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 Texas : Features :

The Mysterious Eagle Lake

Prairie Chickens, A Depot for Sale and
Why they moved the Wildflowers to Gillespie County.


by Roman A. Clef
Once again we found ourselves in Southern Colorado County. We weren't looking for tractor parts, although there is a great tractor graveyard there. We also weren't there to shoot waterfowl or to have a waterfowl taxidermed, but it's a good place to do either. We weren't there to have a root canal or to renew licenses, vows or old friendships. So, right off the bat we had a mystery on our hands: What were we doing in Eagle Lake?

The biggest mystery of course is the Lake in the Town's name. It's privately owned, so confirming its existence is best done from the air. The Eagle? Another mystery. One history has early settlers killing one here, which seems likely. Another has an Indian legend complete with two braves competing for a chief's daughter, a tragic accident (or was it?) while gathering eagle feathers and a lifetime of remorse. It sounds like your typical Indian legend, with an eagle inserted so that it applies to Eagle Lake.

We had planned on luring our Houston readers through here on our Spring Trip to DeWitt County because this is where Wildseed Farms was. Please take note of the past tense. They are now and have been for some time in Gillespie County.

Wildseed Farms was also where the late Merle Brammette, founder of the DeWitt County Wildflower Association visited and came up with the idea of promoting the incredibly varied Wildflowers of DeWitt County.

Now the County has been officially proclaimed Wildflower Capital of Texas. We're not sure if we can route our Houston readers to DeWitt County via Fredericksburg, but Wildseed Farms phone is 830-990-1393. They are on the North side of Hwy 290, seven miles East of Fredericksburg. They expect their fields to be in full bloom in May.
Wildflower seed farm
Wildseed Farm founder John Thomas Outstanding in his Field or
out standing in his field.
Photo Courtesy TXDoT
Wildseed Farms is a success story that makes the proverbial "ladder of success" look like Jack's Beanstalk. It's like that movie director a few years back who sold an organ or something to make a movie (El Mariachi) which cost $473 to make (it was a small organ) and ended up making $49,000,000. We were expecting to see other films from him but never did. Maybe he moved to Fredericksburg.

Don't forget that the Attwater Prairie Chicken resides on its refuge six miles from Eagle Lake, and while we refer to it in the singular, there are supposed to be more than one (so we're told). The Refuge's signage needs some touching up, but the Refuge itself is about six miles toward Sealy on FM 3013 and then two miles off the main road. If you're coming from Sealy, look for it on the right.

Our observation: Prairie Chickens look more like regular chickens than Prairie Dogs look like regular dogs.

This comes from pictures we've seen, since our visit didn't turn up a single Prairie Chicken in the flesh (so to speak).


See Eagle Lake, Texas


2000, Modified August 2002
John Troesser
Readers' Comments:
Wildflowers can be seen in all their glory on Calhoun Road. Tour busses come in from the Houston Area to drive the loop along this road to see natural beauty displayed each spring.

Eagle Lake Preservation Alliance is currently restoring the Historic Eagle Lake Calaboose.
 
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