The Colony Public Library

Chapter 10: Lakes

Following the demise of Camey Spur the area commerce returned to the farmers who owned the land.  However that would change when the growing Dallas area to the south began to look for more water in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s.  The early settlers in south east Denton County obtained their water from rivers, streams, springs, and rain water.  Due to the City of Dallas’s growing population, the need for water and flood protection was increasing.  Part of the Dallas plan for increasing its water supply and flood protection included damming the Elm Fork of the Trinity River in Denton County.

Construction of the first lake built by the City of Dallas, named Lake Dallas, began in February 1928.  The lake was located near the village of Garza, later renamed Lake Dallas, Texas, in 1929. The dam was eighty-feet high, 11,000 feet-long, had a 194,000 acre-foot capacity at an elevation of 525 feet, and covered over 10,000 acres.  It was nine miles long, three miles wide, and had a forty-three mile shoreline.  Lake Dallas served as the principal source of municipal water for Dallas for 31 years.

As flood control and conservation became more serious issues in the 1940’s, the United States Congress responded by passing the River and Harbor Act on March 2, 1945, which called for the construction of four flood-control lakes within the Trinity Basin.  On November 28, 1948, the Corps of Engineers began work on a new Denton County dam and lake that would impound the waters of Clear, Little Elm, Stewart, Pecan and Hickory Creeks, as well as the Trinity River’s Elm fork.  Although the 125 foot-high and 33,000 foot-long dam was not completed until 1955, the impoundment began on November 1, 1954. 

The total cost of this project was $21,765,500 paid for by the cities of Dallas, Highland Park, University Park, and Denton in exchange for access to the water.  The new reservoir, popularly called Garza-Little Elm Lake, and the older and smaller Lake Dallas became one when the old Garza Dam was breached on October 28, 1957, thereby making Lake Dallas part of the new lake.  The huge lake that resulted was thirteen miles long, had a 183 mile shoreline, and a capacity of 436,000 acre-feet at an elevation of 515 feet.

The joining of Lake Dallas and Garza-Little Elm Reservoir led to confusion concerning the facility’s legal name. The problem was compounded even more when the government re-designated the dam as Lewisville Dam in 1955, and the lake as Lewisville Reservoir in 1960.  However, the decision concerning the lakes name was reversed the following year keeping Garza-Little Elm Reservoir as the lake’s official title. That is until the mid-1970s, when it was renamed Lake Lewisville.

Lake Lewisville now comprises the western boundary of The Colony.  Its original purpose was to control potential flood waters originating within the Elm Fork drainage basin.  In addition, the lake also assists in soil conservation, provides water for local municipalities, and serves as a recreational area for not only The Colony, but the entire North Texas area.(TC comp plan)

Go to Chapter 11: Eastvale