About this event
In 1884 and 1885, the city of Austin was terrorized by a series of murders, mainly of servant girls. Seven women, five black, and one man were killed. Six women and two men were injured. The eight killings are one of the earliest recorded serial murders and predate the infamous Jack the Ripper by 3 years. The killer was never identified but the husband of one victim was found guilty but was later exonerated. For more information read Steven Saylor’s novel, A Twist at the End.
The city of Austin began looking for better ways to illuminate the city to ward off further killings. In 1894, the city bought 31 artificial Moontowers from the city of Detroit. Tradition said that the 31 original Moontowers were installed in the shape of a Texas Star. The 165 foot towers originally had carbon-arc light bulbs which had to be lit each night and turned off each morning by a watchman who had to ascend to the top of each tower. Each tower illuminated a 1,500-foot radius.
Electricity was supplied by the new electric generators in the Austin Dam site at present day Tom Miller Dam. In the 1920s the arc lamps were replaced with incandescent lamps which were then replaced in the 1930s with mercury vapor lamps. During World War II, a central switch automated turning all of the lamps on and off to assist with city wide “black outs”. Today, the towers house LED lights.
In 1976 the Moontowers were inducted into the National Register of Historic Places. In 1995, the remaining towers were carefully restored for their 100th anniversary.
On the day of the event, Saturday 17 June 2023, participants will meet at the parking lot at the corner of 51st and Lamar. Registration will be from 1:00 to 2:00 with a safety briefing at 1:45. After the safety briefing, cars will be released for the route which takes place on city streets. Our destination is The Moontower Saloon is at 10212 Mencheca Road in South Austin.
Early Registration will be through MotorsportReg.com. The price is $30.00 per car regardless of the number of occupants. Children are welcomed but insurance requires that minor children, under 18, must have a Minor Waiver signed by both parents. Each car must have a driver and a navigator and each car must have a current vehicle inspection sticker and proof of insurance. People who register through MotorsportReg.com will find the Minor Waiver form (please print it in color) and may pay online. People may also register by contacting Ken McElroy at email@example.com and then pay at the event or just show up at the parking lot at 61st and Lamar and pay as they fill out the paper work there.
This route is along paved city roads but there are some fierce speed bumps. Along the way you will see hidden portions of Austin and you will be given items of local history and you might even be asked to answer questions about the route.
If you experience symptoms of COVID immediately before the event, your money will be refunded.
The GOAL of the SCCA is to Have Fun with Cars!
1. Each car must have a Driver, with a valid driver's license,
2. Each car must have a Navigator who can read English.
3. Each car must have a current vehicle registration sticker and proof of insurance.
4. Minor Children (<18) are welcome but must have a Minor Waiver signed by both parents. The Waiver must be printed in color.