White Rock Lake in 1953. (Photo courtesy of City of Dallas Preservation Program.)

White Rock Lake spans more than 1,000 acres in East Dallas, but in 1953, it was nothing more than a small puddle.

That year, Texas was deep into a severe drought that also spread to Oklahoma and Kansas. Water was running low, and for the first time in 25 years, the City of Dallas used White Rock Lake’s water to ease the shortage.

This photo, posted by the City of Dallas Preservation Program, was likely taken during the 1953 drought when water levels were low because of lack of rain and using the lake as a water source. The man in the photo is sitting on boat docks.

The rain came in 1957, and water levels returned for boating and other outdoor activities, other than splashing in puddles.


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