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Hill Country Portal
A Powerful Information Database & Gateway Service for the Texas Hill Country
City Profile For:
MARBLE FALLS, Texas
"Marble Falls... for a weekend, or a lifetime"
"Building a Better Community - Preserving the Foundation of the Past"
Tax Rate (2010): 2.3135/$100County: Burnet
Zip Code: 78654, 78657Area Code: 830, 693Time Zone: CST
Coordinates: 30° 34' 27" N, 98° 16' 41" W
Location: In S part of county; 48 mi NW of Austin, 25 mi N of Johnson City
13 mi S of Burnet, 30 mi SE of Llano
Highways: US 281, 2147, FR 1431
Creeks:Rivers: ColoradoLakes: LBJ, Marble Falls (see Highland Lakes)
Quick Link To: Directory Listings in Marble Falls
- City Of Marble Falls: 830-693-3615; Fax: 830-693-6737
800 Third St, Marble Falls, TX 78654
- Marble Falls-Highland Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce:
916 Second St, Marble Falls, TX 78654
- Marble Falls/Lake LBJ Chamber Of Commerce Visitor Center:
100 Ave G, Marble Falls, TX 78654
- Marble Falls Economic Development Corporation: 830-798-7079
801 Fourth St, Marble Falls, TX 78654
- Marble Falls Tour Guide: 512-755-4664; A "step-on" ATGA Certified Tour Guide with years of experience offers customized tours of the Texas Hill Country
Just a little ways further out of town: 12 mi SE of Kingsland; 24 mi (via TX 71) E of Sunrise Beach; 26 mi SE of Buchanan Dam
PRINCIPAL BUSINESS: Regional economic center, tourism
MAJOR ATTRACTIONS: See full details in Directory below.
- Lake LBJ & Lake Marble Falls: See Highland Lakes
- Historic Main Street District: historicmainstreet.org. Historic buildings brought back to life as shops, restaurants, sculpture, festivals, farmers market and a theater.
- Falls On The Colorado Museum: Displays the history and culture of the Central Texas region centered in Burnet County. Artifacts, documents, photos, books and culturally important icons and memorabilia on display, as well as an area for research.
- Fox Memorial Marker & Panoramic View: A monument overlooking Colorado River and scenic Hill Country is dedicated to Oscar J. Fox, composer of the classic popular song, "Hills of Home." In roadside park on US 281 just S of town S of the bridge.
- Sweet Berry Farm: Pick your own strawberries and blackberries. Hay rides, horse rides, petting farm, hay mazes, fall pumpkin patch, flowers, face painting, picnic area and more. School, group and civic activities.
- Marble Falls Historic Train Depot: S of Hwy 1431 on US 281 in Marble Falls. Depot is more than 100 years old.
- Granite Mountain/Cold Spring Texas Granite Company: Home of "Texas Pink" granite used to build the Texas State Capitol building. The mountain can be viewed from roadside picnic areas. Visitors not admitted to quarry area, but a retail outlet is open to the public
- Bee Cave: Hamilton Pool; Milton Reimers Ranch Park; Westcave Preserve
- Bluffton: Lake Buchanan
- Lake Buchanan Area: Buchanan Dam & Museum & Visitor Center; Vanishing Texas River Cruise; Canyon Of The Eagles Lodge & Nature Park; State & LCRA Parks
- Burnet: Austin Steam Train Association's "Hill Country Flyer"; Highland Lakes Air Museum; Fort Croghan; Delaware Springs Golf Course; Perissos Vineyard And Winery; Falkenstein Castle
- Cottonwood Shores: The Hill Country Theatre
- Granite Shoals: Lake Recreation & Parks
- Highland Lakes: Lake Recreation & Water Sports
- Horseshoe Bay: Granite Beach Recreation Area; Marriott Resort & Golf Courses
- Kingsland: Falkenstein Castle; Inks Lake State Park; Inks Lake Dam National Fish Hatchery; Longhorn Cavern State Park; Buchanan Dam; Golf Courses; Packsaddle Mountain; Historic Rail Yard Complex
- Meadowlakes: Golf & Country Club
- Round Mountain: Auction Barn; Historic Church & Inn
- Spicewood: Cypress Valley Canopy Tours; Dead Man's Hole; Krause Springs; Golf; Parks; Vineyards
- Sunrise Beach: Flat Creek Winery
- Tow: Fall Creek Vineyards/winery; Lake Buchanan
- Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge
- Bee Cave: Hamilton Pool; Milton Reimers Ranch Park; Westcave Preserve
- LAKE BUCHANAN/INKS LAKE SHORE PARKS:
- Horseshoe Bay: Granite Beach Recreation Area
- LAKE TRAVIS SHORE PARKS:
- Briarcliff: Pace Bend
- Hudson Bend: Mansfield Dam
- Jonestown: Dave Reed, Fireman's, Jones Brothers, Laura Reed, Pecan Bottom, Shady, Veterans Memorial
- Lago Vista: Arkansas Bend, Arrowhead Point, Bar-K, Cody, Emerald, Greenshore, Hancock, Heather, Marina View
- Lakeway: Dragon, Lakeway City, Porpoise, Rebel, Sailfish, Swim Center
- Hudson Bend: Mansfield Dam
- NW Lake Travis: Camp Creek, Gloster Bend, Turkey Bend
- Oasis: Mansfield Dam
- Point Venture: Arkansas Bend, Dink Pearson
- Spicewood: Grelle, Muleshoe Bend, Narrows
- Volente: Bob Wentz-Windy Point, Cypress Creek, Hippie Hollow, Malberper, Sandy Creek, Shaffer Bend, Tom Hughes, Turkey Bend, Volente Beach Waterpark
- (Adam) Johnson Park: 230 S Ave J, Marble Falls, TX 78654. Web. Features shade trees, covered picnic areas, playscapes, outdoor stage and restrooms. Popular for reunions and parties.
