History

Unearthed Vintage Photos Reveal What’s Underneath Canyon Lake

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About 30 minutes west of New Braunfels and San Marcos sits a boaters and tube floaters paradise, Canyon Lake. This charming location is known as a fun getaway spot for families in search of fun, adventure, or relaxation, but it also has a rich and fascinating history that not everyone knows. Old photos have surfaced of this Texas landmark which reveal the construction process of creating a control tower, dam, and reservoir.

Photo: U.S. Army Corps Of Engineers

Photo: U.S. Army Corps Of Engineers

Since the Guadalupe River is known to flood and create havoc in its path, Canyon Lake went under construction with use of explosives, large machinery, and big crews.

Photo: U.S. Army Corps Of Engineers

Photo: U.S. Army Corps Of Engineers

A dam was built as part of a $20.2 million project from 1958 to 1964 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority. According to the Edwards Aquifer website, “Canyon Dam was built with a rolled-earth type of construction…[It’s] 6,830 feet long and the top of the Dam is 224 feet above the streambed. It creates a reservoir that covers 8,240 acres and has a shoreline of about 80 miles.”

Photo: U.S. Army Corps Of Engineers

Photo: U.S. Army Corps Of Engineers

Canyon Lake continues to evolve, in July 2002, the reservoir spillway was opened for the first time: “The raging spillway waters carved a scenic new gorge out of the limestone bedrock, which the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority has leased from the Corps of Engineers and is operating as a tourist attraction.”

It’s fun to see the old photos and observe how much Canyon Lake has changed from a little over 50 years ago. This visual tour of Texas history is an eye-opening experience, but nothing can equal visiting this charming location in person. Have you experienced the beauty of Canyon Lake? It’s one of the best weekend getaway spots in the entire Lone Star State. Do you agree? Tell us about the fun you’ve had visiting Canyon Lake!