Commercial Historic Downtown
The Eagle Lake Commercial District encompasses approximately ten blocks of historically commercial development from the early 1900’s to an extended period of the late 1950’s. There are thirty-five of thirty-nine buildings throughout the ten block area that contributed to the historical designation. Driving through the historic district you will see amongst others, the Farris 1912 Hotel, 1935 Meitzen Garage, 1926 old city hall , 1890 Southern Pacific Depot and the 1907 Gotlieb Hermann Building. Eagle Lake’s Commercial Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places on June 5, 2007.
David Wintermann Wildlife Area
Take a nice nature walk along the creek to admire beautiful wildlife from the viewing platform overlooking the lake. See many species of birds, alligators and much more!
Eagle Lake Municipal Park
Spend your day playing nine holes of golf, playing tennis on the lighted tennis courts or just enjoying a nice leisurely lunch at the Joe Reed Recreation Center picnic tables. Across the street you can cool off in the swimming pool, relax under the gazebo and watch the kids play on the playground. There is something for everyone at the Eagle Lake Municipal Park.
Prairie Edge Museum
Located on Main Street in downtown Eagle Lake, The Prairie Edge Museum was created to preserve and record important information about the natural and cultural history of the Eagle Lake past and present for the education and enjoyment of all. The museum was established in 1983 and incorporates exhibits that feature plant and animal life from the Ice Age to present time. Exhibits include artifacts that explore the prehistoric Native American cultures, trials and tribulations of pioneers, agriculturalists, homemakers, modern life styles, and effects of human intrusions into the prairie edge environment. There is also documentation of the role of local citizens in politics, education, journalism, agriculture, athletics, conservation, the military and more. Periodically, there are productions by the Prairie Edge Players and Prairie Edge Juniors, educational programs, presentations, and celebrations. The museum is located at 408 East Main Street and is open from 9:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. Monday through Friday and 2:00 pm. to 5:00 P.M. Saturdays and Sundays. Website: www.prairieedgemuseum.org
Eagle Lake Depot Museum
Located at 322 East Main Street in downtown Eagle Lake, the Eagle Lake Depot Museum interprets the importance of railroad transportation for Eagle Lake and the surrounding area. Eagle Lake was served by 3 railroads at the peak of the era, and artifacts from these lines and many other Texas railroads, are on exhibit. The building was the former Santa Fe depot built in 1911 and used by that railroad until the agency transferred to Lakeside in 1970. The former agent's office, waiting room, and baggage room all appear as they would have in the early 1900's with pertinent furniture and furnishings, and the freight room is dedicated to exhibit space. Exhibits include artifacts such as tools, signs, signals, lamps and lanterns, spittoons, velocipede, telephone/telegraph equipment, tinware, and much more. The museum is open 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month from 10:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. and on special occasions such as the Eagle Lake Home Tour. Website: www.eaglelakedepot.com
The Eula and David Wintermann Library
The Eula and David Wintermann Library is hailed as one of the most outstanding public library facilities in the area. Take time to view newspaper archives, read your favorite novel or check your email on the library computers. The library schedules several classes and events throughout the year, so check the schedule while you are there. The library is located at 101 East Walnut. 979-234-5411. See their website: www.WintermannLib.org
Attwater’s Prairie Chicken Refuge
One of the largest remnants of coastal prairie habitat remaining in Southeast Texas and home to one of the last populations of the endangered Attwater’s Prairie Chicken, a ground-dwelling grouse of the coastal prairie ecosystem. Formerly occupying some 6 million acres of coastal prairie habitat, the Attwater's prairie-chicken was once one of the most abundant resident birds of the Texas and Louisiana tall grass prairie ecosystem. Presently, less than 200,000 fragmented acres of coastal prairie habitat remain, leaving the birds scattered among two Texas counties. The refuge is one of a handful of national wildlife refuges managed specifically for an endangered species; however, recovery activities for this imperiled bird and management of it's declining ecosystem go beyond the refuge's boundaries. Website: www.fws.gov/southwest/refuges/texas/attwater/index.html
Agriculture – Rice Culture in Colorado County
In 1898, Captain William Dunovant (1845-1902), a local plantation owner and entrepreneur, planted 40 acres of rice at the southeast corner of Eagle Lake as an experiment. He used convict labor from a nearby prison farm to construct levees and harvest the new crop. The small tract produced such encouraging results that in 1899 Dunovant built a pumping plant on the lake and irrigated 250-300 acres. The second venture proved so successful that over 30,000 acres of rice were cultivated in the Colorado River Valley in 1900 and over 56,000 acres in 1901, mostly in Colorado County.
Rice quickly replaced cotton and sugar cane as the primary cash crop in Colorado County. That crop's widespread economic impact was reflected in the increase of property values, the influx of new families, the reclamation of abandoned croplands, the rise in new railroad construction, and the rapid development of allied service industries, such as rice mills and irrigation and canal companies.
While driving around Colorado County you will see many local farmers growing rice and other crops. You can also admire the Texas A&M University, David R. Wintermann Rice Research Station at Eagle Lake. The station provides 120 acres of land for research activities.
Public River Access to Colorado River
The closest public boat ramp and canoe/kayak launch site to the Colorado River from Eagle Lake is only 6 miles away on the Eagle Lake side of the Colorado River Bridge on HWY 90A. It is known as the Altair Boat Ramp and is one of the few public river access sites. In addition to the launch ramp, facilities include paved parking and a picnic site within the highway right of way. This boat ramp is for day use only. Picnic areas are available on a first-come, first-served basis. No reservations are required. Web Link to the Altair Boat Ramp: www.lcra.org/parks/river_access/altair.html