Water! Water! Water!

Essential element for life, water drew native Indians and later Anglo settlers to Calera. Phantom Lake was the source of life at Calera for hundreds of years.  Native Indians grew corn and pumpkins.  Primitive tools and weapons have been found through out the area of Calera, Toyahvale, Brogado and Balmorhea. 

Anglo settlers grew  mostly Alfalfa and Cotton.  Phantom Lake  stopped flowing in 1983. The Paul Ward family was the last to farm around Calera, growing mostly Alfalfa. In August of 2004 heavy rains in the Davis Mountains started Phantom Lake flowing again, for a short time. Over the years amateur spelunkers have lost their lives exploring the cave of Phantom Lake.

The population left Calera long before the water stopped flowing.  During the early years farming was labor intensive .  Many workers were required, once machinery became more prevalent, workers were displaced. One tractor could do the work of many men. 

With the water gone the once 2000 acres of cultivated land returned to its natural state. Mesquite and catclaw has replaced cotton and alfalfa.


Phantom Lake, bars were meant to keep explorers out, several lost their lives.


Water from Phantom Lake, after heavy rains in 2004, house in background belonged to Joe Kingston

Almost full canal! Water only flowed for a short time.

Janell & Beatrice Ward on a newly planted Alfalfa field at Calera



Source of Life

US Hwy 290

Mission Mary

People of Calera

Calera Foundation

Friends of Calera