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Ottine Swamp designated state park

September
11
1933

On this day in 1933, the State Parks Board acquired 198 acres of the Ottine Swamp in Gonzales County and designated it Palmetto State Park. The land was deeded to the state by the city of Gonzales, the Texas and New Orleans Railroad, and several private owners. In 1934 the Civilian Conservation Corps built several structures of native stone at the site, including a dining hall which the National Park Service later designated as one of the outstanding park buildings in the country. The Ottine Swamp, named for early settlers Adolf and Christine Otto, results partly from overflow from the San Marcos River and partly from a group of small sulfur springs. Before the 1950s the area had numerous warm springs, mud boils, and peat deposits, but drilling for oil and water has lowered the water table, and many of the unique hydraulic features have dried up. Scottish botanist Thomas Drummond discovered a native phlox in the area which is now cultivated around the world.

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