“THE BLUE HOLE”

 

Blue Hole by Kristen__.

 

These are pictures of an old rock quarry located deep in East Texas, near the Angelina-Jasper County line.  This old quarry supplied much of the rock used to build Galveston’s sea wall after a hurricane slammed the city in 1900–one of the worst natural disasters to hit the North American continent.

It was not until 1950 that the weather bureau began naming hurricanes, so this hurricane is known as The Galveston Hurricane of 1900.  It was not the strongest hurricane hitting the United States (84 MPH winds), but it was the most devastating.  The hurricane struck on September 8, killing 10,000 to 12,000 people on Galveston Island and flooding the city of Galveston with nearly sixteen feet of water.

Two-thirds of the city was destroyed.  People trying to make their way through the storm were struck by flying bricks and lumber and sometimes decapitated by slate from roofs in the 84-mile-an-hour winds.

Following the storm, using rock from this, and other quarries, Galveston began work on a six-mile long sea wall standing seventeen feet above low tide.  Sand pumped from the Gulf’s floor also raised the island’s grade by as much as seventeen feet. 

After the quarry was closed, it was filled with seeping water and became as blue as a summer’s sky.  It was then known as The Blue Hole.  There are many legends about The Blue Hole.  I heard a few of these legends when I was growing up.  One legend says a small railroad car used to haul rocks out of the quarry was caught at the bottom of the hole when it was flooded with water.

One story says three teenagers came to The Blue Hole in a blue pickup truck, parked it on the cliff above the hole, and decided to go skinny-dipping.  As they were swimming, their truck’s brake failed and it plummeted to the bottom of The Blue Hole, carrying with it their clothes.  The teenagers walked naked for miles until they found help.  The blue truck supposedly still rests at the bottom of The Blue Hole, providing a companion to the old railroad car.

I swam and camped there many times, and even though the water is a beautiful blue and very clear, I have never seen either the railroad car or the blue truck.  The water is 40 to 60 feet deep is most places, and over 100 feet deep in the middle.  So, maybe they are at the bottom.

The cliff is about 30 feet high.  We dived from the cliff and also had a rope swing to take us higher and further  into the lake.  The rope was tied to the trunk of a tree rather than a limb.  Why???  When you swung out over the water, you had no choice but to turn loose and drop thirty or forty feet.  If you failed to turn loose of the rope, you would swing back into the trunk of the tree…so it was an each choice to make…turn loose.

When we were there at night, we would start running towards the cliff and go flying out over the water.  When it was really dark, we were unable to know where the cliff began until there was no ground under our running feet.  We thought that was really exciting.  Now, I realize it was really dumb!

 

This picture will give you some idea of the height of the cliff and the clear blue water.  The Blue Hole no longer exists.  Over the years, people trashed the site and it was finally drained and a fence was placed around the area.  But, it was a beautiful place to swim.

There were probably many life-saving miracles during the Galveston hurricane.  We sometimes witness the miracles and say this must be the Hand of God.  People have been found under debris days after a storm and it seemed impossible for them to be alive.  Yet, they were and we’ve recognized it as a miracle from God.  Then we later forget about the power of God.  It shouldn’t be the storms of life that we remember, but the power of God that watched over us.

Not only does God give us protection during the storm, He provides us with protection after the storm.  Just as God provided the rock from The Blue Hole quarry to give future protection to Galveston, He will continue to watch over us after each storm we encounter.  And, just as it took man’s labor and knowledge to find and remove the rock from The Blue Hole quarry, it takes an effort on our part to receive God’s protection each day.  Our part is praying and building a personal relationship with our Father.

 

 

 

Advertisements

43 Responses to ““THE BLUE HOLE””

  1. pam Says:

    well, well…what a beautiful family….love it

  2. Anthony Says:

    Anyone know the owners of the land, I would be intrested in doing a explore dive and shooting video of anything down there.

  3. network camera Says:

    the information on this submit is really a single of the very best substance that I’ve actually appear throughout. I adore your submit, I will appear back again to examine for new posts.

