Mill Pond Park – San Saba, Texas

The Walker Reunion is held at the Senior Center located on the west side of Mill Pond Park. The park is five blocks east of the Court House.

Mill Pond Park Waterfall
Mill Pond Park Waterfall

The Mill House was erected somewhere around the 1867-1875 period by John H. “Shorty” Brown to house a grist mill used to grind corn meal and wheat flour. For many years Brown’s mill was very important to the citizens of San Saba County as they brought corn and wheat to him for grinding. Shorty Brown was one of the first settlers in San Saba in 1855 and helped found the town by donating the land for the Court House. After the mill fell into disuse, the city water system machinery remained in the old Mill House. In 1956, the San Saba Garden Club restored the building to its present condition.

Mill Pond was the site of the first water works for the city of San Saba. Around 1880, E. E. Risien, working with Shorty Brown and financed by T. W. Ward, co-founder of the City National Bank, built a rock and brush dam across the Mill Creek to create what became known as Mill Pond. This was the first Water Works for the town of San Saba. The pond furnished Risien with enough water for his own garden as well as the gardens of a few neighbors. Some of the original dam still stands. Risien also furnished water for the courthouse watering troughs. Mill Pond remains today an important source of water for the citizens of San Saba.

Mill Pond Park is a lovely park of 86 acres with a spring-fed pond. Water flows over the dam and cascades down over rocks below and across the ferns, moss, canna and caladiums. Flowing under the bridge, the stream then winds its way through beautifully landscaped trails and park area. New for 2005 is a water wheel fed by an overhead trough from the Mill Pond. As shown here the new wheel is placed outside the mill house. The original mill wheel was underneath the mill house. There are picnic sites with grills. There is a picnic table right next to the waterfall, and with the sound of the rushing water and the beautiful flowers it is a perfect place for a family picnic. Some five-million gallons of water flow through the pond and over the dam daily. The water is so clear you can see the plants deep down. Ducks and geese populate the pond and slowly paddle by anxiously watching for spilt food. The eighty-six acre park also has baseball fields, a group pavilion, tennis courts, a playground, basketball courts, a running track and nature trails.

Mill Pond Park Bridge
Mill Pond Park Bridge

 

The bridge shown here is the old steel bridge that formerly was over the San Saba River on the Harmony Ridge road. When a new concrete bridge was built the steel bridge was moved to Mill Pond Park where it now stands.

 

Flowers at Mill Pond Park
Flowers at Mill Pond Park

The Senior Center, formerly known as the Community Center, is on the west side of the pond. It is here that the A. J. Walker Family, as well as many other pioneer San Saba families, meet for their annual family reunions. The Senior Center has undergone many improvements over the past few years and now boasts a large meeting hall with refrigerated air conditioning and a well equipped commercial grade kitchen.

The San Saba County Historical Museum is located on the park grounds and has a large display of period farm and ranch clothing, household relics and other artifacts. The Museum is housed in two 100 year-old restored log cabins and is open on Sundays from 1:30 to 4 pm during the summer months of April thru September. The City Municipal swimming pool, also located in Mill Pond Park, has a separate wading pool for smaller children. There is a large bathhouse at the pool for showers and changing clothes.

Small Bridge at Mill Pond Park
Small Bridge at Mill Pond Park

 

Geese at Mill Pond Park
Geese at Mill Pond Park

 

The park has picnic sites, camping spaces, and recreation vehicle hook-ups adjacent to the Senior Center. Information regarding these spaces and other accommodations and restaurants may be obtained from the Chamber of Commerce by calling 325 372-5141.

 

 

 

Mill Pond Park - December 2009
Mill Pond Park – December 2009

The weather at San Saba is very unpredictable and scenes like this can happen at any time. Just kidding!! This picture was taken on Christmas Eve 2009. I think you can safely leave the winter coats at home by July.

For more information about Mill Pond Park or the Senior Citizens Center where the Walker Reunion is held contact:¬†Nell McHorse at [email protected]