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Historic mill stone moved to Marble Falls museum; WWII women exhibit on display

The Falls on the Colorado Museum in Marble Falls

An old gristmill stone discovered years ago at the historic Fuchs House in Horseshoe Bay South recently was incorporated into a granite wall built at The Falls on the Colorado Museum, 2001 Broadway in Marble Falls. Courtesy photo

The Falls on the Colorado Museum recently finished rebuilding a historic granite wall around its location at 2001 Broadway in Marble Falls. The latest and final section of wall includes an old gristmill stone recovered from the Fuchs House in Horseshoe Bay South. 

The granite rubble for the wall also has a history: It comes from Granite Mountain and has been long part of the old Granite School building, which was constructed in 1891.

Most of the original wall was torn down in 2019 to make way for elementary school renovations next door to the museum. The Falls on the Colorado is housed in what was once the only public school in Marble Falls, encompassing all 12 grades. The Granite School building served students until the mid-1980s. 

Over the years, Marble Falls Elementary built up around the old school. The latest renovations led to destruction of the wall. 

The stone was salvaged so it could be rebuilt in a new location. That project resulted in leftover materials, which were recently used to build a wall on the east side of the museum, incorporating the mill stone into the front part. 

Eileen Hurd of Horseshoe Bay donated the mill stone, which had been stored in her yard after it was rescued from the Fuchs House to keep it safe from vandals. She was inspired to donate the stone by Jim Jorden’s book, “The Story of Horseshoe Bay, Texas, 1971-2021.” 

“I didn’t even know there was a museum until Jim’s book came out,” Hurd said. “Now, I’m fascinated with that museum. It’s amazing, and the people who work there are a treasure. I told Jim this ought to go to the museum when I found out about it.” 

Jorden connected Hurd with the museum’s board to work out details, while architect Marley Porter of Cottonwood Shores started incorporating the stone into the second section of the wall. At 1,200 pounds, the stone was too heavy to go inside the museum. Hurd donated funds to complete the wall; the Marble Falls Economic Development Corp. provided a matching grant.

More exterior work on the museum grounds is set for completion this year, including incorporating a broken well cover, the Marble Falls city marker laid by founder Gen. Adam R. Johnson in 1887, and a piece of the old U.S. 281 bridge that is now on display in the museum all into a new entrance.

“We are putting the piece of the bridge that we have on metal I-beams at the front entrance near the parking,” said museum board member Darlene Oostemeyer. “It’s our way of bridging the present to the past.” 

NEW EXHIBITS

While all that work continues on the exterior, the interior has a new exhibit, “Women, Aviation, and World War II,” on display. The traveling exhibit will end its stay in Marble Falls at the end of February. 

In March, The Falls on the Colorado Museum will curate its own exhibit of Texas symbols, a series of 18 paintings by Nancy Ebling of Marble Falls.

The Falls on the Colorado Museum, 2001 Broadway in Marble Falls, is open from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. Monday-Saturday. Admission is free but donations are appreciated. Visit its website at fallsmuseum.org or call 830-798-2157 for more information. 

suzanne@thepicayune.com