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EAGLE LAKE, TEXAS

Colorado County, Central Texas South
Highway 90A and FM 102
15 miles SE of Columbus
50 miles SW of Houston
26 miles NW of Wharton

Population: 3,664

Eagle Lake Area Hotels > Columbus Hotels

Eagle Lake TX Islands
Islands in Eagle Lake
Photo Courtesy Nesbitt Memorial Library # 01682

History in a Pecan Shell

Like Gertrude Stein said about Oakland (California, not the Texas town in Colorado County) - "When you get there, there's no there there." If you're traveling to Eagle Lake expecting to see a lake - you might want to bring a tall step ladder. There is indeed a (1,400 acre) lake there - and it is indeed called Eagle Lake, but it's private property. A smaller lake called Lower Lake sits below Eagle Lake - also privately owned.

The town dates from 1821 when scouts of Stephen F. Austin reportedly killed an eagle here. There's also a colorful legend about an Indian chief's daughter and two handsome suitors, but it sounds fanciful when compared to the more probable naming by Austin's scouts.

In March of 1838 land along the lake was granted to one Patrick Reels. Two others held previously issued grants along the lakeshore. In the 1850s Gamaliel Good acquired most of the land and then sold 600 acres to DeWitt Clinton Harris, who sat on the board of the Buffalo Bayou, Brazos and Colorado Railway.

The two became partners and planned a town here. Situated between Austin and prsent-day Houston, it couldn't miss. The railroad arrived just prior to the Civil War. After the war, when the railroads were expanding all over the state, Eagle Lake became a railroad crossroads. The Cane Belt, San Antonio and Aransas Pass, Southern Pacific and later the Santa Fe all had a presence in Eagle Lake. The Santa Fe depot still stands - as a privately owned building.

Sugarcane was a cash crop after the Civil War and the planting of rice was introduced in the 1890s. The mills have been long gone, but grain elevators and rice dryers are still present - although several are vacant. The town remains popular with hunters who come for the ducks and geese.


Eagle Lake Vintage Photos >
Eagle Lake Today >

Eagle Lake Vintage Photos:

Eagle Lake Texas parade float
Parade Float in downtown Eagle Lake
Photo Courtesy Nesbitt Memorial Library # 01619
Baby Eagles Rhythm Band, Eagle Lake Texas 1941
"The Baby Eagles" Rhythm Band c. 1941
Photo Courtesy The Nesbitt Memorial Library #01950
Eagle Lake High School Band  Eagle Lake Texas vintage photo
Eagle Lake High School Band
Photo Courtesy Nesbitt Memorial Library # 1707
Eagle Lake Texas first day of school 1935 photo
First Day of School 1935
Photo Courtesy Nesbitt Memorial Library # 01793
Eagle Lake Rod and Gun Club, Eagle Lake Texas
Eagle Lake Rod and Gun Club "Courtesy Vehicle"
Photo Courtesy Nesbitt Memorial Library # 01629
Eagle Lake TX Alligators c1910
Alligators c1910
Photo Courtesy Nesbitt Memorial Library # 01204
See Texas Animals
Eagle Lake TX Rice Milling  Co.
Rice Milling Co.
Photo Courtesy Nesbitt Memorial Library # 00211

Eagle Lake, Texas Today:

Eagle Lake Tx Depot

Eagle Lake Depot
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, February 2009
More Texas Depots

Eagle Lake Tx Depot

Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, February 2009
See Texas Railroads

Eagle Lake Tx Caboose Museum

Museum
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, February 2009
More Texas Museums

Railroad Interlocking Tower 115, Eagle Lake , Texas
"Abandoned, but still standing in November, 1996, Tower 115 in Eagle Lake sits silently as an eastbound Southern Pacific freight rumbles by on the Sunset Route headed for Houston. The tower was razed shortly after this photo was taken." -
Photo courtesy Jim King
See Railroad Interlocking Towers of Texas
Eagle Lake, Texas Grain Elevators
Abandoned elevator near Eagle Lake
TE photo, December 2003
More Texas Grain Elevators
Cartoon:
Snow Goose - by Roger T. Moore

Nearby Destinations

Towns and ghost towns just a short drive away:

Columbus and Colorado County Towns
Wharton and Wharton County Towns
Eagle Lake, Texas
Area Towns:

Columbus
Wharton

Houston
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Texas Town List
Texas Ghost Towns
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Texas Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history and vintage/historic photos, please contact us.

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