The Dam Across The “Marble” Falls

There was a discussion today on The Angora Chronicles Facebook Group about Marble Falls being named that, when it is really famous for its pink granite. I explained that Marble Falls got its name due to the natural falls that occurred just a few hundred feet upstream of the US 281 bridge that crosses the Colorado River on south end Marble Falls. I also said that there was a naming mistake calling the rock there marble when it is actually a much harder rock, dolomite.

The dolomite found in the Marble Falls area is darker in color, to an almost black, is is extremely hard.

Dolomite has stunning hues of gray and white that resemble marble so closely sometimes they are mistaken for each other. Dolomite is a sedimentary rock made from limestone and lime mud that come in contact with groundwater that contains magnesium.

There was a comment that one person made saying they were told that the falls was blasted away when the dams were built which formed Lake Marble Falls. It is my belief that the falls was not blasted away, however there was a concrete dam that set right on top of the falls, that directed water to north side to operate the old textile mill and electric generators (MF first electric system) at the old Mathis site.

This shows the falls and part of the concrete dam

When the LCRA Dams were built it became necessary to remove the small dam. It was blasted away. We had a movie clip of that blasting away on here someplace and I’ll continue to look for it.

What was left were square iron reinforcing bars approximately 1 1/2” x 1 1/2” that stood up 3’ to 4’ above the falls. The reinforcing bars had been doweled into the rock when the dam small dam was erected.

In approximately 1983 my company was contracted to install water and wastewater lines along the bottom of the lake to provide city services to the property on the south side of the river. During that installation the lake was drained exposing the falls.

I contacted the city and LCRA about the dangers of those iron bars sticking up. While there was probably 10’ to 15’ of water over the tops of the bars when the lake was full, it appeared they were there and could present a hazard. When no one acted on cutting them off, I had my D-8 dozer operator to go up on top of the falls and bend those iron bars over and flatten them out. Those bars were most likely wrought iron and were so brittle that they mostly broke off smooth with the top of the rock.

While the whole operation of removing them only took a few minutes I could only think about someone jumping or falling from a boat and being impaled by one.

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