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Texas & Pacific Railway Employees' Clubhouse

T&P Clubhouse
Photo courtesy Jay Firsching of Architexas.

Contrary to popular belief, "Tee Pee Hill" was not the site of an Indian encampment nor, as the Dallas Park Board's 1990 master plan erroneously states, was it named for "a Texas and Pacific work encampment for...adjacent railroad construction." Originally called "Roxana Point," the hill takes its present moniker from the fact that for about three decades there was a Texas and Pacific Railway Employees' Clubhouse atop it.

Although the date that a T&P club was first established on this site has been lost to history, we can be certain that building seen in the photo above dates from the mid-1920s because in the July 1, 1925 issue of Timely Pointers, the newsletter of the Texas & Pacific [Employees] Club at Dallas, editor E. A. Petty announced that the organization had recently "purchased a large, up-to-date well furnished cottage on Roxana Point just south of its present site and this cottage and improvements in connection with it" would "be worked into the present building plans."

Petty went on to say:

"The purchase of this cottage will obviate the necessity of two stories and will permit of prompt building operations to make the proposed addition. When completed all of our building will be on one floor with ample accommodations, and in view of the purchase referred to we will be enabled to speed up erection of the addition and soon have the Club House ready for occupancy."

"A contractor has been selected and suitable financial arrangements made so that there may be no delay."

"All standing committees are requested to get themselves in readiness to function."

"The purchase of this cottage will enable us to have a place where we can meet and conduct some of our activities before the main club building is erected. Announcement will be made within the next few days as to just what amusement and entertainment we can have at the cottage before completion of the building. Plans are on foot to have suitable exercises at the formal opening and any suggestions will be appreciated. Please address the secretary."

"It is very gratifying to know that we have at last secured a permanent home on the most beautiful site around White Rock Lake and with our temporary quarters we can soon proceed to enjoy the benefits of the club which will greatly increase as soon as the building is completed."

In the August 1925 issue of Timely Pointers, more progress was reported:

"The competetive bid of Mote & Baldwin, was accepted by the Executive Committee in a joint meeting with the Building Committee on August 1st, and contracts awarded for the laying of water main, and erection of the club building"

"As this bulletin goes to print, the Building Committee announces that the water connection with the City mains has been completed, material for the building is en route, and building activities will shortly make a showing that will attract attention from all points on the lake."

"The Ball Room will afford some 1950 square feet of floor space and the large fire place at one end with book cases on each side will present a cheerful prospect when the weather makes it necessary to have a little heat. The other end of the room will have a platform for use at such times as entertainment features may call for this facility."

"The large screened verandah will enclose some 1300 square feet of floor, and will overlook the lake to the east and south."

"The Dining Room, also containing a large fireplace, will present a cheerful and homelike place for dinner parties and the like when the weather will not permit the use of the verandah."

"Locker rooms will contain showers and lockers, and the latter can be had by the day, or can be leased by the year."

"The building when opened will afford everything possible for the comfort and entertainment of members and their families, and will be available every day of the year."

In September, Petty reported that the "contractor, Fred A. Mote," was "on the job, and rushing the construction along." He also announced that club president O. F. Ellington had recently returned from an Arkansas vacation and was "all pepped up and ready to complete our new clubhouse."

Finally, in October, Timely Pointers reported that the "Opening Exercises of our new Clubhouse will be held at 8 o'clock Friday evening, October 9th, at Roxana Point, White Rock Lake, and record-breaking crowd is expected to be present."

The November 1925 issue of Timely Pointers contained a wealth of news about the Clubhouse:

"Our new home at White Rock Lake situated on Roxana Point, just above Cullum and Boren's pier was formally opened to the membership and their friends for social purposes on October 23rd. Mr. E. F. Ellington, President of the Club made a brief address explaining the purposes and aims of the organization, and directed the program of the evening."

"Mr. Ellington introduced Finance Commissioner Harris representing the City of Dallas, who complimented our membership upon their pioneer spirit and their ability to see the job through. A short musical program was given and all present took part in the dancing which concluded the opening event."

"The Clubhouse is open every day from 7:00 A.M. to 11:00 P.M. You will always find friends there any time you go out, and you can go any time and take the family and friends, and have a little party all your own if you so desire. There are two large fireplaces, one in the ball room and another in the dining room. An open fire makes a very cheerful warmth, and is conducive to the fellowship that is the objective of our organization."

"The majority of the members will of course only have evenings and Sundays to spend at the Club, bu the members' families may go out there and enjoy themselves during the day. It will be of interest to know that the ladies of the Club may make reservations for bridge parties, etc. and that they can make arrangements with the caretaker for luncheons and refreshments specially prepared with a 24-hour notice. Reservations should be made through Mr. T. J. Camp, Chairman of Grounds and Hall Committee, Room 504, General Office."

"There is a caretaker on the premises at all times who will have for sale, candies, cigars, cigarettes, tobacco, and will serve hot sandwiches of various kinds, coffee, chocolate, and soft drinks at reasonable prices. We are urged to patronize Mr. and Mrs. Robertson."


"Over two hundred of the members and their friends attended the Hallow'en Party and Dance at the Clubhouse. The ballroom was prettily and tastefully decorated with orange and black colors, with witches, black cats and spooks, and the masked and varied costumes worn by all attending made a beautiful spectacle."

"Miss Mary Ellen Bard won the costume prize, and Miss Bertha Henderson was the contest winner of the evening."

"Everybody present had a wonderful time, and enough profit made to pay for permanent window drapes, and two large American flags."

"The prizes were donated by the Chocolate Shop and the Blue Front Cafe."


"East on Gaston Avenue to Lakewood Country Club; turn to Left on first paved street beyond said Club; turn to Right on second street which leads to White Rock Lake; turn to Left on Lake Drive at end of pavement which leads around part of lake to T & P Club site (passing under railroad tracks)."

The same issue of Timely Pointers asked members to donate books for the Clubhouse bookshelves, which could "accommodate from seven hundred to one thousand volumes." It was remarked that "biographies, travel, business, and educational publications particularly those dealing with railroad and transportation matters" were most welcome.

"The newsletter editor also remarked: 'Now that cold weather has set in and cozy circles of club members will naturally form around our big fireplaces at the Clubhouse, we expect to receive a lot of newsy items of general and specific interest.'"

A dance was scheduled for "Wednesday night, November 25th, at the Clubhouse."

The T. & P. Clubhouse was torn down near the beginning of World War II.

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