Swedish immigrant Charles Johnson built a large home for his family on 39 acres of land in this vicinity in the 1850s. In 1902 two of his children, Mary and Henry, opened Deep Eddy Resort. The Johnsons named the park for a deep hole in the limestone bed of the Colorado River at this site that caused the water's current to form an eddy. Recreational facilities included campsites, picnic areas, rental cottages, and a cable ride into the river.
Mary Johnson sold the park to A.J. Eilers in 1915. He built a concrete swimming pool in 1916 and renamed the resort Deep Eddy Bathing Beach. Managed by George A. Rowley, the resort featured such attractions as silent movies, a ferris wheel, carousel rides, a diving horse show, trapeze swings over the water, a 70-foot slide, and a 50-foot diving tower. The carnival atmosphere attracted hundreds of visitors each summer.
The City of Austin purchased the park for $10,000 on May 31, 1935. Two weeks later a devastating Colorado River flood inundated the city, swept away park improvements, and filled the pool with debris. With assistance from the Federal Works Progress Administration, the city rebuilt the park. It reopened in 1936 as Eilers Park and Deep Eddy Swimming Pool.