East Texas Throwback: New Blue Hole owner is preserving hidden natural spring
JASPER COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Every part of Texas has its own hidden treasures, and that goes for East Texas, too.
Hidden deep inside the Angelina National Forest is a body of water unlike anything seen in the Pineywoods.
It's the Blue Hole, a natural spring that shines as bright as any hidden treasure with its glittering, blue waters.
"Being from East Texas and seeing water like this, it was just something that didn't exist," said David Frankens, the owner of the Blue Hole.
But it does exist in Jasper County, and the natural spring belongs to Frankens, a Diboll native, and a handful of owners.
"As you look around the property, you'll notice, around the edges of the lake, the trees are anywhere from 20 to 25 years old, minimum," Frankens said. "There's some real maturity to the Blue Hole."
That maturity that came with time and Mother Nature.
"If you start looking at your natural colors here, from the water to the green pine straw to the brown straw and the brown trees, you have a lot of very natural, earth-toned colors," Frankens explained.
However, the majesty of the Blue Hole's 120-acres was a total accident.
The Blue Hole site was originally called Kyle's Quarry, and it was mined for its sandstone rock. In turn, that rock helped re-build a Texas landmark, the Galveston seawall.
"They were in a desperate mode, looking for rock for the sea wall and found this to be the closest material, started mining it," Frankens said.
With time, the miners began to dig more and more sandstone rock, and one day, they set off a charge near an aquifer and, "It shot over a hundred feet in the air, for several days until, finally, it built up deep enough that it contained the water.
Since the 1920s, the Blue Hole has been a hot spot for East Texans to cool off from the Pineywoods heat. Since that time, the Blue Hole's alkaline based-water has been the bases of many myths and much folklore.
"I've actually witnessed and have pictures where I had two different people that had two different types of skin cancer. And, they come out for the day, and, at the end of the day, when they start to leave, they realized that the cancer actually comes off or has even been documented by a doctor," Frankens said.
The Blue Hole's natural water has also been rumored to clear up skin irritations, acne and cuts and scratches.
While the Blue Hole was a popular swimming hole for East Texans, it has now been privatized.
"Preserving nature is always good. And, I think, if somebody doesn't preserve it, then it won't be preserved," Franken said. "This place, it's like a park. And, that's our intent to keep it that way and even enhance it."
To take a trip to the Blue Hole, you have to ask permission. If you don't, Frankens doesn't mind citing your for trespassing. Last year, over 200 tickets were issued.
Frankens bought the Blue Hole 3 years ago, and he's added $1.5 million dollars in upgrades, including a common area, beaches, and a cabin that sleeps six, all made with material found around the Blue Hole.
"I can tell you this; we didn't buy one board. Every board, including the floor and the ceiling, the porches, the big timber, all the lumber came off of the ranch," Frankens said.
But despite these upgrades, Frankens said that the most important part of preserving the Blue Hole is to keep everything authentic and natural.
"You can do a lot of things. I've accomplished a lot of things, but to me, to do this and own it, keep a piece of it and know that we conserved history in this manner, to me, it's without value," said Frankens. "I don't know that you can put a value on that."
Frankens said if you'd like to visit the Blue Hole please call (936) 875-3305.
Mobile users, click here to see the more photos of the Blue Hole.
KTRE summer intern Haley Squires contributed to this story.
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