Texian Stomping Grounds Page: 40
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THE AUSTIN HILL FOLK
By Elsie Upton
One need not go to books for a picture of early days in Texas.
Within a few miles of Austin among the hills along the Colo-
rado, the descendants of the early founders of Texas still preserve
in their everyday mode of living the primitive and colorful
existence that is only a memory in the cities and prairie communi-
ties of Texas.
In the past hundred years Austin has grown from a village of
three or four hundred people into a modem city of 100,000; out
in the Hills, within sight of the Capitol dome, the people depend
for their water supply on the natural springs or creeks, speak a
mountain dialect, and depend for their education on a short term
in a one-room school.
Although there has been much interest in recent years in the
folk-lore of the mountain folk of the South, until the Texas Cen-
tennial in 1936, even Texans looked for information to the
writers and lecturers who told of the peculiar folkways of the
mountaineers in Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Arkansas,
ignoring the fact that these Americans of the oldest stock with
their special culture and customs, are to be found also, an intact
community, in the Texas hills near Austin. In that year some
recognition was given to the Hill people and some of their songs
and folk-lore collected. This fact is significant, for the frontier
temperament preserved in these hills the past hundred years may
soon be lost.
For this same year 1936, the Lower Colorado River Authority
acquired large holdings along the Colorado and since then has
built five dams, thus creating five large lakes. Many of the old
landmarks and homes that had stood since before the Civil War
are now at the bottom of these deep lakes. Two towns, Bluffton
and Tow Valley, were removed from what is now the bed of
Buchanan Lake. Part of the evacuation of this area included the
moving of about three hundred graves from the Bluffton ceme-
The floods have always been a menace to the Hill people.
Many times they have fled from their homes and have come back
Here’s what’s next.
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Dobie, J. Frank (James Frank), 1888-1964. Texian Stomping Grounds, book, 1941; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc67663/m1/48/: accessed June 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Press.