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White Rock Lake Museum Opens, Sat., Sept. 18, 2004

WRLM Ribbon Cutting
This photo, taken Sat., Sept. 18, 2004, shows Museum President Kurt Kretsinger, FTLOTL President Rich Casey, and Dallas city officials cutting the ribbon for the new White Rock Lake Museum.

On Saturday, September 18, 2004, the long-awaited White Rock Lake Museum, brainchild of Museum President and lakeside resident Kurt Kretsinger, became a reality when Kurt, For the Love of the Lake President Rich Casey, and several city and park department officials cut the ribbon signaling its opening.

Opening Day ceremonies, held in the Bath House Cultural Center, where the museum is located, attracted hundreds of local residents who came to see this latest addition to White Rock Lake Park's attractions.

Learn more about the White Rock Lake Museum.

CCC Statue Dedicated on 71st Anniversary of First CCC Camp Opening

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See more CCC Statue Pictures!

On Saturday, April 17, 2004, a statue commemorating Civilian Conservation Corps Company 2896 was dedicated at a ceremony attended by about 150 people at Sunset Bay. Among the honored guests were several men who worked at the lake between 1935 and 1942. Speakers included: FTLOTL President Rich Casey, FTLOTL board member Marci Winter, White Rock Lake historian and FLTOTL board member Steven Butler, author and CCC historian Kathy Mays Smith; NACCCA President Walter Atwood, Janelle Taylor of the Texas Parks & Wildlife Dept., Dallas Park Board President Dianne Curry and Sheffie Kandane, Dallas Park Board Area Rep., Carolyn Bray and Willis Winters of the Dallas Park & Recreation Dept., Dallas City Councilwoman Veletta Lill, and Congressman Jeb Hensarling. Boy Scout Troop 719 presented the colors and FTLOTL volunteer Robert Stoneham took charge of the sound system. Displays highlighting the CCC's accomplishments at White Rock Lake Park, one built by Dallas Park Dept. employee Sally Rodriguez and the other by lake historian Steven Butler, provided attendees with a glimpse into the past.

Some wonderful spring weather and many other people, too numerous to list here, helped make the ceremony a great success.

CCC Statue Dedication Ceremony Set for Sat., April 17, 2004

Buff Biff the CCC Worker
This photo, taken Wed., April 14, 2004, shows "Buff Biff" (one of the nicknames suggested for the statue) about an hour after he was placed on his stone pedestal overlooking Sunset Bay.

Between 1935 and 1942, Civilian Conservation Corps Company 2896 made numerous improvements to White Rock Lake Park, many of which are still standing and in use. At 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 17, 2004, a statue commemorating the CCC will be dedicated at Sunset Bay. The project, suggested by local author Kathy Mays Smith, was enthusiastically embraced by For Love Of The Lake (FTLOTL), which held a benefit concert in 2003 to raise money for the statue and its base.

Prehistoric Creature Spotted Near Winfrey Point

The White Rock Monster
This photoshows the so-called "White Rock Monster" near Winfrey Point.

Dallas - April 1, 2004. Recently, a prehistoric creature was spotted at White Rock Lake, just off shore near Winfrey Point. After menacing a sailboat (seen here), it moved toward the dam. It's whereabouts are currently unknown but it is believed it may be hiding in the Old Fish Hatchery. Because the lake is shallow, the huge creature, which appears to be a Diplodocus, seems to be able to make its way across the water by simply walking on the muddy bottom.

To see a close-up of the creature's head, CLICK HERE!.

John McCutcheon Concert a Success!

John McCutcheon in Concert CCC author Kathy Mays Smith mans an information table
Concert-goers examine Dallas Park Dept. display John McCutcheon, CCC Enrollee Neal Springer, and the Watermelon Kid

On Saturday, October 18, 2003 grass-roots activist organization For The Love Of The Lake (FTLOTL) hosted a concert featuring folksinger John McCutcheon at the new Trammell Crow Visitor Center at the Dallas Arboretum. The event, which was attended by about 450 people was held to raise money for the organization and more specifically to cover the cost of a statue that will be erected in White Rock Lake Park to commemorate the contributions of the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression. Following the concert, FTLOTL president Maria Richards announced that the group had more than met their goal.

Prior to the concert, attendees were treated to dinner and had the opportunity to examine a CCC display hosted by the Dallas Park Department's Sally Rodriguez and an information table manned by author Kathy Mays Smith and yours truly, the Watermelon Kid. On hand for the concert were two veteran CCC enrollees who served at the White Rock camp: Neal Springer and C. W. Eaton.

