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Page 2… 2011 Lake Edition

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Serving the Bridgeport Area Since 1968 Fred Meyers, Broker

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2011 Lake Edition … Page 3

by Whitney Bridwell A major attraction for Bridgeport and Wise County is Northwest Park, a 300 acre property designed for off highway vehicles - dirt bikes, ATVs, rock climbing vehicles and more. The OHV Park, which held its grand opening in September of 2009, offers more than 300 acres for off road enthusiasts and more than 25 miles of trails to take on with dirt bikes and ATVs, in addition to overnight camping. Since its opening, the park has attracted thousands of guests, many flocking in to see and participate in various

races, including MOROC Extreme Off Road Racing, TORN Racing, the Caveman Crawl and Caveman Xtreme. Based out of St. Louis, Missouri, MOROC was one of the first events to take advantage of the park’s services. Nathan Davis, with MOROC, said of the event, “Imagine climbing a boulder the size of a Volkswagen in a Jeep. Seems impossible. Now imagine watching 2-4 vehicles racing over a series of 20 boulders, up a 20 foot vertical rock ledge, and over a jump doing 60 mph six feet in the air on a dirt/rock surface. Carnage and rollovers are likely. These rigs

have huge tires that will help them climb over the other teams’ vehicle if the situation prevails. “The course here in Bridgeport has all that and much more. More rocks, more ledges, mud, and more racers. It’s enough excitement to keep fans there all day long.” Davis and his co-workers at MOROC had visited 13 offroad sites in Texas to host the event and Bridgeport came in at number one on their list as being the most extreme racing site for the entire 2010 season. Following the extreme racing held by MOROC, TORN Racing featured their own

brand of off-roading. Featuring more than 80 racers and hundreds of spectators, TORN ripped through the trails on dirt bikes and ATVs, racing and competing with stunts. Several different divisions competed in the days events, including a pee-wee division hosting children 13 years of age and under, all the way up to the Pro’s, Open Experts and Over-30 Experts. Park hours are from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays currently, and 2011 Texas Parks and Wildlife OHV stickers are available at the NWP Gatehouse on weekends or at City Hall during regular business hours. Cost

is $8 per sticker. The park features a gatehouse complete with restroom facilities. Trails are marked by degree of difficulty and all vehicles are required to stay on the designated trails. Overnight camping is permitted on the second Saturday of each month. For more information on Northwest Park, visit the City of Bridgeport’s website at www.cityof Under the department heading, look for Parks and Recreation. A subline will appear to the side to select Northwest Park. Rules and fee information can be found at this site. Happy trails!

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Deep roots flourish at the old Mitchum/ Marlett place by Staff Flashing lights and booming sounds of explosions are not things that are expected now at Lake Bridgeport, except on July 4, when Runaway Bay hosts the fireworks display. However, it was an event that happened regularly during World War II, according to Dr. Robert Marlett, who, along with his wife, Carolyn, currently lives at the lake. Marlett has deep roots and historical memories as the land he currently occupies is property that has passed from generation to generation in his family. It was originally owned by his great-grandfather, J.W. Mitchum. The land has been in his family’s possession since before the lake was even built.

It was named Mitchum for School and was in the 71st inMarlett is the fourth generation slough misspelled as Meechum to own the land since the late Slough, but it actually should Troy Mitchum Jr. who was a fantry division in Germany and continued on page 51 read Mitchum Slough. graduate of Bridgeport High 1800s. Marlett said that when the lake was being built, his grandfather Marlett stabled mules on his other grandfather Mitchum’s place. The mules were used to facilitate the construction of the lake dam. He said the construction of the lake helped many people during the depression era whether it was laying rip-rap on the dam or cutting trees in the bottoms. “A lot of people were glad to have the work during the depression period,” said Marlett. Back then, the place was called “the old Mitchum place.” Marlett said there is a Photo courtesy of Robert Marlett

If you’re new to Wise County but the place looks familiar, maybe you’ve been seeing some of our exports.

Building on our strengths... Bridgeport • 940-683-4277

2011 Lake Edition … Page 5

Lake Bridgeport’s beginnings:

Wise County excited for work, water In the 1920s, Wise County and the rest of the nation were in the Great Depression, and Lake Bridgeport, still in the planning stages, generated excitement. Former Runaway Bay Mayor Jim Bowlin, reared in the Bay area, remembers when the lake was a dream by the Tarrant County Water Board and the U.S. Corps of Engineers to give the people of this area some work and water for their crops. “People were just existing,” Bowlin said. “The prospect of this lake created great excite-

ment in that farmers and ranchers around here could stick a pipe in something like this and get some water.” The Lake Bridgeport project began in 1929. The levee on the south of Highway 380 before crossing the bridge at Runaway Bay was built largely by hand during the Depression. Rocks were hauled in by wagons and teams; mules and horses pulled the wagons and got all the rocks in this area, Bowlin said. “The whole idea,” he said, “was to make work for the poor farmer, and they were all poor.

This wasn’t a situation where trucks dumped rocks and bulldozers came along and pushed them up there. These rocks were laid by wagon and team, then by hand. The lake work project was for farmers and ranchers who were on their last leg, and townspeople if they had a wagon and team; no trucks were allowed.” The workers then cleared timber from the area between the present Runaway Bay bridge on 380 and the Twin Hills dam, some three miles away. “People would draw lots for

the area they were supposed to clear,” he said. “You might draw a lot where there were very few mesquite trees and the next poor soul might draw one down in the heavy timbered bottom land, and that was tough. You had to cut it, burn it, and get rid of it. “During the lake construction, entire families would camp out here in tents. Some of the youngsters would ride the school bus to Bridgeport,” he said. Excitement was running high because people couldn’t

imagine living next to and working on what was supposed to be the largest man-made lake in Texas at the time. Farmers would bring their produce to sell to the workers: cantaloupes, eggs, and butter. Bowlin remembers when farmers couldn’t sell their eggs for a nickel a dozen or butter for ten cents a pound. Lake Bridgeport, completed in December 1931, is the northernmost and thirdlargest reservoir in the Tarrant County Water Control and Improvement District.

