Western Trips

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Marble Falls,Texas in the Scenic Hill Country

There is a falls at Marble Falls, Texas. It is a twenty-two foot ledge of pink Texas marble on the Colorado River, now hidden by Lake Marble Falls. Early travelers referred to these falls as the "great falls" or the "marble falls" of the Colorado River as early as 1817.

shopping marble falls texas
Historic District
Marble Falls is in the scenic Texas Hill Country only about 45 miles west / northwest of Austin and about 85 miles north of San Antonio in Burnet County Texas.

The Founding of Marble Falls 

General Adam R. Johnson traveled to Texas in 1854, viewed the falls and surrounding countryside, and knew he wanted to make Marble Falls his home. He returned to his native Kentucky to fight in the Civil War, tragically losing his eyesight. Never forgetting his dream, Johnson returned to Marble Falls and officially founded the city in 1887.

Historic Main Street District 

Come and experience the unique culture of Historic Downtown Marble Falls. Market Day on Main is the perfect time to get out, explore downtown and shop artisan goods from around the Hill Country.
For exact dates, check on website....www.marblefalls.org/events/2018/marketday. 

uptown theater marble falls
Uptown Theater
Historic Buildings / Uptown Theater

The venue opened in the 1942 and served primarily as an audience hall for traveling entertainment but eventually began showing movies.
“Every town in the old days had a movie theater,” Buster said. “That was the center of the entertainment and social interaction.”

At one point, a fire damaged the building, closing it for a period of time. It re-opened in the 1990s as the Marble Theater. When a multiplex theater opened in town, the venue closed again to be re-opened in 2004 by Buster and Blake, who invested tens of thousands of dollars in upgrades, including renovations of the current Uptown sign uncovered beneath a previous one. They even inherited an old gas-powered projector, weighing thousands of pounds. During the peak of the venue’s success, Buster was booking 40-50 musicians and live shows a year, but the facility has not experienced a resurgence in popularity since then.

The Highland Lakes of Central Texas

Marble Falls is the northern gateway to the Highland Lakes area of Central Texas.

The Highland Lakes  are a chain of seven lakes along Texas' Colorado River beginning  85 miles northwest of Austin and ending in Austin.  The Highland Lakes are named Lake Buchanan, Inks Lake, Lake LBJ, Lake Marble Falls, Lake Travis, Lake Austin and Lady Bird Lake.

The lakes offer excellent recreational activities like boating, water skiing, tubing and fishing.

Longhorn Caverns 

Longhorn Cavern State Park is 645 acres of rugged Texas Hill Country between Marble Falls and Burnet in Burnet County. The state acquired Longhorn Cavern from private owners in 1932 to 1937. The park opened in 1938. Enjoy the walking tour through the caverns where you'll see fascinating stalagmites and stalactites created by seeping water.

marble falls texas attractions
Longhorn Caverns State Park
Longhorn Caverns was used for a variety of purposes during the last two centuries. The cave has provided shelter since prehistoric times. Some of the earliest visitors were the area’s prehistoric peoples. They used the large room next to the main entrance for shelter.

Anglo settlers discovered the cave in the mid 1800's and mined bat guano during the Civil War to make gunpowder for the Confederacy. During the Prohibition era the Main Room in the cavern was used as a speakeasy with music and dancing.

See additional Western Trips articles found on the links below....

Visit Historic Llano Texas

Visit Burnet Texas

Visit Kerrville Texas

lake marble falls
Colorado River / Lake Marble Falls
The Falls on the Colorado Museum

The museum, located in the historic 1891 Granite School on the campus of Marble Falls Elementary School, tells local history of Marble Falls and the surrounding communities. Artifacts, documents, photos, books and culturally important icons and memorabilia on display..