  4. 2010 in review « Jbburrows's Blog Says:

    […] “THE BLUE HOLE” May 2010 3 comments 4 […]

  5. Jerry Davis Says:

    Yeah, I used to swim there and swing off that rope swing back in 1974-75. I remember one afternoon, letting go of the rope and feeling it wrap around my leg as I fell. Fortunately it unwrapped before I swung back into that tree, but it snapped me like a whip. Those were wonderful days in my life, and I am disappointed to read that the lake was drained.

  6. Sue Hough Says:

    I was told that the old Blue Hole was blown out and replaced with Blue Lake. The present Blue Hole doesn’t look like the old one. If anyone knows any info on this please contact me zavalla81girl@yahoo.com.

  7. travis townsend Says:

    i use to work down there when transit mix had.The old blue hole was only about 65 feet deep and there were no rail cars are automobiles to mention.the new blue hole is about 200 to 300 feet over to the right of the road from were the real blue hole was.We blew the walls and drained it.there are a bunch of natural springs that flow into the blue hole and the water gets its color from the limestone.When i worked down there in 1994 the walls on the new blue hole from top to bottom were some where around 65 to 75 feet .i drove a big dump truck hauling rock out of the pit and the truck run out of fuel and it scared the you know what out of me.I hope this helps out some

  8. Sandi Says:

    My husband hauls logs out of that area. The Blue Hole is still very beautiful and very much there!!! They recently did an exploratory dive and got the exact depth and looked for things at the bottom. I know there is a golf cart because you can see it from the ridge.

  9. Megan Says:

    i’ve been all over that area and had never heard of the blue hole! if anyone would be interested in sharing with me how to get there i would appreciate it! you can either tell me here or email me at megantx48@gmail.com

    • JBBurrows Says:

      I will send e-mail with directions

      • Pam Qarbaghi Says:

        Mr. Burrows,
        I would greatly appreciate finding out if we could stop by the Blue Hole for a swim just for an afternoon this weekend. We would be a group of 3 adults in our 50’s. We are not from the area, but would travel from Houston just to see it, if we would be allowed to swim there for a few hours.

        We would, of course, respect the pristine surroundings and would be most appreciative if you know someone who can help us visit this beautiful place.

      • JBBurrows Says:

        Pam: I have checked around recently and have been told it is
        on private land and they allow no visitors. It is really a shame
        because I remember it as a beautiful place. Thanks for your
        comment and view my blog. Jerry

  10. Lizandro Says:

    I just found out about this place after looking up bahlmorea. I hope some day there will be news that they allow visitors. Ill pay a premium to visit! I want to snorkel there so bad!

  11. stephanie Says:

    Wow, Around 1994-or 95, My boyfriend and I used to camp at Boykin Springs and one time we hiked through the woods for miles and came across this Blue hole, we’d heard about it, but there were no roads that led to it. We made our own trail to it. What an amazing place! I’ve now camped all over the United States but this is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to.

  12. Sandy P. Says:

    I’m not sure if its the same place, but I used to go to a place called The Blue Hole or by some Clay Pitts in1988-1990 with friends & later with my mom & sisters. It was located somewhere pasted Zavalla on 69S. I remember it was on a dirt road on the right side,there was a place you could park really close to the water that always felt like it was sinking & it had beatiful blue water. Up coming out of a cliff was part of a big metal cable ( dont know what that was).Also if you continued farther down the road we found a small swimming hole that was about 10ft deep w/crystal blue water we went swimming there for almost a whole summer before someone came by & said it was private property even though there wasnt any signs posted. Is it the same place?

    • JBBurrows Says:

      Sandy: Thanks for your comment. This sounds like the same place I visited many times in the mid 1950’s.
      At that time it was much deeper. I believe it has filled in since then.

      • Sue Hough Says:

        Sandy, you were at the Clay Pitts off Kitchen Cemetery Rd. You can also get to them off of Guinn Rd. They are privately owned. I was down there last summer. It’s just as beautiful as it was in the 1980’s, just more grass:)) Sue Hough in Zavalla, Texas.

