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The History of Lake Travis

Did you know that the family who owns the Boat Town dealership (3rd generation currently part of the team, in fact!) is from the Lake Travis area?? It's true! So Lake Travis is by default a lake that's quite special. One of the biggest lakes in the Texas Hill Country, there are many special features of this lake – especially when it's full of water. With the recent drought, we're hoping that the more we promote it's beauty the more we can help manifest some rain to fill her back up!


That being said, if you're interested in how Lake Travis came to be, keep reading!


Lake Travis is a reservoir located in the Hill Country of central Texas, USA. The history of Lake Travis involves a combination of natural geological processes and human intervention for the purpose of water supply, flood control, and recreation. Here's an overview of its history:

  • Geological Formation: The geological formation of Lake Travis dates back millions of years. The area was shaped by the erosion of the Colorado River and the surrounding terrain. The river carved its path through the limestone-rich landscape, creating the riverbed and valleys that would eventually hold the waters of Lake Travis.

  • Mansfield Dam: The construction of Mansfield Dam, which created Lake Travis, began in the mid-1930s as part of the Lower Colorado River Authority's (LCRA) efforts to control flooding along the Colorado River and provide a stable water supply for the growing region. The dam was completed in 1942 but the reservoir didn't reach its full capacity until the early 1940s due to fluctuating water levels and the ongoing effects of World War II.

  • Filling and Development: Once Mansfield Dam was completed, Lake Travis began to fill with water. The reservoir spans about 63 miles (101 kilometers) in length and covers approximately 18,622 acres. The lake was named after William Barret Travis, a commander during the Texas Revolution.

  • Water Supply and Recreation: Over the years, Lake Travis has served multiple purposes. It functions as a water supply reservoir, providing drinking water to the city of Austin and surrounding areas. Additionally, the lake has become a popular destination for boating, fishing, swimming, and other recreational activities. The surrounding shores have seen the development of numerous residential communities, marinas, and recreational facilities.

  • Water Level Fluctuations: One of the challenges with Lake Travis is its susceptibility to fluctuations in water levels, which can be influenced by rainfall, droughts, and water usage demands. During periods of heavy rainfall, the lake can experience rapid rises in water levels, while extended droughts can lead to lower water levels.

In summary, the history of Lake Travis involves its creation through the construction of Mansfield Dam, its role in water supply and flood control, and its significance as a recreational hub.


What else would you like to know about Lake Travis??


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