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Preserve America is a national initiative in cooperation with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation; the U.S. Departments of Defense, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, and Education; the National Endowment for the Humanities; the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities; and the President's Council on Environmental Quality.

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Preserve America Community:
Wimberley, Texas

Wimberley (population 3,797) is located in the Blanco River Valley in the Texas Hill Country. Settlers came to the area after Texas received statehood in 1845. They included William Winters, who, in 1856, built the saw mill/grist mill that became the economic heart of the village. The town got its present name in 1880 from then mill owner Pleasant Wimberley.

The Wimberley Mill ceased operation in 1925, and, by the middle of the 20th century, tourism became a new economic generator in the community. Increasing numbers of people from nearby cities began building summer homes on the rivers and creeks of the Hill Country. Today, Wimberley is a popular weekend getaway for tourists and also attracts many retirees.

One of Wimberley’s most famous attractions is Blue Hole, an historic swimming hole. Since the 1920s, property owners opened Blue Hole to swimmers and picnickers for a fee. In 2000, however, the property went on the market and was slated for development. Through the efforts of the Village of Wimberley, a local philanthropist, the Trust for Public Land, and other partners, the Village recently was able to purchase Blue Hole and a surrounding 126 acres for use as a public park.

Wimberley only incorporated as a municipality in 2000, but is working on the development of a historic preservation ordinance under the auspices of the Village’s Economic Development Advisory Board. Non-profit preservation and history efforts are led by the Wimberley Institute of Cultures, which develops interpretive exhibits and leads educational outreach efforts at the Winters-Wimberley House (1856).

For more information

Village of Wimberley: www.vil.wimberley.tx.us

Wimberley Chamber of Commerce: www.wimberley.org

Posted May 14, 2009

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