Currently hanging in the office of Lake Superintendent Richard Ellis, this photograph depicts the construction of the Lake Bridgeport flood gates and was originally taken by the Freese and Nichols Engineering firm. The Fort Worth-based company was hired by the Tarrant Regional Water District to construct the dam, and Ellis says that the 1920 blueprints of the dam were also done by the Freese and Nichols firm. Reproduction photograph taken with permission by Jo Gilbreath

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Adopt-a-Fisherman Day educates children on fishing practices by Paul Barnett The Adopt-a-Fisherman event has been a long standing event of family fun and education of fishing for many area youngsters. Since its inception 20 years ago, Adopt-a-Fisherman has served to educate many of the state’s youths on how to bait hooks, net and land a fish. The event was the vision of a couple of game wardens and serves several purposes. The first purpose is to promote fishing on area lakes. Secondly,the program matches up young fishermen with experienced “fishing mentors” to teach the children how to set and bait hooks, as well as actually catching fish. Finally, “Adopta-Fisherman” promotes the love of fishing and taking in the beauty of the outdoors as well as getting the community involved with the area’s youth. Usually held on the first weekend of June, the event is staged at Wise County Park and consists of a three hour tournament for three age

groups: ages 6-8, 9-12, and 1315. Mentors that volunteer their time and gear for a day don’t mind, as the event has become a tradition for them and they enjoy sharing their fishing techniques with the kids. While the mentors are there to help guide the fishermen, the only “hands on” help the mentors can provide is to help net and land the fish as well as help bait hooks. Adopt-a-Fisherman has continued to grow throughout the years at Lake Bridgeport. Last year over 170 kids turned out for the event. 2009’s turnout of 273 kids was a record. For those that just wish to head out “just for fun” and are not into fishing, there are several other attractions at Wise County Park during the event, such as face painters, character drawers and, for those that get hungry, lunch is included. The event is sponsored by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and by many other local businesses.

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Wise County Park, haven of outdoor recreation by J.D. Clark For years, Wise County Park has been a popular destination for people visiting Lake Bridgeport, and for good reason. The 180-acre park features 24 RV (recreational vehicle) hookups and 34 campsites. The RV hookups cost $20 per day and may be reserved by contacting Park Director Keith Jones at (940) 644-1910. Campsites cost $5 per tent or vehicle and, according to Jones, operate on a “first come, first serve” basis. The only campsites not available for overnight use are the four in front of the swimming area. These sites are for day-use only. Because of recent improvements, there are now fire rings and grills at every camp table. According to County Director of Public Works Tom Goode, those are not the only places available for camping. Visitors of the park may “rough camp” in other locations, meaning that the spots are not in designated camp sites with fire pits or tables. To those that visit Wise County Park frequently, its progress in recent years is immediately noticeable. “Ever since I’ve been here,” Goode said, “we’ve tried to make the park more family-friendly.” In addition to the overnight spaces, the park features two boat ramps, a small playground, a vaulted concrete restroom facility, and three

pavilions. One pavilion features running water, its own bathroom, electricity, and an RV hook-up and can be rented for $50. The other two pavilions, according to Goode, are “concrete slabs with a roof” and can be rented for $20 each. The swimming area is roped off and has large orange buoys for safety, and the old bathrooms have been refurbished. There are also new tops on all of the older campsites. A walking trail is now available for those wanting to take a healthy stroll. According to Goode, the trail, which opened in 2006, is a little over one mile in length one way, meaning that, round trip, it’s over a two-mile walk. Rest stops are available along the trail. Jones said the peak season for Wise County Park begins in May and “will build all the way through the summer.” He also noted that the park begins attracting “a lot of fisherman at the end of March.” Bass clubs hold tournaments regularly, and the Texas Parks and Wildlife

Department hosts a children’s fishing tournament on the first Saturday in June at the park. It is not unusual to witness a variety of activities taking place at the park. On an average day during the peak season, the parking lot is full of trucks pulling empty boat trailers, and someone is usually unloading some type of

watercraft off the boat ramps at any given moment. Families can be seen roasting hot dogs and erecting tents, while swimmers splash around in the water. Some patrons of the park decide to toss a fishing line into the nonswimming areas and hope to snag the next big catch. Ownership of Wise County

Lakefoto by Francine West

‘Quality Healthcare for the Whole Family’

Family Clinic

Jet Skiers, others require preservers All people riding any kind of personal water craft, such as wind surfs, aquaplanes, jet skis, or other similar crafts, must wear a coast guard approved life preserver. People of all ages, not just children under 12, riding these water craft must wear the preserver. Further, no one under 12 may operate a water craft unless accompanied by someone over 16.

Park was turned over from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to Wise County in 2002. Although Jones is director of the park, it is ultimately under the jurisdiction of Goode. Goode’s budget pays the salary of Jones, and the camping fees go toward the park’s maintenance.

* Evening & Weekend Hours Available * Drug Screening • DOT Physicals * Full-Service Lab • Digital X-Rays • Pre-Employment Physical Exams • Workers’ Comp. • Bone Density Measurement Office hours: Mon.-Fri., 8 a.m. - 7 p.m.; Sat., 8 am. - Noon; Sun., 1-4 p.m. (Subject to Schedule Change)

Back row, from left, are Jose DeLeon, P.A.-C., Rusty Tanner, P.A.-C.; front row, David A. Ray, D.O., P.A., Denise Casper, D.O. and Jon W. Copeland, D.O., P.A.

