In 1854, a Kentucky transplant to Burnet County, Adam Rankin Johnson, saw the falls and dreamed of building a town near the site. But the Civil War intervened, and Johnson, who attained the rank of general in the Confederate Army, was blinded by a rifle ball and also held captive by Union forces. Johnson returned to Burnet County after the war and in 1887 he established Marble Falls, named for the natural landmark. His wife and children gave the blind general daily reports as the town took shape. Johnson also realized the potential of the Colorado River’s water power, and that of the pink-colored rock at nearby Granite Mountain. In 1951, the Max Starke Dam was built and the river impounded, creating hydroelectric power and Lake Marble Falls.
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