1854 Texas ghost town revealed due to drought

POSTED: Wednesday, November 23, 2011 - 12:27pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, November 23, 2011 - 12:32pm

The severe drought in Texas has revealed a ghost town just outside of Llano. There may not be much to see, old foundations, some tools, even a grave or two, but the fact that we can see it at all, is what's making news.

There's not much left of Bluffton, circa 1854. All that remains is the foundation of an old Texaco and a well, but for one man it holds a personal past.

"This person here was a great uncle," says Alfred Halmark.

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," Halmark declared.

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 Bucannon filled up with Bluffton smack dab in the middle.

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

But now, it's high and dry. The drought has the water level so low 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. Now, all of them were moved before the first time the town flooded. But, sometimes, when the weather is just right, you can still see a little bit of history. Like the lost tombstone of Johnny C. Parks.

The Old General Store, it moved with the rest of the town before the flood and is still here. The old foundation is, too.

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

And for an avid historian, he'll enjoy it while it lasts.

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

Because the water will come back, and the town will disappear.

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