Marble Falls is a city in Burnet County, Texas, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 6,077. It is about 48 miles (77 km) northwest of downtown Austin and 85 miles (137 km) north of San Antonio.
Lake Marble Falls is part of the Highland Lakes on the Colorado River, the largest chain of lakes in Texas. It hosts one of the largest drag boat races in the United States each August.
Hill view of Marble Falls, 2007
|Motto: "Marble Falls... for a weekend, or a lifetime"|
Location of Marble Falls, Texas
|Coordinates: 30°34′N 98°17′W|
Marble Falls was founded in 1887 by Adam Rankin Johnson, a former Indian fighter andConfederate 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. Johnson had viewed the natural Marble Falls during his pre-war days as a Burnet County surveyor, and had dreamed of building an industrial city, powered by the tumbling Colorado River, not to be confused with the river of the same name in Colorado and Arizona. Despite a "friendly fire" incident which blinded him near the end of the Civil War, General Johnson followed through with his dream, facilitating the construction of a railroad to nearby Granite Mountain in 1884, then (with ten partners, including one son, one nephew and two sons-in-law) platting the townsite and selling lots, beginning July 12, 1887. Johnson built a fine home, a college (soon to be home of the "Falls on the Colorado Museum") and a large factory near the falls. The town grew to a population of 1,800 within ten years.
Marble Falls made history in 1917 by electing Ophelia Crosby "Birdie" Harwood as the nation's first woman mayor, three years before women were allowed to vote.
When the Max Starcke Dam was completed in 1951, the marble falls which had given the town its name were submerged under the new Lake Marble Falls. While the town's economy struggled through the drought of the 1950s, a new economy based on tourism and retirement began to grow in the 1970s. During the last thirty years, Marble Falls has grown into the retail and entertainment center for the Highland Lakes area, and continues to attract tourists, retirees and new businesses.
Marble Falls Public Library, 2011
The Uptown Theater in downtown Marble Falls, 2011
Texas Ranch to Market Road 1431 in Marble Falls extends westward, 2011