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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.

City News

Calendar

Building Standards Commission Pre-Meeting: 9 a.m. Sept. 23, 2019; City Council Confernce Room 290, 2nd Floor City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Building Standards Commission Meeting: 9:30 a.m. Sept. 23, 2019; City Council Conference Room 290, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Fall Hats for Seniors at Como Community Center: 10 a.m. Sept. 23, 2019; Como Community Center, 4900 Horne St.

Fort Worth Housing Solutions Board of Commissioners Notice of Possible Quorum, Butler Place Redevelopment Meeting: 3:30 p.m. Sept. 23, 2019; FWHS Auditorium, 1201 East 13th Street.
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Trinity Metro Board of Directors Meeting: 3:30 p.m. Sept. 23, 2019; Fort Worth Central Station, Downtown Fort Worth, 2nd Floor Community Room, 1001 Jones Street.
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Fort Worth Housing Solutions Board of Commission Notice of Possible Quorum, Cavile CNI Grant Resident Meeting: 5:30 p.m. Sept. 23, 2019; Cavile Community Room, 1404 Etta St.
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Fort Worth Housing Board of Commissioners Notice of Possible Quorum, Butler Place Redevelopment Meeting: 9 a.m. Sept. 24, 2019; FWHS Auditorium, 1201 East 13th Street.
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National Voter Registration Day: Sept. 24, 2019; Fort Worth Public Libraries.

Employee Life-Cycle - Interviewing, Hiring and What Comes Next: 11:30 a.m. Sept. 24, 2019; Fort Worth Business Assistance Center, 1150 South Freeway.
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Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee: 2 p.m. Sept. 24, 2019; City Council Conference Room 290, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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City Council Work Session: 3 p.m. Sept. 24, 2019; City Council Conference Room 290, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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City Council Meeting: 7 p.m. Sept. 24, 2019; City Council Chambers, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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The Secrets to Buying a Franchise: 9 a.m. Sept. 25, 2019; Fort Worth Business Assistance Center, 1150 South Freeway.
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City Plan Commission Work Session: 11 a.m. Sept. 25, 2019; City Council Conference Room 290, 2nd Floor City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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City Plan Commission Public Hearing: 1:30 p.m. Sept. 25, 2019; City Council Chambers, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Park & Recreation Advisory Board Meeting: 4 p.m. Sept. 25, 2019; Deborah Beggs Moncreif Garden Center, Fort Worth Botanic Garden, 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd.
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Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Commission Meeting: 6 p.m. Sept. 25, 2019; Hazel Harvey Peace Center for Neighborhoods Room 105, 818 Missouri Ave.
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Hulen Street & Hartwood Drive Sidewalks Project Meeting: 6 p.m. Sept. 25, 2019; Southwest Regional Library, 4001 Library Lane.

City of Fort Worth Workshops - RFP, RFQ, ITB and Best Value Solicitations: 8:30 a.m. Sept. 26, 2019; James E. Guinn Entrepreneurial Campus - Fort Worth Business Assistance Center, 1150 South Freeway.
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Water and Wastewater Capital Improvements Plan Citizens Advisory Committee Meeting: noon Sept. 26, 2019; Fort Worth City Credit Union, 2309 Montgomery Street.
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Emergency Physicians Advisory Board Meeting: 12:30 p.m. Sept. 26, 2019; TCMS Building, 3rd Floor, 555 Hemphill.
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Movie in the Park at Hillside Community Center: 6 p.m. Sept. 26, 2019; Hillside Community Center, 1201 E. Maddox Ave.

The Neighborhood Awards How-To-Workshop: 6:30 p.m. Sept. 26, 2019; Hazel Harvey Peace Center, 818 Missouri Avenue.

Building Out a Successful Sales Program: 9 a.m. Sept. 27, 2019; Fort Worth Business Assistance Center, 1150 South Freeway.
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Glow Party at Como Community Center: 5:30 p.m. Sept. 27, 2019; Como Community Center, 4900 Horne.

View the full city calendar and current meetings.