The Colorado River, running through Austin, Texas, and the area now referred to as Lake Travis, has always been a beautiful place to live. The early settlers found it suitable for farming and ranching--until it rained. The rain soaked up soil, and water upstream often engorged the land and washed out everything in its path. Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal created agencies that constructed hydroelectric dams for the Tennessee Valley Authority, and those were used as blueprints for the Lower Colorado River Authority. The ground-breaking for the Mansfield Dam took place on February 19, 1937, and the dam was completed in 1942, providing power and flood control for the area. The dam created Lake Travis and brought about a new recreational industry. Boat docks, lodges, and parks sprang up along the newly created lake, and they are still enjoyed today.