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BEAVER LAKE

BEAVER LAKE. Beaver Lake, a natural reservoir, was located three miles northeast of Juno in northern Val Verde County (at 30°10' N, 101°05' W). It was a well-known landmark among Indians and early settlers. It was destroyed in the 1950s, after overgrazing on the upper hills allowed floodwaters to sweep gravel into the lake until it became an intermittent water hole. The surrounding terrain is sharply dissected canyonland cut from massive limestone with large wash deposits. The soils of the area are dark, calcareous stony clays and clay loams. The vegetation consists primarily of oak, juniper, grasses, mesquite, and water-tolerant hardwoods and conifers. Among the wildlife of the area is the broad-tailed or Mexican beaver, for which the lake was named. Indians came to Beaver Lake for water in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. By 1849 the United States Army was stationing soldiers there to protect travelers who stopped for water. The expedition of Lt. William Henry Chase Whiting came to Beaver Lake and found abandoned Comanche lodges in May 1855. Before the railroad arrived in South Texas, cattlemen drove their herds from Laredo to Beaver lake for watering before trailing them to northern markets. In the 1880s local cattlemen gathered their herds at the lake for branding. The town of Juno, three miles southwest of Beaver Lake, made use of its water. The Hurman Benteley family was among the first to settle near the lake.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Roy L. Swift and Leavitt Corning, Jr., Three Roads to Chihuahua (Austin: Eakin Press, 1988). Whitehead Memorial Museum et al., La Hacienda (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1976).

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

"BEAVER LAKE," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/rob05), accessed August 30, 2014. Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.