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808 W.W. Ray Circle • BRIDGEPORT • Phone 940/683-2297

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2011 Fishing License and Fees for residents and non-residents by Paul Barnett Outside of Free Fishing Day on the first Saturday of June, a license is required to fish public waters in the state of Texas that are not completely enclosed by state parks. A license is also not required when fishing from the shores of a state park. However, all other fishing regulations, such as bag limits and length, remain in effect. Any angler who fishes off of the coast must have a fishing license with a saltwater endorsement to bring in fish. For freshwater anglers, only a fishing license is required. Fishing licenses may be purchased locally from One Stop of Texas, Bayview Center in Runaway Bay or in Decatur at either Wal-Mart or 2K Pawn and Gun. Licenses may also be purchased online with a $5 service fee. There are two main types of fishing licenses in the state

of Texas: Residential and Nonresidential. A resident of Texas may choose from a variety of fishing licenses: *Freshwater Package at $30 *Saltwater Package at $35 *All Water Package at $40 Seniors who are 65 years of age and born AFTER August 31, 1930 can get the packages at reduced prices: *Freshwater $12 *Saltwater $17 *All Water $22 For residents of Texas, there is also the option of buying a lifetime fishing license for $1000, a Year-From-Purchase license for $47, and a one day all water license for $11. Non-residents that are under the age of 17, Louisiana residents 65 years or older with a valid Louisiana Recreational Fishing License, or residents of Oklahoma 64 years of age or older are not required to have a license to fish Texas public waters. However, all other

Fishing tournaments by Staff For those fishermen that enjoy a little competition, bass fishing tournaments are held at Wise County Park every Thursday from April through October. The tournaments, which are usually called the “Working Man’s Tournaments,” start at 6:00 p.m. and usually last until 8:30 or 9:30 p.m. An average of 18 to 22 boats usually compete in the tournaments. A $25 entry fee is required for each team of two, and the 100% payback for the winner is based on the number of entries received. Competitors in the tourna-

ment fish for largemouth, smallmouth, and Kentucky spotted bass. The teams must abide by all state and local fish laws, including the five fish limit. The atmosphere of the tournament is casual. For example, whoever wins one week is in charge of bringing the scales back to the tournament the next week. Additionally, Lake Bridgeport is a popular destination for many of the DFW fishing clubs. Mark Perry, a veteran tournament fisher, said that the lake is a “hidden gem” for smallmouth bass and also a good location to find hybrid stripers.

Lakefoto by Francine West

non-residents must have a license. The fees for non-resident licenses are as follows: *Freshwater $58 *Saltwater $63 *All water $68 *One day $15

Anyone who owns a freshwater license can get a saltwater endorsement and viceversa. All license fees help pay for programs such as fishery and hatchery management, habitat

management and protection, fishing and conservation education, endangered species programs, lake maps and other publications, just to name a few.

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Designated water trails available in south bay for canoers and kayakers by Thomas Stone Texas has a number of wonderful, designated water trails that can be navigated for either day trips or extended camping trips. In our part of the state, canoers and kayakers can find a number of paddling trails around Lake Bridgeport. The Trinity River is, of course, the most obvious, but there are other approved trails that can offer a pleasant boating experience. Many of these are accessible from the southern end of Lake Bridgeport just past Bay Landing, opposite the southern part of Runaway Bay. Coal Bed Creek is the first trail to be encountered. It is a nice paddle under overhanging trees with a broad reach from bank to bank. The route runs four miles one-way and crosses FM 2210, just east of Balsora. Another trail runs southwest down the opposite side of the bay across from the Coal Bed cut. This trail runs along a sliver of land that separates it from the lake and also has plenty of overhanging trees as well as stumps here and there. Beaver dams and animal trails can be seen at places along both sides of the creek. Further along is the Willow Creek water trail and, at the southern end of the lake is Boon’s Creek. Both of these water trails end up crossing FM 2210 in the south, just west of Balsora. Wildlife abounds in these areas allowing for plenty of photo opportunities. If out for a day trip, be sure to take bottled water and snacks. The water trails in these areas offer seclusion and there are no package stores or quick exits. As part of the navigation right, one may use the bed of a navigable stream, however, climbing out onto the banks can be considered trespassing. Criminal trespass occurs when one goes onto property after receiving notice not to enter. Notice includes verbal notice, a fence, sign(s), the presence of purple paint on posts or trees, or the visible presence of crops

grown for human consumption. When encountering an obstruction in the riverbed, one has the right to portage around the obstruction, but take a direct path around and return to the streambed without lingering on the banks. Additionally, always respect the wildlife and take care not to disturb nesting fowls. Texas is home to several species of venomous snakes which may make an appearance. They will protect themselves if disturbed. The best course is avoidance. With all wildlife encounters, the best tact is to look but do not touch. The City of Runaway Bay has plans to erect a series of water signs to assist boaters in finding their way to each of the trails. Additionally, plans are in the works to develop an area where canoers and kayakers can park their vehicles and safely put their craft in the water. For a great day-outing, consider Lake Bridgeport’s water trails.

Lakefoto by Thomas Stone

‘Taking Care of Texas Veterans’ • Health Maintenance • EKG, Chest X-Rays • Prescription Refills Call for Appointment Office Hours: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., Mon.-Fri.

Call or come by to see if you qualify for services.

Back row, from left, are Pam Smart, Terra Steele, Sue Ray, Judy Gilbert and Nina Gentry; front row, David A. Ray, D.O., P.A. and Russell Wilson, P.A.




806 W.W. Ray Circle • BRIDGEPORT • Phone 940/683-2538

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Gunplay was also part of history of building of Lake Bridgeport Dam The following is an account by W.E. Hembree of what was called the Battle of Mount Horeb which occurred during the building of the dam at Lake Bridgeport. In 1930 the construction of the dam at Lake Bridgeport was started by Trinity Farms and Uvalde Construction Companies as the prime contractors. There were several subcontractors for various parts. Among them was the Leamon Clearing Contractors. Mr. Leamon being from the Rio Grande Valley area brought his crew of workers with him, most of whom were of Mexican nationality. This did not meet with the approval of the local citizens and much talk was spread as to what was to be done about placing the local people in these jobs held by

foreigners. The tense situation grew as the days went by and a group of the local citizens surrounded Mr. Leamon and his body guard one day in the Frost Drug store. The discussion was very heated and threats were expressed by several different ones including Mr. Leamon and his guard. The prime reason why a thing like this would happen was that people were in need of food and clothing. Some who were on the hiring line each morning asking and begging for a job were only eating one meal a day. The members of the family would stay in bed most of the morning while the bread winner went to look for a job. When he returned they all would gather at the noon meal for their only meal of that

day. Sometimes it was only a very small sandwich to each member of the family. Coffee or hot chocolate was an unknown item on most anyone’s daily menu. The Leamon factions were housed up in the old Mount Horeb school house. The building being vacant and the school had been consolidated with the Bridgeport Independent School system. There were some 30 or 40 workers in the Leamon gang. A few of the local people were hired by Mr. Leamon, he paid $3 per day for clearing brush and trees from the lake basin. A few days after the discussion between the group of local citizens and Mr. Leamon and his body guard, the two leaders of the local citizens were given instructions to stay

