Filed Under State Park

Daingerfield State Park

Daingerfield State Park in East Texas covers an impressive 500 square acres of land, including an 80-acre man-made lake. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) completed construction of the park in 1939 and the public has enjoyed it ever since.

Today, the park lies in the heart of Morris County, near Texarkana. Although public history of the park is sparse, documents and reports on the CCC's work provides a brief picture of how and why the park was commissioned. Georgia Anna Chambers Connor is credited with donating several hundred acres in the early 1930s so the park could be established.

Soon after the property became available, two units from the CCC began clearing roads, building cabins and other facilities, and excavating land to create a state park and lake. The design and implementation began in 1935 and was finished at the end of the decade. CCC Company 1801, an all-black unit, and Company 2891, an all-white unit, both worked to complete the project. Corpsmen working on the project, and on projects across the country, were paid $30 per month for their services and with their food and most other expenses covered, they were able to send money back to their families in need. President Franklin D. Roosevelt commissioned the CCC, a few years before this park's construction, with the intent to employ young men across the nation who had found themselves out of work as the Great Depression was in full swing.

Architect J. Reginald Gunn and landscape architect Calvert Swing Winsborough were largely in charge of the park's design and layout. Many of the cabins and structures built by the CCC employed the National Park Service style of design which included local timber and stone masonry that blended into the natural environment.

Today the Daingerfield State Park offers an impressive amount of activities and sites for visitors to enjoy. Within the confines of the park one finds hiking trails, canoes, cabins, camp sites, an array of wildlife and also a beautiful natural scenery. In the springtime, the park turns a delightful red and gold as the sweetgum, oak, and maple trees bloom. Thanks to the work of the CCC, the park continues to be a much-needed source of beauty and relaxation.

Images

Daingerfield State Park in Spring As spring hits, park visitors will encounter a stunning view of beautiful colors as the sweetgum, oak, and maple trees bloom. The local timber also serves a functional purpose as its often used in construction or additions to the park. Source: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
CCC Company 1801 Repairs Equipment Company 1801, the all-black unit working on Daingerfield State Park, often had to figure out how to fix their old and used equipment. Source: National Archives and Records Administration
Boat House and Lake at Daingerfield State Park The Boat House, pictured above, features a concrete supported structure that also makes use of local timber in the construction of the inner part of the house. The Boat House rests on Daingerfield State Park Lake, an 80-acre lake created in the 1930s. Source: John Chandler, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
Company 2891 Hard at Work There was little time for rest most days on the job at Daingerfield State Park. The two CCC Companies employed for construction found themselves busy moving dirt, chopping trees, or building structures throughout the camp. According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the companies' motto was "We Can Take It!." Source: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
CCC Begins Work on Lake's Dam, c. 1936 Constructing the dam for Daingerfield State Park Lake was challenging as it required a large amount of manpower and machinery. Pictured above is the beginning of excavation for the dam. Source: National Archives and Records Administration
Layout of the Park, Post-Construction, c. 1940 Architect Calvert Swing Winsborough was largely responsible for the design of the park, pictured above. Although there have been changes made to the park since its initial construction, this layout shows the completed version of the CCC's work. Source: Texas State Library and Archives Commission
Combination Building at Daingerfield State Park The Texas Parks and Wildlife notes that this structure, a combined concession building and bath house pictured during construction, employed a new style of concrete design. This building served multiple purposes such as storage and concessions for visitors. Source: National Park Service, National Archives and Records Administration

Location

Metadata

Kollin Fields, “Daingerfield State Park,” East Texas History, accessed September 28, 2022, https://easttexashistory.org/items/show/104.