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Fort Worth Flashback: Built to supply water, Lake Worth became recreation haven

Posted Sept. 7, 2014

Lake Worth Spillway

In honor of the 100th anniversary of Lake Worth, each week in September Fort Worth Flashback will take a look at the role of the lake in our city’s history.

When Lake Worth was first filled in 1914, city officials tried to keep boaters and swimmers off of it, saying they would harm the quality of the water. But by 1917, a bathing pavilion and public beach opened at Casino Beach, and Lake Worth was called “the largest municipal park in the world” by the Fort Worth Parks Commission.

The 5,430-acre lake, with about 40 miles of shoreline, remained popular through the 1920s and ’30s as campgrounds and picnic areas popped up.

This photo, circa 1930, shows a man fishing below the spillway of Lake Worth’s dam.

The City of Fort Worth built Lake Worth in 1914 as a destination for recreation and entertainment. The lake and its 100-year history are brought to life through a collection of photographs and historical documents on display in the West Wing at the Central Library, 500 W. Third St., through Dec. 27.

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

Shaping Your Policy and Company Culture with Employee Handbooks: 11:30 a.m. May 28, 2019; James Guinn Entrepreneurial Campus, 1150 South Freeway.
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Operations Committee Meeting: 12:40 p.m. May 28, 2019; DFW Airport Headquarters Building, Board Room, 2400 Aviation Drive.
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City Council Called Special Meeting: 1 p.m. May 28, 2019; City Council Chamber, City Hall, 200 Texas St.
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Finance/Audit Committee Meeting: 1 p.m. May 28, 2019; DFW Airport Headquarters Building, Board Room, 2400 Aviation Drive.
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Concessions/Commercial Development Committee Meeting: 1:10 p.m. May 28, 2019; DFW Airport Headquarters Building, Board Room, 2400 Aviation Drive.
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Executive Compensation Committee Meeting: 1:20 p.m. May 28, 2019; DFW Airport Headquarters Building, Board Room, 2400 Aviation Drive.
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Canceled City Council Work Session : 3 p.m. May 28, 2019; City Council Conference Room 290, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.

Civil Service Commission Meeting: 6 p.m. May 28, 2019; Bob Bolen Public Safety Complex, Auditorium, 505 W. Felix St.
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Your Historic and Replacement Windows Workshop: 6 p.m. May 28, 2019; Hazel Harvey Peace Center for Neighborhoods, 818 Misouri Ave.

Canceled City Council Meeting: 7 p.m. May 28, 2019; City Council Chambers, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.

Fort Worth Sports Authority Board Meeting: 2 p.m. May 29, 2019; Fort Worth Convention Center, Executive Board Room, 1201 Houston Street.
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Carroll Street Intersections Project Meeting: 6 p.m. May 29, 2019; University of North Texas Health Science Center, Carl E. Everett Education & Administration Building, Room 506, 3500 Camp Bowie Boulevard.

Dallas Fort Worth International Airport Board Meeting: 8:30 a.m. May 30, 2019; DFW Airport Headquarters Building, Board Room, 2400 Aviation Drive.
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South Hills Street Maintenance Project Meeting: 6 p.m. May 30, 2019; South Hills Christian Church, 3200 Bilglade Road.

Deferred Compensation Committee Meeting: 9 a.m. May 31, 2019; Fort Worth Credit Union Board Room, 2309 Montgomery St.
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View the full city calendar and current meetings.