When Splitrock was built there was very little development west of Shoal Creek. Constructed with square nails and without electricity, plumbing or telegraph, the house was isolated northwest of Austin. No bridges spanned Shoal Creek north of College Street (12th Street.) From Splitrock’s front porch could be seen the recently constructed State of Texas Capitol (1888) and Old Main, the first building of the new University of Texas (1883.) The “bird’s eye” map below shows pasture northwest of Austin in 1887; the Missouri Pacific Railroad (MoPac) railroad can be seen traveling north across the undeveloped wilderness. Over the next several decades Austin was to grow significantly and the area west of Shoal Creek was to experience rapid growth after the construction of multiple bridges spanning the once rural stream.