In 1996, Aquarena Springs ceased to be a theme park and, having been purchased by Texas State University, became Aquarena Center. The area of the park on Spring Lake is still open and is used primarily as a research and educational center. However, the other half of the park, which housed attractions such as an alligator pit and a replica of a Spanish mission has been sealed off and abandoned for the last ten years.
Walking through this area, which is located under a canopy of tall trees on the side a hill, is an interesting and somewhat eerie experience. Everything is overgrown, dirty, and falling apart and yet there is a peaceful beauty that surrounds the place. On one end of the hill sits a replica of the home of General Edward G. Burleson, one of the founders of San Marcos and a prominent figure in Texas history. The home sits on the original location where he built it in 1848. What surprised me about the house was the horrible condition it was in. The walls and roof are full of holes and I had to be careful not to go crashing through the floor. Given the historical significance of the place, I would have thought it would be better cared for.
The home consists of two large rooms with a breezeway between the two. This is a shot of the fireplace in one of the rooms, complete with ashes. I’m not sure why the rocks were there. Perhaps they were the cause of a couple of large holes in the wall. At this point it seems they will have to build a replica of the replica.