Archive for March 14th, 2016

The Forgotten City Beneath a Lake

Monday, March 14th, 2016
Current residents of Lake Texana.

Current residents of Lake Texana.

NOTE: Lake Texana State Park – Is now under the management of the Lavaca-Navidad River Authority. The park is open under the new name, Texana Park and Campground.

This is Passport to Texas

In 1832, Dr. Francis F. Wells—a member of Stephen F. Austin’s Old 300—founded a town along a bend of the Navidad River, which eventually became known as Texana.

This was the western most settlement of Austin.

Cindy Baker served as an interpretive ranger at the former Lake Texana State Park. Texana was a thriving community; it was in a good location, had abundant natural resources, and a shallow water port. It could have been great if not for short-sighted decisions by its founding father.

Two brothers showed up and offered for 100-thousand dollars to buy the town. Mr. Wells said, ‘No. We want 200-thousand. We love our town.’ And the two brothers—wanted to build a deep water port—so they went east, they found the Buffalo Bayou, they dug their deep water port, and they called it Houston.

And, in 1883 the New York, Texas and Mexican Railway bypassed the settlement.

A man named Telferner came through and said, ‘For 30-thousand dollars, I’d like to put my railroad stop here in your town.’ And they said, ‘A railroad? We have a port. We don’t want your dirty old railroad.’ He moved seven miles north, and he named that stop after his daughter Edna. Within two years, everyone picked up and moved to Edna.

Texana became a ghost town, which today rests at the bottom of Lake Texana, created in 1979 when the Lavaca-Navidad River Authority built a damn on the Navidad River.

Funding provided in part by Ram Trucks. Guts. Glory. Ram.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.