Built by the LCRA in 1939, it is the largest multi-arch dam in the world.
BUCHANAN DAM, MUSEUM & VISITOR CENTER:
512-793-2803. W. Hwy 29, Buchanan Dam (SH 29 West of Inks Lake Bridge). Spectacular view
of largest of Highland Lakes; in building near dam; telescopes. Houses local chamber of
commerce, and museum that features construction of Buchanan Dam, dedicated in 1937 and one
of the largest of its kind in the U.S. Living history videotape, old photographs, exhibits
on area history, Xeriscape garden. Visitors enjoy feeding huge school of fish that
congregate below observation deck. Dam is open year round. Visitor Center open seasonally.
Free Admission. Daily 9a-5p (closed holidays).
VANISHING TEXAS RIVER CRUISE:
Originates at N end of Lake Buchanan where tour boat docks at Canyon of the Eagles
Park pier (see below). This 2.5 hr tour in an enclosed boat with 2 observation decks
allows visitors to see the spectacular wilderness and wildlife (including eagles) along
the Canyon of the Colorado River that feeds into the lake. More Info
CANYON OF THE EAGLES LODGE & NATURE PARK: 16942 RR 2341, Burnet (postal address,
but actually much closer to Buchanan Dam). Eagle Eye observatory. Home of Vanishing
Texas River Cruise. Conference Center, restaurant, lodging, camping and RV facilities. More Info
PARKS: Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) and state parks in the region. See:
Canyon of the Eagles, Black Rock LCRA, Cedar Point LCRA, Inks Lake State Park, and more.
PRINCIPAL BUSINESS: Lake recreation, retirement living
HISTORY: It was initially the site of a construction
camp established to build the first of the major flood-control and power-generation
facilities on the Colorado River. The project was originally known as Bluffton Dam for the
nearby town of Bluffton, but the name was changed to Hamilton Dam, perhaps because its
location had been surveyed in 1926 by an engineer named Hamilton. Some say it was named
after G. W. Hamilton, vice president of the Middle West Utility Company of Chicago, a
company that represented the Insul interests active in developing electrical power
distribution in Texas. The Emery-Peck and Rockwood Development Company undertook the
construction of the dam in 1931 and established a post office and a settlement of several
hundred workers supported by commercial, medical, and recreational facilities. In 1932
bankruptcy forced the closing of the project. United States Congressman James Paul
Buchanan secured federal funds to revive the project in 1934, whereupon the dam, post
office, and town were renamed in his honor. The dam was dedicated on October 16, 1937. The
town grew steadily as a recreational center, reaching a population of over 1,000 in 1974,
when it had numerous businesses. In 1990 the population was 1,099, and in 2000 it had
grown to 1,688."