Local author guides readers through Blanco River history

Author Wes Ferguson and sponsoring editor Andrew Sansom will celebrate the launch of a new book, “The Blanco River,” on Saturday, April 8, in Kyle.

The public is invited to the free event, which begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Katherine Anne Porter Literary Center at 508 Center Street.

Author and former editor of the Hays Free Press, Wes Ferguson, released his second book entitled the Blanco River. Ferguson’s first book is entitled Running the River: Secrets of the Sabine.

Texas A&M University Press published “The Blanco River” in February, but Ferguson has been researching the river since he was editor of the Hays Free Press in 2011-12. Working with photographer Jacob Croft Botter, they explored all 87 miles of the Blanco from its headwaters near Luckenbach to the river’s end in San Marcos.

“Paddling, swimming and wading the river was the adventure of a lifetime,” Ferguson said. “Everybody loves the Blanco, but I learned there is so much more to it than most people realize. The river changes from day to day and bend to bend.”

Wes Ferguson

Presenters at the April 8 event include Ferguson and Botter as well as a mapmaker, geologist, botanist and flood survivor who contributed to the book. A reception will follow.

“Our presenters will explain what happens to the Blanco River when it goes underground,” Ferguson said. “We’ll also find out why there are plants growing along the Blanco that are found nowhere else in the Texas Hill Country.”

The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University sponsored Ferguson’s book project, which was fully funded by the Burdine Johnson Foundation. The book has already drawn high praise from critics such as Wimberley author Joe Nick Patoski, Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine editor Louie Bond and Steven L. Davis, the president of the Texas Institute of Letters and curator of the Southwestern Writers Collection in San Marcos.

“Ferguson’s book is both a trustworthy guide into the rich and hidden history of the Blanco and a reminder of its sudden, destructive power. It also serves as a warning of the river’s extinction in the path of unchecked development. A captivating, necessary read for anyone who values this Texas treasure,” wrote Bryan Mealer, New York Times best-selling author of “Muck City” and “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind.”

A former Kyle resident, Ferguson is also the author of “Running the River: Secrets of the Sabine.”

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