in town on a certain night and to stay where they would be seen by all of the public. At that time that was not hard to do because all stores stayed open until midnight. The leaders obeyed the instructions. On the set date about 9 p.m. the Leamon camp was thrown into a turmoil, the first shot had been fired into the Leamon Camp. For the next thirty minutes some 200 shots had been fired into the Leamon compound, and equal amount had been fired from the Leamon faction. The attacking forces seemed to be only three people as only three types of bullets could be detected. One was a .39 caliber, probably of German make. A .33 rifle and a shot gun using one ounce balls, probably from a 12 gauge shot

gun. The attackers disappeared as quickly and as silently as they had come. But in their wake they had not only left broken windows and one of the Leamon faction wounded by a pistol shot from a .38 caliber, they had created an international incident. Mexican nationals were in danger and had been fired upon by unknown parties. The Wise County Sheriff was called. Sheriff George Young and one of his deputies, Marvin Roach, answered the call. When Sheriff Young arrived about an hour later, men were running everywhere and shooting at the least possible noise. It was indeed a risk to be among them. At a later date Young told me that he felt that he was acontinued very small to on force page 63

Let us show you why we love Lake Bridgeport. Our family has been enjoying the lake for over 45 years. We spend a lot of time on the water and at our lake house with family and friends. With our combined years of experience in real estate and our first hand knowledge of the lake, we can assist sellers in marketing their property to its fullest potential and make sure buyers find their perfect lake home. We want to be your personal guide and realtor for Lake Bridgeport.

2011 Lake Edition … Page 13

Game Warden helps keep lake safe “It’s nearly impossible for us to monitor every single thing that goes on,” said Nixon. “We do the best we can, and oftentimes whenever we stop someone for an inspection or something of that nature, people will thank us for being out here and keeping the lake safe.” Before the day was over, Nixon and the two officers

from the Texas State Guard had toured around to the Sid Richardson Scout Ranch as well as Blocker’s Camp and the Northside Marina. “You know its not always exciting, but it’s what we do. We’re outside in the outdoor’s and that’s part of what makes this so appealing to me,” said Nixon.

EVERYONE IN LINE FOR INSPECTION!!! Game Warden Penny Nixon performs a routine water safety inspection on a covered boat. Inspections cover the number of life jackets on board, the fire extinguisher and the registration of the boat. Lakefoto by Paul Barnett

by Paul Barnett It’s a job unlike any other, patrolling Lake Bridgeport on Independence Day weekend. Game Warden Penny Nixon, along with the Wise County Sheriff’s Department, work to help keep Lake Bridgeport safe. This includes doing random water safety inspections, and making sure boaters observe the laws of the lake. “It is different out here as compared to the highway,” said Nixon. “There are no lanes, no lines, and no speed limit outside of the no-wake zones.” Nixon’s duties not only fall on keeping the waters safe but also lending a helping hand. “We also watch for people who may be having some boat trouble. We’ve had boats stall out on the water, as well as jet ski’s,” said Nixon. On Saturday afternoon, the activity on Lake Bridgeport was light compared to past

years. However there was still plenty to do. Nixon and two officers from the Texas Maritime Regiment of the Texas State Guard, Master Chief Petty Officer Roger Eades and Second Class Petty Officer Robert Cameron, gave random safety inspections and towed in a stalled boat while on patrol. “It is important that people have the necessary safety items and equipment on board when out on the water,” said Nixon.

During an inspection, officers check to make sure that there are enough life jackets on board a boat for all adults in the boat. Also all children, ages 13 and under, must wear a life jacket while in a boat. The officers will then check to see if the craft has a working fire extinguisher, and will also check the boater’s registration. Personal watercraft are not immune from the regulations of the lake as one operator found out in a no-wake zone.

Game Warden Penny Nixon

Page 14… 2011 Lake Edition

Building of Lake Bridgeport brought needed jobs to area

This photograph depicts the construction of the Lake Bridgeport dam. Reproduction photograph taken with permission by Jo Gilbreath

As you drive across Lake Bridgeport it is sometimes hard to remember that it was made by the hand of man. Without a knowledge of the history of this body of water a person wouldn’t know that men once labored where the water is now, to cut down and remove trees, clearing the basin for the lake. They wouldn’t know that some of the men stood in line for the work so they could make two or three dollars a day to feed their families, perhaps the one meal they would get daily. The families often waited for the provider in a home that was only a lean-to made from an old tarpaulin set up near the work site. It was 1929 and the country was in the grip of the Great Depression. When construction of the lake was announced it was greeted with enthusiasm not only by those who wanted to prevent future flooding of the West Fork of the Trinity River but by men who were desperate for work. Also, two men, Eugene Munn of Boyd and S.F. Lillard of Bridgeport became interested in reclaiming overflow lands near Boyd. According to C.L. McNair,

the first superintendent of the lake, Lillard knew the topography of the Trinity River region west of Bridgeport and believed it was an ideal basin for a water storage reservoir and discovered a good location for a dam. At that time, Wise County had no reservoir and Tarrant County, downstream had no flood plan. Despite the building of an earthen levee in 1914, the West Fork of the Trinity flooded Fort Worth and Bridgeport more than once causing millions of dollars in damage and numerous deaths. Some area historians say that the most serious flood occurred in 1870. The waters completely covered the Old Bridgeport that was located about a mile west of present downtown, near the original toll bridge across the Trinity on Farm Road 920. In 1907 the West Fork flooded again, this time covering the entire area from the Rock Island Railroad to downtown with back water. It was a week before the waters receded. It brought commerce to a standstill and trains did not run, preventing anyone in Bridgeport from receiving or sending

mail. The coal mines were obviously shut down. A slope mine that snaked under the hill at the corner of Hovey and 10th Street had escaped being inundated because of the large pile of mine shale outside the entrance. A guard was posted night and day to sound the alarm should waters begin to enter the shaft. When the water was gone it was replaced with a layer of mud and silt making Bridgeport an unpleasant place to be. Residents had to deal with a foul odor along with the mud. There were also health concerns, typhoid being the most feared, but no cases were reported. Another flood in 1922 caused at least 37 deaths in Fort Worth alone, prompting the city to create an organization that would work on flood control. This organization later became the Water Improvement District. Enter Munn and Lillard. The two worked to sell the idea of a dam on the West Fork, four miles west of Bridgeport, to the Fort Worth members of the Water Improvement District. In 1925 the proposed dam

