PT Supports Restoration and Interpretation of Cape’s Dam, Mill Race in San Marcos

Preservation Texas has written a letter of support for the restoration of Cape’s Dam and continued planning for a future park centered on the site.

October 14, 2019

The Honorable Jane Hughson
Mayor of San Marcos
630 E. Hopkins
San Marcos, TX 78666

Re: Cape’s Dam and Mill Race

Dear Mayor Hughson and Members of Council:

Preservation Texas appreciates the opportunity to address the future of Cape’s Dam and Mill Race in San Marcos.  Concern for the future of this important San Marcos and Hays County landmark led us to include the site on our Most Endangered Places list in 2017 as representative of historic dams across Texas that are threatened by neglect and removal.

Cape’s Dam has been damaged over time by floods and neglect.

We commend and support the efforts of the City of San Marcos, Hays County and the Hays County Historical Commission to find a sustainable path toward the long-term stewardship, interpretation and presentation to the public of the irreplaceable Cape’s Dam and Mill Race. The influence of the San Marcos River on the location of the city and the development of its early industrial and agricultural economy is the very DNA of San Marcos and Hays County.  This site and its story should be widely shared and we trust that you will continue the park planning process.

However, we write to emphasize that the first priority for action should be the permanent protection and restoration of the Dam and Mill Race.  This should not be delayed or made contingent upon a larger park planning process.  Without this first step, the value of investing in a public park and associated interpretive efforts will be limited.

The mill race ends at the site of the old mill. (photo: University Star)

Once the Dam and Mill Race site is protected and restored, the subsequent development of opportunities for public access and interpretation as part of your vision for a public park will ensure that the site can be enjoyed by the public for educational and recreational benefit.  This will be something to celebrate and for all Texans to enjoy when they visit historic San Marcos.

We appreciate the time that you have devoted to this important issue.  Please let us know if we can be of assistance to you as this project moves forward.


Evan R. Thompson

Executive Director


The Hon. Ruben Becerra, Hays County Judge
Kate Johnson, Chair, Hays County Historical Commission
Griffin Spell, Chair, San Marcos Historic Preservation Commission