Buchanan Dam is on the south shore of Lake Buchanan and on State Highway 29 eighteen miles from Llano in Llano County. It was initially the site of a construction camp established to build the first of the major flood-control and power-generation facilities on the Colorado River. The project was originally known as Bluffton Dam for the nearby town of Bluffton, but the name was changed to Hamilton Dam, perhaps because its location had been surveyed in 1926 by an engineer named Hamilton. Some say it was named after G. W. Hamilton, vice president of the Middle West Utility Company of Chicago, a company that represented the Insul interests active in developing electrical power distribution in Texas. The Emery-Peck and Rockwood Development Company undertook the construction of the dam in 1931 and established a post office and a settlement of several hundred workers supported by commercial, medical, and recreational facilities. In 1932 bankruptcy forced the closing of the project. United States Congressman James Paul Buchanan secured federal funds to revive the project in 1934, whereupon the dam, post office, and town were renamed in his honor. The dam was dedicated on October 16, 1937. The town grew steadily as a recreational center, reaching a population of over 1,000 in 1974, when it had numerous businesses. In 1990 the population was 1,099, and in 2000 it had grown to 1,688.
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