Thursday, February 28, 2013

Kerrville's mill dam: an old photo, but a new scan

I've seen this photo for many years, but this is the first chance I've had to scan from an original print.  The clarity of the photo brings up some questions.  Was the photo taken soon after a flood?  What is the structure on the far right, which looks like a water inlet (possibly for the turbine)?
Click on image to enlarge
Kerrville Mill Dam, probably around 1900.
This is below the 800 block of Water Street, and parts of the old millrace are still visible today.


  1. This is an excellent photo.

    I believe the structure on the right existed until 1978, when Kerr County had a flood.

    As a youngster, (1950), I played around, and looked inside the structure many times.

    By then, the bottom was partially filled with gravel and mud, so no turbine could be seen.

    However, although it was partially filled, the hole was still very deep, and it had a vertical, metal shaft sticking out of the bottom.

    Only the top four inches of the shaft could be seen.

    The shaft was square, and had a diameter of approximately 9 - 10 inches.

    I, now, wish that I had dug out the gravel and mud to see what was at the bottom.

  2. This is such a clear photo.

    I wonder if anyone can identify the two people.

  3. I was comparing this photo to the satellite image on Google Maps, and I noticed that traces of the mill dam are still visible in the water just below the weir that's there now. I don't remember noticing them the few times I've been there recently, though they may be hard to see at ground level. To be honest, I was never sure where the mill had been, but now it's kind of obvious. And now I understand why the concrete on the Water Street side is shaped like it is and why there are post holes in it, which I didn't before.

  4. Joe, do you know if the old turbine was ever removed from the ground?

    If not, wouldn't it be wonderful to excavate the site?

    Does Schreiner College have a program/class/club in archaeology?

    If so, it would be a wonderful project for them.

    It shouldn't take long to excavate that one small site, and it would be so very educational for the students and your readers.

  5. Hi Joe!
    There was a horrible flood in 1900. It is reported to have left a cow stranded in a tree top and uprooted graves in the Glen Rest Cemetery.

    I think I know what the structure on the right is, and will send you a photo of what I think it is to see if it matches up any.

  6. I wasn't around for the 1900 flood, but there is one that I remember in the 1930's, (1932 or 1938, I think, but I'm not certain of the exact date).

    That flood did wash away many headstones at Glen Rest. After the flood, the headstones were found in one large pile.

    Most of them had been broken into many pieces.

  7. Joe, if Lanza Teague has additional photos of the structure, we would be very grateful to you if you would post them for your readers to view.

    Color us, "Interested."

  8. After looking at the photo again, I can't determine for certain that the structure on the right is the same structure that I played around and looked into, when I was a child.

    Perhaps Lanza Teague's additional photos will help me to decide.


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