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  Texas : Texas Rivers / Trips : Summer Trips / Hill Country Trips : Splash Across Texas

MAX STARCKE PARK
Guadalupe River
Seguin, Texas

Excerpts From
Splash Across Texas
THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO
SWIMMING IN CENTRAL TEXAS


by Chandra Moira Beal

Book Your Hotel Here & Save
Seguin Hotels

Max Starcke Park
Max Starcke Park
Photo courtesy Chandra Moira Beal

MAX STARCKE PARK

Business 183
Seguin, Texas

This glorious municipal park, operated by the City of Seguin, is beautiful and rich with the area's history. Built by the National Youth Administration in 1937 on the banks of the Guadalupe River, this large park has small rolling hills which are grassy and densely shaded by the most pecan trees you have ever seen. Other attractions include standard and miniature golf courses, playgrounds, picnic areas, volleyball, and basketball. The vegetation is lush with vines and caladiums along the riverbanks. Numerous picnic tables can be found right on the banks and throughout the park. Small motorized boats operate upstream.

The best swimming can be found behind Saffold Dam. A series of steps lead down to a concrete dock. It is recessed enough to offer privacy from the rest of the park. The river here is glassy, green and calm. Lap swimmers can journey back and forth in the rectangular space between the shores, which is quite deep. You may also dive from the dock.

Saffold Dam is named for William Saffold who owned the park land in the mid-1800s. Saffold Dam was originally a natural rock outcropping, which was typical of dams built in the late nineteenth century. The dam was first improved by Henry Troell in the late 1800s when he added more rock to it to raise the water level and power a cotton gin. Troell was a native of Germany who immigrated to Seguin sometime prior to 1860. He served in the Confederate Army and married Johanna Wohler in 1872. A successful freighting business enabled him to invest in several local properties and enterprises, including the Saffold Dam and gristmill. He expanded the hydroelectrical capabilities of the dam and in 1890 provided the City of Seguin with its first water and electrical utility system. The City of Seguin bought Troell's property in 1907 to further develop hydroelectricity, and subsequent improvements have led to the establishment of a hydroelectric plant on the south side of the river.

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