Marble Falls is on the Colorado River at the intersection of U.S. Highway 281 and Farm Road 1431, thirteen miles southeast of Burnet in southern Burnet County. 

texas small towns

marble falls texas downtown

(Article and photos copyright Western Trips) 

Monday, July 9, 2018

Columbia River Maritime Museum / Astoria Oregon

The Columbia River Maritime Museum located in Astoria, Oregon is a truly unique travel stop and great for people of all ages. This a a fascinating museum that showcases all things Columbia River as well as the Pacific Ocean that the river feeds into. There is quite a lot to this museum and you may spend up to two well spent hours viewing and learning about all the interesting exhibits. 

columbia river museum
Founded in 1962, it is considered one of the finest maritime museums on the West Coast.
The museum is the only official maritime museum in Oregon. The museum is operated by a private nonprofit organization that is funded through membership dues, contributions and admission fees. It features every aspect of the Columbia river. This includes displays on commerce, industry, wildlife and even war. The museum showcases to two bodies of water... the Colombia River and the Pacific Ocean.

The Columbia River Bar

The Columbia River Bar is located at the intersection of the Columbia River and the Pacific Ocean. The area where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean is considered one of the most dangerous stretches of water in the world. Here is why....

A bar is a shallow area of sand or mud, usually deposited near the mouth of a bay or river. When a fast-moving river slows down to meet the ocean, it deposits tons of silt and mud that it carries. This bar forms a natural barrier, typically extending across the river or bay entrance, Even today, crossing the bar can be a trying ordeal depending on the winds, possibility of fog and the tides. Another factor is how well the ship may be loaded with freight and the channel depth which varies significantly between the river and ocean.

Today, ships entering or exiting the Columbia River require the services of a highly skilled and licensed bar pilot. Because of the possibilities for extreme weather and sea conditions on the bar, the licensing standards for Columbia River Bar Pilots are the highest in the nation.

columbia river bar
Mariners refer to the Columbia River bar as the Graveyard of the Pacific, with about 2,000 vessel, including 200 large ships, having sunk right there since 1792. The museum highlights the extreme forces at work along the Columbia River Bar. Learn about waves that can exceed 40 feet in height during the most severe winter storms. See exciting exhibits on the U.S. Coast Guard and the Columbia River Bar Pilots.

Witness the legendary salmon fishing runs and take a tour of a floating lighthouse, the lightship Columbia. There were some five different lightships with the name Columbia stationed at the mouth of the Columbia River. The last one was designated WLV-604. The Columbia is a 128-foot welded-steel lightship which was built in 1950. The lightship had ten men on duty at all times. The ship was decommissioned in 1979 and made it;s way to the Columbia River Maritime Museum in 1980. She is the first vessel in Oregon to be placed on the National Register.

Museum Collections

The Columbia River Maritime Museum specializes in collecting and exhibiting maritime artifacts from the Columbia River and the Pacific Northwest. The Museum’s collection, made up of artifacts collected since its opening, has grown to more than 30,000 objects, 20,000 photographs, and a 10,000-volume research library. Combined, these resources make the Columbia River Maritime Museum one of the foremost repositories of Pacific Northwest maritime artifacts in the country.

columbia lightship
Tour a floating lighthouse, see a WWII bridge, and admire a scabbard from a shipwreck. See sailing gill net boats that used to run on the Columbia River fishing for salmon. Also, detailed information about the ship wrecks on the bar and models of ships that sailed on the Columbia. The museum has an interactive shipwreck map that shows the loss both the wind and waves have caused over the last 200 years at the Columbia River Bar.

The Columbia River Maritime Museum is pleased to present classes in wooden boat building and courses in traditional maritime crafts at the Barbey Maritime Center. They are drawn from both Western and Native American maritime cultures and are suitable for a wide variety of interests and skill levels.

Additional Western Trips articles are found on the links below....

Historic Oregon City

The Columbia River Gorge

Visiting the Columbia River Maritime Museum

coast guard vessels
Today, the Columbia River Maritime Museum’s reputation for the quality of its exhibits and the scope of its collections makes it one of the finest maritime museums in the nation. It was the first museum in Oregon to meet national accreditation standards, and has been designated the official state maritime museum of Oregon.

The Museum is open daily 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on the waterfront in beautiful downtown Astoria, Oregon. The museum is located at 1792 Marine Drive, Astoria, OR.

(Article and photos copyright Western Trips)