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Fort Worth Flashback: Lake Worth was built to provide drinking water, recreation

Posted June 11, 2012

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The City of Fort Worth constructed Lake Worth in 1914 as a municipal water supply reservoir and for recreation. Lake Worth, comprised of more than 3,700 acres, was the first man-made reservoir in Texas.

From the start, Lake Worth was a center of activity, with people from all over North Texas visiting the lake.

During the Depression, the Civilian Conservation Corps was active around the lake, and remnants of the Corps’ projects can still be found. Much of the lake’s original access road, Meandering Road, still exists today.

Small fishing cottages proliferated around Lake Worth on land leased from the city, which owned the entire lakefront and significant acreage beyond. Casino Beach Park on the north side of the lake became the site of a popular amusement park and a large dance hall. Fort Worth leased the property to investors who operated the park. Casino Beach Park experienced its heyday in the 1930s and remained active through the 1950s.

Over time, some fishing cottages on the lakeshore were replaced by new residential structures. More recently, higher-end homes have been built on city-owned, leased lakeshore property or on lots that the city platted and sold.

As years passed, recreational conditions on and around the lake deteriorated, primarily due to silt and increasingly shallow lake depths. Funding for dredging the lake has consistently been an issue.

Other factors conspired to reduce the importance of Lake Worth as a recreation destination, including the lack of funding to maintain Casino Beach Park. The park structures were demolished in the early 1970s. The demise of the attractions at Casino Beach Park led to fewer visitors to Lake Worth because there was no longer a special recreation destination on the lake. Additionally, other North Texas lakes became more popular to boaters and other users.

To learn about the future of Lake Worth, review the Lake Worth Vision Plan.

The Fort Worth Library has approximately 10,000 items pertaining to the history of Fort Worth and Tarrant County. These items include city and county government documents, newspapers, directories, cemetery association records, maps as well as popular and scholarly books written by local authors or about local subjects. To learn more, call 817-392-7740 or email the Genealogy, History and Archives Section.

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Calendar

Business Model Canvas-Your Tool for Launching A Business in 2020: 10 a.m. Jan. 21, 2020; Fort Worth Business Assistance Center, 1150 South Freeway, Fort Worth Texas 76104.
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Canceled Fort Worth Local Development Corporation: 2 p.m. Jan. 21, 2020; City COuncil COnference Room 290, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas St.

Canceled Central City Local Government Corporation: 2 p.m. Jan. 21, 2020; City Council Conference Room 290, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.

Canceled AllianceAirport Authority, Inc.: 2 p.m. Jan. 21, 2020; City Council Conference Room 290, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.

Canceled Lone Star Local Government Corporation Meeting: 2 p.m. Jan. 21, 2020; City Council Conference Room 290, City Hall, 200 Texas St.

Canceled City Council Work Session: 3 p.m. Jan. 21, 2020; City Council Conference Room 290, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas St.

Canceled City Council Meeting: 7 p.m. Jan. 21, 2020; City Council Chambers, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas St.

Fort Worth Public Improvement District No. 1 Advisory Board Meeting: 9 a.m. Jan. 22, 2020; Downtown Fort Worth Inc., Suite 100, 777 Taylor St.
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Metropolitan Area EMS Authority D/B/A MedStar Mobile Healthcare Board of Directors Meeting: 10 a.m. Jan. 22, 2020; MedStar Mobile Healthcare, 2900 Alta Mere Drive.
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City Plan Commission Work Session: noon Jan. 22, 2020; City Council Conference Room 290, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas St.
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City Plan Commission Public Hearing: 1:30 p.m. Jan. 22, 2020; City Council Chamber, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas St.
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Park & Recreation Advisory Board: 4 p.m. Jan. 22, 2020; Greenbriar Community Center, 5200 Hemphill St.
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City of Fort Worth Art Commission Special Called Meeting: 5 p.m. Jan. 22, 2020; Fort Worth Botanic Garden Center, Iris Room, 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd.
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Family Game Night at Southwest Community Center: 6 p.m. Jan. 22, 2020; Southwest Community Center, 6300 Welch Ave.

Sendera Ranch Intersection Improvements Project Meeting: 7 p.m. Jan. 22, 2020; Sendera Ranch Elementary School, 1216 Diamondback Lane.

Emergency Physicians Advisory Board : 12:30 p.m. Jan. 23, 2020; TCMS Building, 3rd Floor, 555 Hemphill.
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Lake Arlington Lift Station Force Main Project Meeting: 6 p.m. Jan. 23, 2020; Tarrant County College Opportunity Center, 5901 Fitzhugh Ave.

Municipal Court Hearing: 8:30 a.m. Jan. 24, 2020; Municipal Court, Court No. 9, 3741 Southwest Loop 820.
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Federal Contracting and Certification Workshop: 9 a.m. Jan. 25, 2020; Fort Worth Business Assistance Center, 1150 South Freeway, Fort Worth Texas, 76104.
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Presentations and Pitches Bootcamp: 9 a.m. Jan. 25, 2020; Fort Worth Business Assistance Center, 1150 South Freeway, Fort Worth Texas, 76104.
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Opening Doors to Homeownership: 10 a.m. Jan. 25, 2020; Sweet Home Baptist Church, 5225 Ramey Ave.

Chinese New Year Celebration at Fire Station Community Center: 11 a.m. Jan. 25, 2020; Fire Station Community Center, 1601 Lipscomb.

View the full city calendar and current meetings.