lookout for the Texas Rangers as they tried to spot attacks.

RELATED: 'Leanderthal Lady,' dinosaur tracks bring history to the present in Leander

A decade later, the Bagdad Cemetery was established. It's the very cemetery where, 100 years later, one of the most well-known horror movies of all time was filmed: "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre."

But in 1882, the Northwestern Railroad came through, sold land for cheap and renamed the town "Leander." It wasn't until 1978 that the city became incorporated. 

By the 1990s, 3,000 people were calling Leander home. 

RELATED: All aboard the Leander Trail of Trains

Since then, a lot has changed.

Leander was the fastest-growing city in the country between 2018 and 2019 and the second-fastest two years later. Last year's census counted 67,000 people – some of whom might be former Austinites, as houses are a bit more affordable compared to Austin.

As Leander continues to grow, the City is planning to accommodate more residents. There's a $1 billion build scheduled just off the US 183 toll and RM 2243 that will include a massive, man-made lagoon. There's also a new "downtown" being developed called Northline.

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