White Rock Lake Park to Get CCC Statue

Thanks to the success of the October 20 John McCutcheon Concert, a bronze statue will be erected at Sunset Bay in Spring 2004 to commemorate the contributions of the Civilian Conservation Corps, a federal "New Deal" agency, to the infrastructure of White Rock Lake Park, 1935-1942. The project, initiated by author Kathy Mays Smith, was taken up earlier this year (2003) by For Love Of The Lake (FTLOTL), a grass-roots activist organization devoted to the preservation, protection, and enhancement of White Rock Lake Park.

To see a photo of the statue, visit the CCC Alumni Website.

Application Made for Texas Historical Commission Markers for White Rock Lake Park

In the spring of 2002 yours truly, the Watermelon Kid (Steven Butler), laid a proposal before the board of For The Love Of The Lake to have four Texas Historical Commission markers erected at White Rock Lake Park. After the board voted unanimously to sponsor the project, the Kid prepared four historical narratives that were afterward forwarded with the appropriate applications to the Dallas Park Department, who added their approval of the project, forwarding them next to the Dallas County Historical Commission. From there, they will go on to the Texas Historical Commission in Austin for final approval. If all goes well, the first of these plaques may be erected in the spring of 2004. The markers will commemorate the White Rock Lake dam and the reservoir it created, the 1930 Municipal Boathouse, the 1930 Municipal Bathhouse and Beach, and the CCC Camp which was also used as an Army Air Corps induction center, German POW camp, and housing for SMU students.

Presently, only one park structure, the Old Pump House, has been similarly commemorated. There is also a historical marker at the Old Cox Cemetery, which is not actually on park property.

White Rock Lake Park Museum Advisory Board Meets

WRL Museum Board Meeting
In the photo above, museum advisory board members examine a 1911 photo of White Rock dam brought to the meeting by Steven Butler (a.k.a. The Watermelon-Kid).

Initiated by local businessman and community activist Kurt Kresinger, an advisory board for a proposed Museum of White Rock Lake Park met for the first time on Monday, July 28, 2003 at the Bath House Cultural Center to discuss ways to turn the idea into reality. Present at the meeting were:

  • Kurt Kresinger, Community Activist
  • David Fisher, Bath House Cultural Center Manager
  • Steven Butler, White Rock Lake Park Historian
  • Gary Griffith, District 9, Dallas City Council Member
  • Sheffield Kadane, District 9 Park Board Representative
  • Jeannie Terrilli, Founder, White Rock Lake Foundation
  • Enrique Fernandez, Bath House Cultural Center, Visual Arts Coordinator

About six other persons who had been asked to serve on the board were unable to attend.

At the meeting it was reported that the project, which proposes to use space in the Bath House Cultural Center, has the blessing of Betty W. Switzer, Director of the Office of Cultural Affairs, City Affairs. Other items on the agenda were funding, how the museum would be organized in terms of administration, and what types of displays would be created.

The board expects to meet again sometime before the end of 2003 and it is hoped that the museum might be ready for opening in the fall of 2004.

Proposed Northwest Highway Bridge Stirs Controversy
"Design Charette" Held at Pump House

Proposed Rustic Bridge Design
The "Rustic" design was the overwhelming favorite among attendees at a "Design Charette" for the proposed NW Highway bridge.

Earlier this year (2003) the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) announced it planned to build a bridge over White Rock Creek where it flows under Northwest Highway. The matter has stirred up some controversy among homeowners in the area, many of whom appear to be opposed to the project.

On Tuesday, October 21, 2003, a "Design Charette" was held at the Old White Rock Pump House, hosted by TXDOT and HNTB, a design firm hired to come up with attractive designs for the proposed structure. About 25 people attended. The choice of designs were "Rustic," "Art Deco," and "Contemporary." Although the meeting got off to a rough start when some of the attendees took the opportunity to voice their opposition to the project, the group eventually got down to business and the three proposed designs were shown to the audience and discussed at length. By the conclusion of the meeting, among those who had no strong opinion regarding whether the bridge ought to be built at all, the overwhelming majority favored the "Rustic" design, which mimics the entrance portal built at East Lawther Drive and Garland Road by the CCC in 1938. Participants also had the opportunity to suggest changes and improvements to the design.

If constructed, the divided, six-lane bridge (3 lanes on either side) will run between the intersection of West Lawther Drive and Northwest Highway, ending at the point where Goforth Road intersects with Northwest Highway. At most, charette participants were assured, the bridge will be about 8 feet taller than the present roadway.

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