When most Texans hear "Blue Hole," they automatically think of Wimberley. However, there's another Blue Hole you may not have heard of, that has some pretty interesting history.
Out in Jasper County, in a private inholding of the Angelina National Forest is a pristine lake that locals know as The Blue Hole. The lake is picturesque and calm with 12 acres of sparkling blue water surrounded by tall Texas pines. It's not your average lake, though.
Whereas some lakes in Texas were man-made and some (okay just one) are natural, this may be Texas's only accidental lake. Furthermore, some locals claim the water has healing powers. And, as tempting as this place may seem, the lake is privately owned, and trespassers can be ticketed. Don't lose hope yet, though. There is a way you can go visit the magical waters of the East Texas Blue Hole. First, let's learn a little more about it.
The Sea Wall Connection
The Blue Hole started life in 1893 as Kyle's Quarry. It was a sandstone quarry that supplied stone to build the Sabine Pass Jetties Extension. Later on, builders used stone mined in the quarry to construct the Galveston sea wall. As amazing as it may seem to us now, workers removed the heavy rocks using wagons pulled by oxen. The stone was then transported the nearly 200 miles to the Gulf Coast.
An Accidental Lake
It was a dynamite blast that turned the dusty rock quarry into a shimmering lake. In 1920 miners were blasting in an attempt to dislodge more sandstone when a geyser broke through and revealed an underground spring. As the story goes, the high-pressure natural spring shot water up into the air for days. Eventually, the waters filled the space created by the rock mine and The Blue Hole was born.
Back in those days, the accidental lake was a popular swimming hole. Locals even said that the naturally alkaline water had healing properties. However, its days as a swimming hole were numbered.
The lake is near national forest land, and it sits on private property. After it could no longer be used as a rock quarry, the original owners sold it. Then, a few years ago, native Texan David Frankens bought it.
"This place, it's like a park," Frankens told News West 9. "And, that's our intent. To keep it that way, and even enhance it." Frankens has already added over a million dollars in upgrades, including a beach area and a cabin.
How to (Legally) Visit the Blue Hole
By now, you should be dying for a dip in these blue waters. Because it's private property, though, you can't just show up and dive in. If you do, you could end up getting ticketed. In fact, trespassers were issued over 200 tickets in 2015 alone.
So, how do you go visit The Blue Hole? You have to ask permission. Frankens says prospective visitors can call to schedule a visit to the lake and all its new amenities.
This post was originally published in May 2017.