I grew up in Marble Falls in the 60s.
We always referred to the old building on the north side of the river as “The Factory“. During my high school years (1966-1970) it was a burned out shell of a building where kids would go exploring. Then in 1971 it was torn down, only leaving a concrete slab for more than the next 25 years.

These most of the views are as you enter Marble Falls from the south, as you come down the hill, looking across to the old section of the town.

Now two restaurants and a hotel occupy the site.

Following is a little history and a timeline with photos of “The Factory.”

Marble Falls was founded in 1887 by Adam Rankin Johnson, a former Indian fighter and Confederate general, known as “Stovepipe” Johnson for his Civil War escapades, which included duping the Union army in Newburgh, Indiana, with fake “cannons,” constructed from stovepipes and wagon wheels.

1892 — Farmers Alliance, comprised of city founders, including Adam Johnson, formed the Marble Falls Cotton and Woolen Co. to establish a textile mill factory, which operated as a cotton gin with looms fashioning raw cotton product into materials for garments.

1924 — Investors from Delaware organized Marble Falls Textile Co.; crews built a three-foot concrete dam on the top of the Colorado River falls near the foot of the site to raise the level of the lake and use more water to generate power.

1930-31 — Certified Laboratories Inc., a Dallas-based firm, produced surgical gauze and absorbent cotton for hospitals.

1934-36 — The facility was the site for Marble Falls High School graduation ceremonies.

1936 — It was converted to a dance hall called Casino Royale.

1941-45 (World War II era) — The facility was primarily used for storage.

1954 — Mathis Co. purchased the building and manufactured central air-conditioning units and wooden cases that enclosed fans and air-conditioners.

1959-61 — It was purchased by Republic Trans Com Industries of Pennsylvania.

Aug. 8, 1964 — A fire that lasted two days destroyed the building.

1971 — Rubble was cleared, leaving concrete slabs; several years later, the foundation became a site for lakeside festivals.

1998 — It was purchased by a private company that launched the development of the existing retail complex, including the Hampton Inn, River City Grille and Chili’s.

Coming up the hill, leaving town
Looking from town south, to the Factory Building
Mathis employees doing assemble work
The building still smoldering from the fire
A scenic view with wildflowers
View from the water
This was taken from the Bertram Enterprise Newspaper Jan. 20, 1944

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