Austin in Travis County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
Balcones Fault Aids Colonization of Texas
Curving through the center of Texas from Hill County south and west to Uvalde County is the rugged escarpment-fault called Balcones. The abundance of natural resources associated with this geologic formation affected the pattern of colonization in Texas. The numerous springs and wooded hills of the escarpment and adjacent fertile prairies attracted Indian tribes and Spanish colonists before the area was permanently settled by Anglo-American pioneers.
Spanish explorer Bernardo de Miranda in 1756 named the formation “Los Balcones”, meaning “Balconies”. Part of El Camino Real, the “King’s Highway”, skirted the fault line. Spanish missions and presidios were located at springs near San Antonio, Austin, and elsewhere, but many Spanish settlements disappeared before 1800.
Anglo-Americans led by Stephen F. Austin began to settle near the Balcones escarpment before 1830. Through their courage and determination, early pioneer settlements grew into the towns and cities that today dot the fault line. The town of Austin, with its combination of beauty and natural resources, was chosen capital
Erected 1976 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 12689.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Natural Features • Settlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1756.
Location. 30° 23.064′ N, 97° 46.096′ W. Marker is in Austin, Texas, in Travis County. Marker is on North Capital of Texas Highway (State Highway 360) west of Spicewood Springs Road, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Austin TX 78731, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Native Americans at Bull Creek (approx. 0.8 miles away); Walden Mill at Bull Creek (approx. 0.8 miles away); First Presbyterian Church of Austin (approx. 1.2 miles away); Texas Newspapers, C.S.A. (approx. 1.7 miles away); Old Quarry Site (approx. 2.9 miles away); Davis Cemetery (approx. 3.2 miles away); Jolly Cemetery (approx. 3.4 miles away); The Old Zimmerman Home (approx. 3.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Austin.
Also see . . . Handbook of Texas On-Line. A short article on Bernardo de Miranda. (Submitted on December 29, 2009.)
Credits. This page was last revised on February 3, 2021. It was originally submitted on December 23, 2009, by Keith Peterson of Cedar Park, Texas. This page has been viewed 2,476 times since then and 66 times this year. Last updated on February 22, 2014, by Richard Denney of Austin, Texas. Photos: 1. submitted on December 23, 2009, by Keith Peterson of Cedar Park, Texas. 2. submitted on July 27, 2011, by Arguendo & Dixi of Austin, Texas. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.