Nestled in a narrow valley and along the winding stream of Freeman Run is the ruins of the Bayless Paper Mill Dam, currently referred to as the Austin Dam. In 1911, the dam broke, and water engulfed much of the town of Austin and claimed over 78 lives. Still, after more than a hundred years, an incredible sight. Ruins of the tall concrete leaners raise to the skies. A million pieces of broken aggregate lay beneath. A forest abounds around a grassy meadow that now covers this hallow ground.
The Austin Dam was placed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1987 and in 1994, the Austin Dam Memorial Association was formed and since has worked to create a beautiful natural park. They work to preserve the ruins and to educate the public on this important piece of history.
The Park offers rustic camping, hiking, fishing for those visiting the area. Several events and festivals are held every year with the unique backdrop of the Dam in the background.
The Austin Dam Show
Each year, a weekend long festival is held for those who have a love for classic rock. The Austin Dam Show includes live music all weekend, food vendors, camping, and an impressive light show on the giant concrete backdrop of the dam that failed over a century ago. Home | 2023 Austin Dam Show (thedamshows.com)