Bluffton ghost town reappears due to drought

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by MORGAN CHESKY / KVUE News

kvue.com

Posted on August 10, 2011 at 6:30 PM

Updated Monday, Oct 28 at 7:18 AM

BURNET COUNTY, TX - It is the water that has brought life to Central Texas that becomes scarcer by the day. At Lake Buchanan shrinking shorelines tell the story of the drought, but another story hidden beneath the surface now has it's chance to be told.

On Wednesday's Vanishing Texas River Cruise, the star of the show was not the wildlife or the water. Three times a week guide Tim Mohan brings visitors face to face with history. Lake levels are down 20 feet, letting the forgotten town of Bluffton reappear. 

It is a town with tough past. The first location burned in 1883. The second, moved to the banks of the Colorado river, flourished until 1937. The Buchanan Dam put that town underwater and forced residents to move again.

"People just don't know that there's an old town like this that had so many people living in it," said Mohan.

The more than 70 years spent underwater has left little of the original Bluffton. Still, the remnants that do remain tell the story. Scales sit right next to an old cotton gin showing signs of a once thriving community. 

Fifty families used the town daily for its blacksmith shop, cotton gin, and school. Today, visitors walk a main street made of granite sand. The few relics left behind piled on what's left of buildings.

Bluffton isn't going anywhere, but it's only a matter of time before the waters that once covered it return.

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