- Falls Creek Park & Skatepark: 900 Yett St, Marble Falls, TX 78654. Skateboarding facility with picnic tables, BBQ pits and a canoe launch site. Web
- Harmony Park: A music venue and park downtown at 800 3rd St, features 5 large permanent instruments ,with attached mallets, that you can play. Color-changing LED lights.
- Lakeside Park: 307 Buena Vista Dr, Marble Falls, TX 78654. Waterfront park on Lake LBJ features a boat launch, tennis courts, swimming pool, basketball court, picnic area and ice skating rink. 1 block W of US 281 bridge. Web
- Sports Parks: The Parks and Recreation Depart partners with local leagues and organizations to provide recreational and educational opportunities for all ages. The ball fields around the city offers these organizations the chance to practice their sport and host games. Includes: Johnson Park Ball Field; Greens and Rotary Fields, at 1100 6th Street; Rotary fields, at 1800 Colt Circle, Subunits #10 and #11, behind the MFISD bus barn.
- Villa Vista Park: Located on Villa Vista Way (7th St) and is the City's only developed neighborhood pocket park. Web
- Westside Park: 1206 2nd St at Ave Q, Marble Falls, TX 78654. 13 acres of fun and relaxation located along Backbone Creek. Includes a Community Bldg, basketball court, playground, 9 hole disc golf course, dog park. Web. Read more: Web
- Mar-Apr: Bluebonnet Music & Fine Arts Festival, last WE
- Mar: Main Street Market Day
- Apr: Highland Lakes Fine Art & Wine Festival, 1st & 2nd WE, thunderbirdartists.com
- Apr: Wine & Wildflowers Trail (winery tours); Citywide Garage Sale; Paint The Town
- May: Howdy Roo Chili Cook-off, 1st WE; Main Street Market Day; MayFest; Marble Falls Rodeo, 3rd WE
- Jun: Soapbox Classic
- Jul: 4th-Fireworks in the Park; Founders Day, 2nd Sat
- Aug: Fall Creek Vineyard Grape Stomp; LakeFest Drag Boat Races, 2nd WE, (marblefallslakefest.com)
- Sep: Main Street Market Day, 3rd WE
- Oct: Citywide Garage Sale; Moonlight Madness
- Nov: Highland Arts Guild Fall Show; Walkway of Lights & Holiday Parade; Antiques & Collectibles Show
- Dec: Walkway of Lights
- On-going Events:
- Nov-Mar: Bald Eagle Season
- Every Thur-Sat: The Falls On The Colorado Museum Tours: 905 3rd St, 10a-5p. 830-798-2157. fallsmuseum.org. Tour the museum
- Every 3rd Sat: Live Music: At 6-10p, at Boys & Girls Club. 830-898-1784. Bluegrass, Country & Western
- 2nd Sat: MF Market Days: At Rodeo Grounds, 9a-4p. 830-693-4449, quarterly (Mar, May, Sep, Nov)
- Highland Lakes Farmers Market: 830-693-4458; Sat mornings and Wed afternoons
WEATHER: Local Weather; Hill Country-wide Weather
MEDIA COVERAGE: See full details in Directory below.
