Deep Eddy Caretaker's House

Historic Site
(1.00)1
N/A
1935-1989
2001
No
No
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
Foster Avenue & Veterans Drive
Austin
Travis

The roof is either going, or gone
The roof is either going, or gone
Deep Eddy is one of Austin's oldest swimming areas. It's name originated from the deep hole in the limestone bed of the Colorado river that caused the water to create an eddy. Swedish immigrant Charles Johnson bought 39 acres of land here in the 1850's and built a large home for his family. In 1902 two of his children opened the Deep Eddy resort, which included campsites, picnic areas, rental cottages and a cable ride into the river.

Broken glass and lead paint
Broken glass and lead paint
The resort was sold to A.J. Eilers in 1915 and he added a concrete swimming pool and other attractions that included slides, diving towers, carnival rides and a diving horse show. The city of Austin purchased the park on May 31, 1935 for $10,000. Setting an example for bad timing, Deep Eddy was flooded two weeks later by the raging Colorado River, washing away most of the attractions and leaving the pool littered with debris.

Deep Eddy Caretaker's House
Deep Eddy Caretaker's House
The pool was preserved, the park reopened in 1936 and the area enjoyed by Austin residents ever since. Someone had to maintain the pool and its surrounding grounds. The caretaker for Deep Eddy pool and the surrounding Eilers Park was provided a home by the city of Austin that stood for years at 2307 Foster, just off of Lake Austin Boulevard.

The two story house was built before 1935, though no records have been found which can pinpoint the date on which it was actually constructed. Pictures and maps from the era are the only clue as to when the building first appeared. A tornado that destroyed much of the area in 1922 leads many to believe that the house was first built sometime between 1922 and 1935. It served as the home for the Deep Eddy caretaker for decades through 1989, when the last residents moved out and the building was abandoned.

As seen from Deep Eddy Pool's parking lot. Haunted house material.
As seen from Deep Eddy Pool's parking lot. Haunted house material.
Among the problems with the building is that it contained asbestos and lead paint, so the city could not easily demolish it nor sell it or use it for other purposes. So it sat for over a decade, completely neglected and falling apart. As you can see from the photos, the roof was rotting away and the house appeared to be disintegrating before your very eyes.

The bottom story windows and doors were boarded up, though some folks managed to find their way into the house and spray paint graffiti on the walls.

On June 8, 2000 the Austin City Council voted to build a new EMS station on the site. The house is completely gone and a brand new fire station sits in its place. It watches over Deep Eddy swimmers no more.

Sources: Austin Chronicle's Bygone Buildings

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