Swimming in White Rock Lake has been outlawed since the 1950s. Even if it were legal, who would want to? High levels of bacteria like E. coli make it unsafe. And last year, more than a 1 million gallons of sewage leaked into White Rock Creek 12 miles upstream from the East Dallas Lake.

So how far back must you rewind to find someone who actually wanted to swim in the lake? Eighty-six years.

In 1933, the swimming coach for the Dallas Athletic Club, Kyle Straus, petitioned Dallas Public Parks to swim the lake while training for the Toronto Exhibition Swim.

Courtesy of Dallas Municipal Archives.

The response?

Courtesy of Dallas Municipal Archives.

Swimming and boating were later allowed in the late 1930s and 1940s. But outside that small timeframe, swimmers are out of luck whether the water is clean or dirty. May I suggest fishing?

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