POINT VENTURE, TEXAS: WHERE EVERY DAY’S A HOLIDAY
From artifacts like arrowheads to bridges that are now underwater, items found around Point Venture, Texas help reveal a fascinating history. Located on the north shore of the southern bend of Lake Travis, this village of about 1,200 people stands in the northern reaches of the Hill Country. While the folks here like to proclaim that every day’s a holiday, you’ll see as we recap its history that Point Venture takes recreation very seriously!
The land surrounding the Colorado River was home to several Native American tribes for centuries, and was of little interest to anyone beyond a wayward Spanish explorer. That changed in 1831, when Stephen F. Austin began issuing land contracts to new settlers to the area. Of particular note here is Christopher Columbus Browning, a Georgia farmer who moved to Texas in 1852. Two years later, Browning would be issued a land patent to what is today a fair piece of Point Venture.
For the majority of the latter 1800s and early1900s, the land that would become Point Venture was used for farming, ranching, and logging. The Colorado irrigated rich land perfect for farming, including orchards of pecans, a Texas favorite. Cedars and oaks grew plentifully and were harvested for building materials. In 1931, a double-lane concrete bridge was built to span the river, attracting commerce and additional residents.
The Colorado River, as important a lifeline as it was to the region, was problematic, too. It flooded regularly, affecting Austin and points north on an average of every six years. After three intense floods in the 1930s it was finally decided to dam the river, not only to stem the likelihood of flooding, but to more effectively direct water resources. On February 19, 1937, ground was broken on the project, to be called the Marshall Ford Dam (a “ford” being a shallow spot in a river that’s easy to cross).
Homes and other structures were relocated during the dam’s construction, but the two-lane bridge was left, and its ruins are now under 100 feet of water. Shortly after its completion in 1941, it was renamed Mansfield Dam to honor US Representative Joseph J. Mansfield. The resultant reservoir was called Lake Travis, after legendary Alamo defender William B. Travis.
The new lake attracted weekend fisherman, hunters, and other recreational visitors, but serious development on Lake Travis was held back by the Great Depression and World War II. In the decades following, however, many eyed the region for resort and recreational potential. Four such people were Joel M. Cummings, William Chase Canfield, Sidney “Woody” Gaylord and Lawrence Smith, who chose a north shore location they considered prime land for a resort complex. In 1969, they purchased land and made plans for the Venture Yacht and Country Club (VYCC).
By May of 1970, the VYCC had a clubhouse, restaurant, swimming pool, tennis courts, and marina. Positive buzz was created in Texas and beyond. Townhouses were built around the VYCC for overnight guests, and a number of them decided to make the community their home. Its popularity as a resort and potential home spurred growth around what was now known as “Point Venture.”
Since the 1970s Point Venture has become well-known as a recreational hot spot. You can entertain yourself on Lake Travis, of course, with fishing, swimming, water skiing, and boating. There are plenty of spots to hike, picnic, and relax. Restaurants serve a variety of cuisines, and there are shops and entertainment venues, too. There are facilities here for everything from golf to pickleball!
On August 12, 2000, the residents of Point Venture voted to incorporate as an official village, mainly to keep other towns towns from annexing Point Venture property. After a 150-43 vote, the Village of Point Venture was established, making it one of the youngest incorporated places in Texas (Ellinger is the youngest to date, incorporated in 2020.)
Discover how you can make every day a holiday in Point Venture! We’d love to help, and toward that goal we’ve collected business and attraction information about the village and its vicinity. All that info is ready for you at the bottom of this page in listings sorted by category. All the shops, parks, restaurants, and kid-friendly spots in and around Point Venture are just a click or two away. It’s a great road map for your visit!
If you’d like to take a look at other towns in the Hill Country, we’ve thought of that, too! We’ve put dream vacations together in the area (we live and work here, and we love it), and all the expertise we’ve gathered since 2001 is yours with a FREE download of the Texas Hill Country Travel App! We’ve researched over 1,800 local businesses and attractions, and it’s all in the app, sorted by town and type.
In over 20 years as Hill Country property management professionals, we’ve learned from our neighbors, business people, vacation rental owners, and travelers! Our app takes that knowledge and applies it to your unique vacation needs, from property listings to booking info, from check-in to heading home, and app-exclusive perks! We’ll even keep you up-to-date on special events in the area.
This beautiful region of the Lone Star State is our home, and we love showing it off! We’ve arranged Hill Country getaways for everything from romantic escapes to gatherings like weddings and reunions. Feel free to contact us; we’d love to inspire you to fall in love with the Texas Hill Country just as we have.