The History of Horseshoe Bay

A History as Unique as Its Name:

The captivating history of Horseshoe Bay is as distinctive as the name itself. It all began in the early 1930s when prominent families from Fort Worth, the Luptons and Browns, acquired what was known as the “Coke Ranch.” This expansive property, now recognized as Horseshoe Bay, earned its nickname, the “Coca-Cola Ranch,” owing to the family’s ownership of the Coca-Cola franchise. The original ranch house, known as Quail Point, still stands as a testament to the area’s rich heritage.

The Birth of Horseshoe Bay:

In March of 1970, a significant chapter in Horseshoe Bay’s history unfolded when Norman and Wayne Hurd assumed ownership of the “Coke Ranch.” Just a year later, in May of 1971, the ambitious development of Horseshoe Bay commenced. This transformation brought with it not only the promise of a vibrant community but also the creation of one of the finest private air strips in the state of Texas. With a 6,000-foot airstrip capable of accommodating a DC-9 and facilities for property owners to park their private aircraft in backyard hangars, Horseshoe Bay was poised to become a unique and well-connected enclave.

A Water Wonderland Emerges:

Nestled along a 23-mile lake, 2 1/2 miles wide at its broadest point, and approximately 80 feet deep, Horseshoe Bay enjoys a remarkable lakeside setting. The lake itself, Lake Lyndon B. Johnson, commonly referred to as Lake LBJ, boasts channels running as deep as 120 feet. Built upon 5,500 acres of land with a potential for 7,000 lots, Horseshoe Bay’s average single-family residential lot spans a quarter acre.

The Power of Vision:

In September of 1970, the Lower Colorado River Authorities announced a lowering of Lake L.B.J. by 31 feet. This was necessitated by excavation work on the channel leading to the new thermal plant and the construction of flood gates for Wirtz Dam. During this period, Norman and Dorothy Hurd enlisted the services of Bill Chaney to undertake substantial earthmoving on the lake bottom. This ambitious endeavor not only added an additional mile of shoreline to Horseshoe Bay but also shaped several peninsulas, including the site of “The Beach House,” located approximately 100 yards beyond “The Inn” to the left of Horseshoe Bay Blvd.

The Birth of the Name:

It was during this transformative time that Wayne Hurd made a discovery—an old, rusty horseshoe. He handed it to Norman and suggested using “Horseshoe” as part of the new development’s name. Norman, intrigued by the idea, positioned the horseshoe to mimic the curving shoreline and proposed adding “Bay” to it. And thus, the name “Horseshoe Bay” was born, forever tying the community’s identity to the lake and its unique shape.

Today, Horseshoe Bay:

Today, Horseshoe Bay stands as a testament to the foresight of its founders and the rich history that shaped it. It’s a community where the past, present, and future converge in a tapestry of natural beauty, recreation, and a strong sense of belonging. Whether you’re exploring its roots or enjoying its modern amenities, Horseshoe Bay welcomes you to be a part of its continuing story.

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