- On-Line News: Google News
- Newspapers: Highlander News: highlandernews.com; The Picayunne, thepicayunetv.com
- Radio/TV: KBEY 103.9 FM: 830-693-5551, Texas Best Country, kbeyfm.com
- Videos: Daytripper Spotlight: Web with Video; Marble Falls EDC: YouTube
- Smart Phone App: "Marble Falls"
HISTORY & profiles: Handbook of Texas Online: "The falls for which the town was named were used as a landmark by travelers and were referred to as the "great falls" or the "marble falls" of the Colorado River as early as 1817. Charles S. Todd made an effort to establish a town at the falls in 1854. Several lots were sold, but few people built homes there. "Todd's village" faded before it ever really got started, and Todd's land was sold for taxes in 1880. Adam Rankin Johnson saw the falls in 1854 and also wanted to build a city at the site. His project remained a dream, however, until the 1880s. Although there was some difficulty in establishing a clear title to the land, by 1886 Johnson had succeeded in buying one-half and controlling the rest of the original Baker grant, which included the falls area. The Texas Mining and Improvement Company was chartered in June 1887; Johnson and nine others were listed as owners. It handled the business of the new town for several years. Town lots were advertised for sale in July. The Austin and Northwestern Railroad built an extension to Marble Falls from Granite Mountain in 1889. A post office was also established that year with Robert Charlton as postmaster. By 1890 the community had Methodist and Baptist churches, a cotton gin, a gristmill, a tannery, a shoe factory, three general stores, a hotel, a weekly Gazette, and 400 to 600 residents. Population estimates reached 1,800 by 1896. Marble Falls Alliance University was chartered in 1892, but it was in operation only a few years; its facilities were purchased by the public schools when an independent school district was established in 1908. The first city officials were elected in 1907, when a mayor-alderman form of government was instituted. In 1917 the all-male voting population of Marble Falls elected Orphelia (Birdie) Crosby Harwood the first woman mayor in the United States. Some improvements to the city, such as paved streets and electric street lights came in the late 1920s; others, such as sewer systems, had to wait until after the Great Depression and World War II.
The potential of the Colorado River falls as a source of power was seen by Johnson when he first arrived at the site in 1854, but it was many years before his dream was actually realized. Plans were made to harness the river at the Marble Falls site in 1871; the legislature authorized the building of a dam near Marble Falls to power a milling and manufacturing establishment, but nothing came of the project. The Marble Falls Cotton and Woolen Mills Company built a factory in 1895, but was unable to raise capital to purchase necessary machinery. A dam project was begun on the Colorado River below Marble Falls in 1910, but was not completed. Finally, in 1925 a dam was built to supply electrical power to the Marble Falls Textile Mills Company; the facility was used by Insull Companies in 1935 to supply power to the Hamilton Dam project. Max Starcke Dam, which formed Lake Marble Falls, was constructed in the early 1950s. Unfortunately, the natural falls were destroyed by the formation of the new lake, but the Marble Falls community benefited from the increased recreational and municipal water supply. Marble Falls served as the principal commercial center for numerous subdivisions and resorts that were built along the lakes after the 1960s. Population estimates for Marble Falls hovered around 1,000 during most of the first half of the twentieth century; after the late 1940s and early 1950s, however, the number of residents increased steadily. In 1940 the population was 1,021; by 1960 it was 2,161. As more people moved to the area to take advantage of lakeside subdivisions, the population and the supporting commercial center grew accordingly: Marble Falls had 2,209 residents and ninety-four businesses in the early 1970s, 3,252 residents and 210 businesses in the early 1980s, and an estimated 4,007 residents and 218 businesses in 1990. By 2000 the population reached 4,959 with 817 businesses."
THE FALLS: From the Falls On The Colorado Museum: From prehistoric times to 1951, the Colorado River plunged over the falls at this location on its romp to the Gulf of Mexico. The falls, just upriver from the present Hwy 281 bridge, were covered by the waters of Lake Marble Falls after Max Starcke Dam was built in 1951.
The geological formation of the falls is a transitional state between limestone and marble. To early settlers, the interior of the rock, a hard cherty, looked like marble - hence the name Marble Falls.
When the LCRA lowers the lake level, the falls can still be seen, although partially obliterated by silt. Photographs in the FOCM historic collection show many views of the river, the falls, and the part they played in the lives of area citizens before 1951.
DEAD MAN'S HOLE: (by Mike Cox in Texas Escapes): "The expression 'he just dropped out of sight' had both figurative and literal meaning in Burnet County during and after the Civil War. Common belief held that folks who disappeared in that area often ended up at the bottom of a 150-plus-deep foot limestone fissure south of Marble Falls aptly named 'Dead Man's Hole.' ". Discovered in 1821, this 155 foot deep cave is believed to have been the dumping place for victims hung from an oak tree over the hole. Self-guided tour, always open. SE of Marble Falls, nearer Spicewood, on CR 401 between Hwy 71 and FM 2147 E.
PRIOR CITY NAMES: Todd's Village
- Fox Memorial Marker & Panoramic View: A monument overlooking Colorado River and scenic Hill Country is dedicated to Oscar J. Fox, composer of the classic popular song, "Hills of Home." Recently relocated from roadside park on US 281 just S of town, S of the bridge, now at La Quinta Inn property.
- Marble Falls Factory Site: THC Marker. Original site of a cotton mill built in the 1890s by General Johnson. He and a group of entrepreneurs launched Marble Falls Cotton and Woolen Company that made textile products in this mill built on the N bank of the Colorado River where River City Grille now sits. The falls, now covered by Lake Marble Falls, are what provided the power to operate the mill.
- St Frederick Baptist Church Of Renewal: 830-693-4499; 301 Ave N & 3rd St
- Marble Falls Cemetery
PORTAL WEB CAM GALLERY: Marble Falls
OTHER PROFILES: City Data; Texas Escapes; Wikipedia
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