site was inspected by a group of men including the director of the improvement district, W.E. Bideker, attorney Ireland Hampton, engineer John B. Hawley, Chairman of the State Board of Water Engineers John A. Norris, Munn and Lillard. Norris requested that borings be made to test the soil and its suitability for a foundation which turned out to be favorable. Plans for two dams were adopted as part of flood control, the dam at Bridgeport and another at Eagle Mountain Lake. Voters approved a bond issue on Oct. 7, 1927 to provide money for the construction of the dams which began in 1929. The dams were also being built to furnish a water supply for the fast growing Tarrant County. Building of the levee along U.S. Hwy. 380 near the bridge that now crosses to Runaway Bay was done by hand. Rocks were brought in by wagon from the surrounding area and any townspeople with a wagon and team could find employment. Trucks were not even allowed.

Once the levee was finished, work began on clearing timber from the area between present day Runaway Bay bridge on Hwy. 380 and the Twin Hills dam, located three miles away. Workers drew lots to determine which area they would clear. If a man was lucky, he would draw a lot where there were very few mesquite trees. If a man was unlucky he might draw a lot down in the heavy timbered bottom land. The timber had to be cut, burned.. just eliminated. It was during this construction that entire families would camp out in tents. Farmers brought their produce to sell to the workers; canteloupes, eggs and butter. Despite the tough times there was a lot of excitement among the workers and their families in being a part of what was supposed to be the largest man-made lake in Texas at the time. Lake Bridgeport was completed in 1931 and is the northernmost and third largest reservoir in the Tarrant County Water Control an Improvement continued on page 51

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1403 Chico Highway • BRIDGEPORT

2011 Lake Edition … Page 15

Richard Ellis, superintendent and overseer of the TRWD office at Lake Bridgeport

Richard Ellis “The best part of my job is by Staff The Tarrant Regional Water coming in contact with shoreDistrict (TRWD), whose main line residents,” he said. Lake Bridgeport covers 170 purpose is to monitor water supply and flood control, has miles of shoreline and houses four area reservoirs that it five marinas. Area communimonitors closely, with Lake ties served include Bridgeport, Bridgeport being its third larg- Runaway Bay, Chico, Decatur, and the town of Lake Bridgeest. Stretching across ten North port. Residents throughout the Texas counties, the reservoirs county enjoy utilizing the lake in its area also include for recreational activities. The cities of Decatur, Richland Chambers, Cedar Bridgeport, Runaway Bay, Creek and Eagle Mountain. Formed in 1924, the TRWD along with the West Wise Waserves more than 30 customers ter Co-op and Walnut Creek– across Metroplex, including serving Springtown and areas the Fort Worth and Arlington in between, are the five major areas and the Trinity River Au- municipal customers of the lake. thority of Texas. Engineers in Fort Worth The district also maintains the 27 mile Fort Worth Floodway and makes water quality its top priority. Richard Ellis has served as the superintendent and overseer of the TRWD branch at Lake Bridgeport since 1995. “I manage the reservoir basically–operate and maintain,” he said. Growing up in the Reno/ Azle area, he joined the TRWD staff nearly 41 years ago when he needed a place to work. The district employs two full-time employees at each reservoir to monitor the area all the time. Ellis lives across the street from the district’s office and considers the interaction between local homeowners to be a benefit in his position.

manage and maintain the water levels of the lake. When the flood water is released, it is dispersed to Eagle Mountain Lake by way of the West Fork of the Trinity River. From there, floodwater runs into Lake Worth, which is owned by the city of Fort Worth and is also utilized by the area for drinking water. Each calendar year, the district can send approximately 78,000 acre feet of water to Fort Worth. One acre foot -– to put it into perspective,” Ellis said–is 325,851 gallons of water. “Every year the amount of water sent to Fort Worth varies contingently upon demand,” he said. Last year, the TRWD installed a new water aeration system at the base of the dam where the water reaches depths down to 86 feet. The aeration system pumps air through 26 hoses that are connected to a compressor located in a small brick building sitting on a bluff overlooking the north end of the dam. The effect is akin to what is required in a home aquarium to keep water fresh. The reason for the aeration is to provide better water quality by oxygenating the water. The process also removes man-

ganese and other particles from the lake water. Ellis said the new system, “provides the freshest water in the area to the entire metroplex.” According to Ellis, the district also has utility contracts with Wise County Power and Brazos Power as well as with area sand and gravel companies including Martin-Marietta

Mining, TXI, Hanson and Trinity at Big Sandy. “You just need to remember to use caution,” he warned. The TRWD also sponsors an annual clean-up day at the lake. This year’s event will take place on Saturday, May 7. For more information, contact the district’s Lake Bridgeport office at 940/683-2349.

Lakefoto by Paul Barnett

Page 16… 2011 Lake Edition

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Being the new hospital in Bridgeport and western Wise County is exciting for us, and we hope for you. Our location gives you the opportunity for quality medical care close to home, and we honor all insurance programs. New specialty fields like those shown above are being added regularly in the interest of addressing all your health and wellness needs. Additional specialists are coming on board, and the new medical office building is completed and in use. We take pride in being “YOUR PARTNER IN HEALTH AND WELLNESS.” Count on us.

