In 1893, the first dam was completed. It broke in 1900. In 1915, a second dam was partially built but not completed. In 1939, the present Tom Miller Dam was completed.
Some restaurants on Lake Austin have parking available for boaters
Lake Austin at a Glance
- Surface Area (in acres)
- Storage Capacity (in acre-feet)
Lake Austin is part of or belongs to the following places.
Lake Maintained or Owned by
City of Austin, leased to LCRA
Adopt a Town
The Texas Almanac's Land Rush program lets you adopt the town, county, or lake of your choice and share your message with the world. 100% of the proceeds benefit education in Texas.
- Adoption Status: ✅
- This place is available for adoption!
- Adopted by:
- Your name goes here
- Dedication Message:
- Your message goes here
Date of Origin1893 130 years ago
Lake Austin is classified as a Lake
- Power generation
- Municipal water supply
Photos of Lake Austin and surrounding areas
Proud to call Texas home?
Put your name on the town, county, or lake of your choice.
Search Places »
Official History of Lake Austin
Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas , a digital state encyclopedia developed by the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records
Lake Austin, formerly Lake McDonald, is an artificial lake in the western part of Austin on the Colorado River in west central Travis County. Lake McDonald, the first large reservoir in Texas, was formed by the construction of Austin Dam, which was begun in 1890 and completed in 1893. Because there were no other major obstructions of the Colorado River at that time, the Austin Dam trapped large amounts of sediment that washed downstream. Gradually, the pressure caused the dam to slide, and in 1900 it gave way during a heavy rainstorm, causing extensive flooding. The dam was partially rebuilt in 1915, but construction was abandoned because of a dispute between the contractor and the city of Austin. High waters destroyed the unfinished dam later that year. In 1938 the city of Austin gave a contract to the Lower Colorado River Authority to build a new dam. Tom Miller Dam (at 30°18' N, 97°47'W), a concrete pier and slab structure 1,590 feet long, was completed in 1939.Continue Reading at the Handbook of Texas