Drought Reveals Texas City Hidden Under Lake

POSTED: Wednesday, November 23, 2011 - 11:57am

UPDATED: Wednesday, November 23, 2011 - 11:57am

LAKE BUCHANAN, TEXAS- There is not much left of Bluffton, Texas circa 1854, but for one man, it holds a personal past.

Alfred Halmark discovered graves of relatives in the old Bluffton cemetery. He's been around here his whole life, but it wasn't until this year he made the discovery.

"It's really kind of exciting, " said the local historian.

A discovery this year, because they're usually under 20 feet of water. If Atlantis had a sister city in Texas, Old Bluffton is it. In 1937 the gates on the Colorado River closed and Lake Buchanan filled up with Bluffton smack dab in the middle.

"It's kind of sad that this community had to end," said Halmark.

Now, it's high and dry. Drought has the water level so low Old Bluffton actually emerged from the depths.

For the fifth time since the town went under, drought has people finding pieces of the past, history floating to the surface. At one point in time the Bluffton cemetery held 400 graves. All of them were moved before the first time the town flooded, but, you can still see a little bit of history, like the lost tombstone of Johnny C. Parks.

The old General Store moved with the rest of the town before the flood and is still here. It and the Post Office make up what's left of New Bluffton. The old foundation out on the lake bed is still here, too.

"I think it's fascinating. I've actually been out there myself, taken pictures of it," said Nancy Stanford, the current owner of the Bluffton Store.

For an avid historian, Halmark will enjoy it while it lasts.

"It's kind of a nostalgic feeling, because you sit here and you wonder how the people lived," said Halmark.

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