1905 Doctors’ Hospital Drive • BRIDGEPORT • Phone 940/683-0300

2011 Lake Edition … Page 17

Lakefoto by Shelley Moore

Legends abound about Devil’s Den treasure by Rosemary Bridwell For rugged beauty and promise of adventure, Devil’s Den has a reputation that reaches over a hundred years into the past. The nearly mile-long canyon has drawn rattlesnake hunters, history buffs, the hard and the curious to lake Bridgeport the way the Lorelei is said to draw sailors to their destruction. Devil’s Den, now a part of the Sid Richardson Scout Ranch, is on the west side of Lake Bridgeport. Located on a former section of the Ash Ranch, Devil’s Den was caused by a geological fault where rocks have fallen

off through the years and left high cliffs that drop straight down. According to legend, Devil’s Den has been the hiding place of army deserters and notorious outlaws, and a campground for various Indian tribes. That was in the day when natural caves abounded in the high rock cliffs of the canyon. In recent years, rock slides have covered the entrance to the caves, and even longtime Devil’s Den explorer Bennie Trammell of Bridgeport can no longer find his way into any of the caves he knew so well. The spring that fed a stream running most of the length of

the canyon still runs most of the year. The water, ice cold in summer and warm in winter, was one of the benefits the location offered as a campground for Indians. Slick limestone deposits glaze the spring bed. Chief Jim Ned, Wise County’s most famous Indian, is said to have lived in Devil’s Den and gone on raiding parties from there. Trammell believes the chief was buried there and later removed to an Oklahoma burial ground. Stories have persisted over the years that Devil’s Den is the site of Wise County’s largest buried treasure. Legend has it that $200,000 in gold coins

was buried there during an Indian raid before the end of the Civil War. A rock found near the lake in 1937 by Trammell and his brothers is marked with strange carvings that Trammell still believes point the way to the location of the gold treasure, if somebody could interpret the signs. The figure $80,000 was carved into one corner of the rock that has since been broken off. The remainder of the rock may still be seen at the general store at the Scout Ranch. Trammell says as far as he knows, the treasure has never been found. A hermit said to have made

his home in Devil’s Den in the old days may have stashed away another treasure in gold coins in one of the canyon’s many caves. According to legend, the old hermit kept a herd of sheep and never left the canyon. A Chico doctor, who went through the Den on his way to Wizard Wells, carried supplies to the hermit and treated him when he was sick. The hermit would disappear into one of the caves and would return with the doctor’s pay in gold coins. Speculation was that the old man was hiding out from the law and that the gold was from a hold-up.

Page 18… 2011 Lake Edition

Surveyor’s journals from the 1930s and ‘40s provide interesting glimspe into the past of Lake Bridgeport

Owen Funk

by J.D. Clark Sometimes, the most interesting historical accounts are buried in places that most people would never think of. Take, for example, the notebooks of Owen Funk. Funk was a Wise County surveyor who spent a great deal of time working at Lake Bridgeport in the 1930s and 1940s. Funk’s notebooks are now the property of Tommy Edwards Surveyors in Decatur. Amidst his technical surveying jargon, Funk peppered his notes with colorful comments on different events encountered during his surveys. It often feels more like a journal than a professional notebook. For example, on his entry from December 16, 1949, Funk noted that the weather was “cold as hell.” The opposite can be found on his August 17, 1956, entry when he noted the weather was “fair and hotter than hell” at 108 degrees.

Funk was sometimes very specific with his notes on the weather. A good example is on June 9, 1949, when he wrote that it was “moderately windy” from the south-southeast. In that same year, Funk and his crew battled high temperatures in July. On July 19, Funk recorded the temperature as “fair and hot” at 102 degrees. The next day, it was up to 104 degrees, and up to 106 degrees on July 21. It remained about the same (at 105 degrees) on July 22. On July 25, Funk and his crew began working at 5:50 a.m. when the temperature was still at 95 degrees. The following day, however, they didn’t begin working until 6:00 p.m. It is evident that some of Funk’s notes were made simply because they interested him, not because they pertained to his business. For example, on October 12, 1944, Funk had drawn a map of

the lake. However, on one area he wrote, “Bean lost $2.00 here,” in a reference to George Bean, one of his crew men. In June of 1952, Funk was doing work at the park at the Bridgeport Lake Beach, a public swimming and recreation area that no longer exists. Funk’s diagrams indicate that the park included a dancefloor and restrooms. In this section of his notebook, Funk noted that a boy with the last name of Hankins drowned at the park on June 15, 1952. There are also some interesting observations on wildlife. On April 1, 1931, Funk said a rattlesnake was killed after it bit a worker named Bingham on the boot. Funk, however, also noted there was no flesh wound. On June 21, 1951, Funk noted that a rattlesnake was killed that was 44 inches long and had ten rattlers. On this same day, Funk continued on page 62

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2011 Lake Edition … Page 19

First Lake Superintendent, C. L. McNair, tells of flood that caused lake’s creation (Note: C.L. McNair, the first Superintendent of Lake Bridgeport, drafted a history of the lake while in office. This is a verbatim copy of the document.) The flood that occurred in May 1922, causing a property damage to Fort Worth of approximately $3 million dollars, not including private losses and thirty-seven deaths, was an event that caused the creation of flood control on the West Fork of the Trinity River. Mr. Ireland Hampton, manager of the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce in 1922 and 1924, promoted the political setup which brought about the creation of the Water Improvement District. Major John B. Hawley and

Mr. K. Roby, Engineers, gave their time in promoting the flood control project, being assisted by the State Board of Water Engineers. Through the publicity given, Mr. Eugene Munn, of Boyd and Mr. S.F. Lillard of Bridgeport became interested at about the same time, and called on the local association at Fort Worth and requested an inspection trip in Wise County. Mr. Munn was interested in reclaiming overflow lands near Boyd. Mr. Lillard, knowing the topography of the river region west of Bridgeport, which afforded an ideal basin for a great water storage reservoir, discovered a place which he thought would be a good location for a continued on page 44 This is Trinity River’s spillway during a flood in June , 1930.

