An eddy formed by a large boulder in the Colorado River— cooled by nearby natural springs —attracted people to this site seeking respite from Austin’s hot summers. The land was settled in 1855 by Charles Johnson who established a gristmill and constructed his house on the hillside from rock quarried nearby. In 1902 Johnson’s children opened Deep Eddy Bathing Company with campsites and, on both sides of the river, tents used for changing. In 1915 the land was purchased by A.J. Eilers who, amidst picturesque cliffs and stands of cottonwood and willow, established a resort and built a spring-fed, rectilinear swimming pool. Summer cottages dotted the hillside; a Ferris wheel, diving towers, and musical performances attracted people to the resort; and, in 1925, the Johnson house was designated the local American Legion headquarters.
The Depression forced the City to purchase the eight-acre parcel in 1935; inundated later that year by a massive flood. In 1936, with assistance from the Works Progress Administration, the pool was restored and park amenities constructed, including a “streamline moderne” bathhouse, designed by Dan Driscoll and Delmar Groos , with a pagoda roof and open changing rooms planted with banana trees. A curvilinear path circulates across a lawn, terminating at the pool, which is embraced by mature oaks and cottonwoods on the hillside. Deep Eddy Pool was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2003 and in 2007 the Friends of Deep Eddy, the City, and Limbacher & Godfrey Architects restored the bathhouse to its historic condition.