We have been through Marble Falls several times and each time I am amazed how beautiful a city in the middle of nowhere can look.
Marble Falls is located in the heart of the Texas Hill Country on Highway 281. Centrally located, it seems that all roads in Texas lead to Marble Falls. Located just 45 miles northwest of Austin, 85 miles north of San Antonio, 210 miles northwest of Houston, and 190 miles southwest of Dallas. Renowned for scenic beauty, you can see the beautiful waterways and lush, rolling hills.
Indigenous species include everything from American bald eagles during winter months to great old live oaks that shade the landscape throughout the seasons. Spring brings a burst of color with a multitude of wildflowers including the Texas state flower, the bluebonnet.
During the spring fields and back roads are covered with blossoms as far as the eye can see. Many amateur and professional photographers and artists come to capture the natural beauty of the Highland Lakes area.
Here is a brief history of Marble Falls.
As a young man, Adam Rankin Johnson traveled through this treacherous Central Texas territory, working as a surveyor and transporting goods to isolated supply stations in the 1850's. In 1854, Johnson rode down the Colorado River from Fort Mason to see the "great falls," now covered by Lake Marble Falls, and visualized a great manufacturing city powered by the falls. He acquired land certificates for the area and was ready to settle here in 1861, when he discovered the certificates were worthless.
Instead, Adam Rankin Johnson settled with his wife Josephine in Burnet and soon joined the Confederate army. Attaining the rank of General, Adam made quite a name for himself, but was blinded by a rifle ball. He was released after being held captive by the Union army for six months and sent home to Burnet where he spent the next thirteen years working at a land office. Adam Rankin Johnson relied on his superb memory to direct his young son how to drive him through the territory in search of land deals.
Finally in 1887, lots went on sale ranging from $75 to $750 and soon became a thriving cotton center, to be known as "The Blindman's Town." Liberty Hall was built, facing south with a view of the falls. From this vantage point, his wife and children could give the General Adam Rankin Johnson day by day reports as his dream took shape.
More pages in history were written when Orphelia "Birdie" Harwood and her husband Dr. George Harwood purchased, Adam Rankin Johnson's Home Liberty Hall in 1915. In 1917, the "Harwood House", also known as Liberty House or Liberty Hall, was home to the first woman in Texas and the United States to become Mayor of a community and was elected by an all male voting population. Birdie once loaned a young teacher Dr. Harwood's microscope for use in his sixth grade class. This young man became The President of the United States, Lyndon Baines Johnson.
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