Photo by C.L. McNair

This photo shows the water side of the dam. The construction company would finely grade the rock, cover it with 6” crushed stone, and then top it with 15” “riprap”. Photo by C.L. McNair

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Forecast weather without gadgets by Thomas Stone There are lots of methods for getting an idea of what the weather is going to do without the aid of a trained weatherman or gadgets. Observation is the key. What’s going on the sky? What are animals doing? Here are a number of tips for forecasting that do not require the assistance of devices or instruments. Probably the most obvious way for a layman to forecast the weather is to notice the wind and which direction it is blowing. Easterly winds can indicate an approaching storm front, westerly winds the op-

posite. West winds usually mean sunshine. North winds usually mean colder weather approaching. South winds usually mean warm weather, or sometimes a warm rain. Most wind quiets down in the evenings. If it doesn’t, it usually means rain the following day. Strong winds indicate high pressure differences, which can be a sign of advancing storm fronts. Winds that start high and then slow down usually bring storms. Deciduous trees show the undersides of their leaves during unusual winds, supposedly

Share fishing skills with your children Too much Nintendo? Summer boredom? “Nothing to do,” the typical remark coming from your youngster in the summer? Take them fishing! Summer is a great time to take a kid fishing and share an outdoor activity that can be especially easy, fun, and inexpensive. All you need is some basic fishing equipment, like a rodand-reel combination which can be obtained at your local sporting goods outlet or bait and tackle store. Add a bobber,

some small hooks, split shot, and a can of worms. The whole bill won’t top $20, and you’ll find it is the best money you ever spent. Then head for a pond, stream, lake, or other water source near your home where you know there are some fish such as catfish or crappie. When fishing with kids, keep it simple. Long casts are not necessary. Let the youngster do all the casting and reeling. Make it a fun learning experience with or without catching any fish.

because they grow in a way that keeps them right-side up during typical prevalent winds. Here is another tip that may seem fairly obvious, but attention to detail is what makes a difference. Watch the clouds. If there is a cloud cover on a winter night, expect warmer weather. If it is clear (on a winter night), expect lower temperatures. The clouds, in this case, prevent heat from radiating away. Cumulus towers (cumulus castellanus) in the sky indicate a possibility of showers later in the day. If clouds are observed trav-

eling in different directions (for example, one going west, the other going north), bad weather is on the way, and possibly containing hail. If Cumulonimbus clouds form early and continue to develop, then there is a greater chance of severe weather. A Mammatus cloud is formed by sinking air and indicates a thunderstorm is losing strength. An indicator of bad weather on the way are Cirrus clouds high in the sky looking like long streamers. Another indicator of approaching foul weather are Altocumulus clouds that look like

mackerel scales. The old sailor’s adage goes like this, “Mares tails and makerel scales, tall ships carry short sails.” More common is “Mackerel skies and mare’s tails, sailors furl their sails.” Mackerel skies and mares tails formations sometimes appear in the same sky. When that happens, rain is sure to follow the next day. You probably already know this next one. The whiter the cloud, the less chance of rain. The darker the cloud, the greater the chance of precipitation. Clouds at different levels continued on page 45

Fishing on Lake Bridgeport People may fish anywhere on Lake Bridgeport except the upstream portion of the dam, near the spillway. The lake has several kinds of fish, including bass, crappie, channel cat, perch, and others. The Texas Department of Fish and Wildlife often restock the fishing supply. A fishing license is required for people 17 or older.

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2011 Lake Edition ‌ Page 21

1 9 6 4 L A K E B R I D G E P O R T

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Public Boat Ramps 1. Wise County Park 2. Dam Site (F.M. 1658) 3. U.S. 380 Bridge 4. Runaway Bay Marina 5. One Stop of Texas 6. Jack County Recreation Area Lakeside Developments 7. Sunset Bay 8. Lakevue Estates 9. Liles 10. Sunset Shores 11. Aston 12. Twin Hills 13. Wizzard Bay Estates 14. East Bay Estates 15. Lake House Estates 16. Bay Landing 17. Cimmaron Bay Estates 18. Hideaway Bay 19. Cozy Cove 20. El Lago 21. Blocker’s Slough 22. Jackson Ranch 23. Wilderness Lakes

Area Landmarks 24. Bridgeport Camp and Conference Center 25. Twin Hills Store 26. Bayview Center 27. Harbor Inn Resort and Restaurant 28. The Club at Runaway Bay 29. B & M Marina

2011 Lake Edition ‌ Page 23

- Your yard

3 water saving tips

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2011 Lake Edition ‌ Page 25

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Green Elm Cemetery and Bridge -signs of years past by Thomas Stone Whether one is a Wise County history buff or just someone looking for a quiet spot, the Green Elm Cemetery offers a pleasant afternoon destination. Green Elm Cemetery is located on the far northern end of Lake Bridgeport down a series of winding country roads. It’s a small cemetery with only 23 grave markers; some of the white granite markers are broken, and some show so much wear from the elements that the engravings are nearly worn away. Yet most of the markers remain readable and a quick walk around the peaceful setting indicates that everyone interred there harkens back to the early days of Wise County. Judging by the dates on the markers, the first graves (three in number) were dug in 1877. The “newest” is dated 1909.

Incidentally, one of those first three was a certain Martha D. Verner, whose grave marker identifies her as the “Consort of H.B.” Martha was 36 years old at her death, but there is nothing more to indicate who “H.B.” might have been. A complete listing of all markers can be found at Wtx/Jack/cemetery/ Green_Elm.htm. There is a chain link fence around a small area in the northern portion of the cemetery, apparently containing the last of those buried in the cemetery early in the twentieth century. It’s a remote spot just a stone’s throw from the lake which can be seen shining through the trees that border the southern end of the cemetery. Nearby is the old Green Elm Bridge that used to link

Green Elm Road from Wizard Wells to Chico. That link is gone now due to water projects in 1972 that raised the water level in Lake Bridgeport by ten feet and covered a stretch of Green Elm Road. Prior to ’72, students from Wizard Wells used the old road to travel to school in Chico. Now the bridge is a rusted hulk with one end dead-ending over water and the other end opening to a

path where there used to be a road. To get to Green Elm Cemetery (or the old Green Elm Bridge) from Wise County, take FM 1810 heading west out of Chico for about 8 miles. Turn left on County Line Road (there’s a cemetery sign). Go 3.6 miles and turn right on Long Road. Go 0.3 miles and turn at the first right. A half mile further is a Dynegy sta-

tion on the left. Take the left fork of a “Y” and the cemetery is straight ahead 0.3 miles. There is a small, graveled parking area and the cemetery is marked by a green gate. Visitors to the cemetery are asked to be respectful of the property and, as with any outdoor activity, to please tote out any personal refuse upon leaving.

Lakefoto by Thomas Stone

WÉÇËà wÜ|Ç~ tÇw wÜ|äx AAA

We really want to see you again!