  13. Colby Says:

    Does anyone know how I can get a hold of the person who I would have to talk to about being able to swim at the blue hole? I would very much appreciate visiting it, I have never been an would like to.

  14. Viola Says:

    Although I have never been able to see this beautiful place your pictures are lovely. I would also love to visit but not swim there. More than anything I enjoyed your words from the Lord. It is He that gives all the lovely places and provides all our needs. Your words of encouragement about the storms of life really hit home. Thank you.

    • JBBurrows Says:

      Viola:

      Thank you for your comment. On each of my posts I try to include words of encouragement and
      speak of the goodness of God. I would like to recommend in my archives a series of posts entitled
      “THE STORY OF A MIRACLE.” This is the story of my wife’s struggle with Lupus and tells of the
      healing power of God. May you be blessed as you read.

      Jerry

  15. Robin Willhoite Says:

    The Blue Hole and the surrounding tract of timberland is FOR SALE:
    http://www.unitedcountry.com/Search06/SearchViewProperty.asp?item=814075&office=42234&no=42234-00019
    $5,326,200 with 1630 acres

  16. cathy segroves Says:

    Texas should make it a National Park and open it to the public!

    • Douglas Says:

      That would be theft of private land. We respect private property rights in Texas. I’d love to “buy” it and fence it off so my wife and I could skinny dip in it. 😉

  17. Johnd299 Says:

    Spot on with this writeup, I actually believe this website needs a great deal more attention. Ill probably be returning to read through more, thanks for the info! debdfaacbeae

  18. Pam Qarbaghi Says:

    I echo the call to make this a park, although a State Park might be easier to do. It just seems a shame that this is on private property when it is such a treasure, and so unusual in Texas to find beautiful water like this. Maybe we need to start a petition to turn the Blue Hole into a State Park?

  19. James L. Pope Says:

    I am sure Cathy meant State Park. Douglas, I don’t understand how Texas buying the property and turning it into a state park would be theft of property. I really enjoyed camping and swimming at The Blue Hole as a high school student then as a college student from Nacogdoches, Texas in the 1960s and 70s. I spent many weekends there. We kept it clean and pristine, as best as we could. We always cleaned up after ourselves. The problem, was that some of the students we took there from S.F.A. went back home, primarily Houston, and brought friends back who didn’t have same respect for the beauty, the land/lake, or the property owner that we did. The sad thing now is; I would love to take my grandchildren there and I can’t. I believe they would love the place as much as I do. God Bless you all and remember JESUS IS LORD. Capt. Jim

  20. Dennis Says:

    I went to the old Blue Hole as a kid in the 70s and it was not as blue as these pictures.

  21. Brittani lambert Says:

    The property was for sale.. For over 5 million dollars. It is gated private property and nobody is allowed in.

  22. Don Westbrook Says:

    Swam there in late 50’s & early 60’s. Always remember the fun. Thanks for preserving this place!

  23. Stacy Samford Says:

    I helped build the Blue Hole you see today.

    The original Blue Hole was only about a 85 ft circle and about 40 ft deep.
    Triple S Crushed Stone had the rights to quarry out the sand stone to supply the Oil field on the other side of Jasper county.
    The new quarry eventually swallowed the original Blue Hole.
    When the quarry was abandon by Transit Mix the many under ground springs filled the entire quarry to form the Blue Hole you see today.
    There was no under ground geysers like you hear in the old stories.
    It was not bottomless, I have walled on the bottom.
    It is a beautiful place and holds a special place in my heart.
    My first date with my wife of now 25 years we met at the Blue Hole.

    • JBBurrows Says:

      Stacy:

      Thanks for your comment. I appreciate the update. This has been a much viewed post since I published it in May of 2010. It has 4 to 10 views almost every day, sometimes more. There have been 6,840 views as of today.

      When I lived in Nacogdoches (I now live in Jasper), I camped often during the early and mid fifties. The last time I camped there was in August 1955.

      Thanks again for your comment and God’s blessings for you and your family.

      Jerry B Burrows

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: