White Rock Lake looking west toward downtown. (Photo by Danny Fulgencio.)

Let’s start with the obvious: Privatizing the lake is an anxiety-inducing concept for most White Rock area residents.

Dallas United Crew’s proposal to construct a boathouse underwent several iterations before the Dallas City Council approved the plans. All four District 9 City Council candidates said they were vehemently against the idea at a White Rock Task Force forum.

Some of White Rock Lake’s earliest advocates, ironically, were hesitant about allowing the Park Department to oversee the lake. In a letter dated May 21, 1921, one resident proposed another solution: transforming White Rock Lake into a resort.

“You could not hit upon a more popular plan than that of making White Rock a Summer Resort for persons of moderate means,” the letter reads. “Properly equipped, White Rock Lake would not only furnish Dallas with Club Lake facilities, but it would also pay for itself. Rustic inns, camping grounds, restaurants, pavilions, ets. coupled with a street car line to the lake (a short extension to the Junius Hts line will fix it) would give Dallas some ark.

“A small fish hatchery should be maintained to assure an ample supply of game fish. A few other improvements would make a summer resort for rich as well as poor.”

The letter, which the Advocate discovered in the Dallas Municipal Archives, has no signature. The resident’s dream never came to fruition, but we can’t help but wonder what White Rock Lake would’ve been like as a destination campground.

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