San Marcos Treatment Center, originally the Brown School, was founded in 1940 by Bert and Lorine Brown. Mr. and Mrs. Brown moved to Austin in 1933 during the depression, arriving by train with two little boys, two ragged suitcases and sixty cents. They established one of the first rest homes in Austin. This was a home for impaired patients.
They progressed from there until 1940, when they found the opportunity to lease a building which was known as the Spring Lake Resort. They continued to lease this building while expanding to two units on the hillside of the current property.
As the number of children grew, the Brown Hall Unit opened at the base of the hillside in 1953. In 1960, the Hillview Unit, named for its hilltop location, was constructed with donations from parents of the children who were the first residents. All units merged in 1974 to become San Marcos Treatment Center.