View from the summit of Mount Bonnell
|Location||Austin, Texas, USA|
|Area||5.36 acres (2.17 ha)|
|Operated by||City of Austin Parks Department|
|Status||Open all year|
|Website||Austin Parks Foundation|
Mount Bonnell //, also known as Covert Park, is a prominent point alongside Lake Austin portion of the Colorado River in Austin, Texas. It has been a popular tourist destination since the 1850s. The mount provides a vista for viewing the city of Austin, Lake Austin, and the surrounding hills. It was designated a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark in 1969, and bears Marker number 6473.
Mount Bonnell is located at 30.3210°N, 97.7736°W (WGS 84 datum). Although the mount is often described as the highest point in Austin, the elevation at its peak (about 780 feet above mean sea level (AMSL)) is less than that of the Jollyville Plateau (max. elevation about 1100 feet AMSL ).
Origin of the name
Mount Bonnell is generally believed to have been named after early Texas newspaper publisher George W. Bonnell, who moved to Texas in 1836. George W. Bonnell was publisher of the local paper The Texas Sentinel and was prominent in early Texas and Travis County (Austin) affairs after the War for Independence. Though sources have long credited George Bonnell as the mountain’s namesake, Albert Sidney Johnston may have named Mount Bonnell in present-day Austin for his friend and fellow West Point graduate Joseph Bonnell, who was a Captain in the Texas Army during the War for Independence. There is little contemporaneous evidence to support either derivation of the name.
Legend has it that Mount Bonnell was once called Antoinette's Leap, after a young woman who leaped to her death to avoid being captured by Native Americans who had killed her fiancé.
Mt. Bonnell forms part of the Balcones Fault Escarpment and these "balconies" were first described by Bernardo de Miranda in 1756. The lower Cretaceous Glen Rose Formation limestone outcrops to the west of the fault zone but is buried 1000 feet to the east.
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- Gonzalez, Esther (2004-03-27). "Austin proves interesting site for date trip". Plainview Daily Herald. Retrieved 2009-07-08.
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- "Mount Bonnell". Recorded Texas Historic Landmark. William Nienke, Sam Morrow. Retrieved 15 February 2011.
- Mount Bonnell from the Handbook of Texas Online
- George William Bonnell from the Handbook of Texas Online
- Albert Sidney Johnston from the Handbook of Texas Online
- Joseph Bonnell from the Handbook of Texas Online
- Weber, Andrew (2011-09-25). "Mount Bonnell named for wrong Bonnell, West Point group says". Austin American-Statesman (Austin, Texas). p. B1.
- Spearing, D., 1991, Roadside Geology of Texas, Missoula, Mountain Press Publishing Company, ISBN 087842265X, p. 63
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- Hill, R.T. (1890). "A brief description of the Cretaceous rocks of Texas and their economic uses". In: Dumble, E.T. (ed.), First Annual Report of the Geological Survey of Texas, 1889,. Austin: State Printing Office. p. 134.
- Early 20th century photographic postcards of Texas places at the University of Houston Digital Library