Lakefoto by Thomas Stone


2011 Lake Edition … Page 27

And now, a stringer full of raw facts Think you know everything there is to know about Lake Bridgeport? Well, here are some well known, and not so well known, facts about Wise County’s most popular destination. According to the Tarrant Regional Water District, Lake Bridgeport is twenty miles long, with 170 miles of shoreline surrounding the lake. The

ling Island linked by a causeway to the mainland. According to Richard Ellis of the Tarrant Regional Water District, you can still find rattlesnakes on Rattlesnake Island, hence the name. “It’s my assumption that they have been there awhile,” he said wryly. Over the years, Lake Bridgeport has become one of the finest fishing lakes in North

at the north end of the dam. The lake and surrounding lands are teeming with wildlife other than fish. The skies are heavy with ducks of various varieties, geese, pelicans, water turkeys, and, on occasion, a bald eagle. Wild turkeys have made a strong comeback in the area during the last decade as have many animals that had dwindled in numbers over the years. Raccoons and beaver, in particular, heavily populate the

area surrounding Lake Bridgeport. Whitetail deer, coyotes, and bobcats are some of the other animals a lucky boater or camper may have the chance to see. If you are thinking about a camping trip to the lake, Wise County park is the place to go. The only campsite open to the public, it has 19 RV hookups with both 30 and 50 amps. For more information on Wise County Park, you may contact

Keith Jones at 940/644-1910. If you plan to boat and fish while at the lake, there are 8 marinas open to the public that are situated at various sites around the lake. So you now have a rundown on the cold hard facts of Lake Bridgeport. However, if you require more information, you may look it up on the Tarrant Regional Water District website at http://www.trwd. com.

Four easy steps to filleting fish There is more than one way to fillet a fish. Just ask any three fishermen!

1. Grip the head of the fish firmly and cut down to the spine-but not through it.

2. Guiding your knife parallel to the side of the fish, cut along the spine to the tail. Without cutting the side slab from the tail, flop the slap away from the head, as shown.

3. To remove the rib section, insert the blade close to the rib bones, then slice away that entire section. Do this before removing the skin.

4. Remove the skin from the fillet by inserting your knife at the tail and cutting the meat from the skin. Start your cut about 1/2 inch from the tail end of the skin. Turn the fish over and repeat the same procedure.


surface area, in acres, of the reservoir is 12,900, covering land in both Wise and Jack Counties. Green Elm bridge in Jack County marks the western boundary of the lake. Nine tributaries - Coal Bed Creek, Willow Creek, Boon’s Creek, Hunt Creek, Jasper Creek, Bean’s Creek, West Fork Trinity River, Big Creek, and Venchoner Creek, feed into the reservoir. The large amount of creeks and rivers in the area was one of the reasons why the area was chosen for the flood control dam. There are also nine islands in Lake Bridgeport, with Rattlesnake Island and Strip-

Texas. The lake is frequently stocked by the Tarrant Regional Water District with Florida Largemouth Bass, Hybrid Striped Bass, and Channel Catfish, Crappie, Yellow Catfish, Small Mouth Bass, Sand Bass, Carp, Drum and Perch are also plentiful in the lake and do not require stocking. One of the reasons for excellent fishing on the lake is the mild climate and temperatures of the water. The average temperature of the water during the winter is a relatively mild 40 degrees while 80 degrees is the average summer temperature. The maximum depth of the lake is 85 feet and can be found

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Page 28… 2011 Lake Edition

Runaway Bay Chupacabra provides great campfire stories since it did not appear to have the mange. She said the raccoon is simply “an anomaly.” The scientific identification did not convince all of the locals that they were not in the midst of a legend. While the local media ran with the story of the legend, some local business owners honored the “mystical creature” with a T-shirt depicting the beast swinging the gold club on the 14th hole. The media has also “spoofed” the finding by creating a poster for the “First Annual Runaway Bay

Photo submitted by Jeannette Ward The legend of the chupacabra has intrigued the locals for centuries. While some consider the strange animal a myth, others are convinced the blood sucking animal exists. In January of 2010, the carcass of a strange hairless creature was found on the 14th hole of the Runaway Bay Golf Course. Weighing in at only seven pounds, the creature was approximately 12 inches long, had sharp teeth, paws like a raccoon and a short, curly tail like a possum. Dr. Heidi Shopp of the Bridgeport animal hospital had “no idea” what the creature was. “He had no marks or wounds, only a few whiskers. I’ve never seen anything like him before. None of us could identify him.” After no one could put a label on the strange creature, Tony Potter, the golf course

maintenance man who found the animal, dubbed him “the legendary Chupacabra.” The word Chupacabra comes from the Spanish words chupar, meaning “to suck”, and cabra, meaning “goat”. The name comes from the animal’s reported habit of attacking and drinking the blood of livestock, especially goats. Although eyewitness sightings vary, the Chupacabra is supposedly a heavy creature, the size of a small bear, with a row of spines reaching from the neck to the base of the tail; a far cry from what was found on the 14th hole. Finally, a biologist with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department declared that the alleged Runaway Bay Chupacabra was a hairless raccoon. The biologist, Jennifer Barrow, said, “The feet, skull and dental formation all matched a raccoon.” She didn’t speculate as to how the animal lost its hair,

Chupacabra Cook-off” depicting a manipulated image of the creature flipping burgers on a grill. Whether you believe or not, the story of the Runaway Bay Chupacabra has become the most recent “fish story” for the local residents. The story will undoubtedly be one of the favorites when families and friends gather at the campfire. Who knows, the legendary Chupacabra may just pull up a lawn chair to take in the publicity.

Photo submitted

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2011 Lake Edition … Page 29

Wise Eyes provides neighborhood watch around lake by Staff For the people who live around the lake, and are concerned about safety in their neighborhoods, there is a program called " Wise Eyes." “When the citizens of Wise County need assistance, they call on the Sheriff’s Office, and when the Sheriff ’s Office needs assistance, we call on the citizens,” said Sheriff David Walker. Wise Eyes is a crime-watch program that began in Wise County in 1993, and was started by former Wise County Sheriff Phil Ryan. The founding sponsor for the program is Devon Energy. Initially, the program began to help law enforcement officers with child abduction cases, and was meant to help get important information out immediately, as the first three hours when a child is missing are the most critical. Since then, the program has expanded a great deal to cover all kinds of information when law enforcement officials need assistance from citizens. Those situations may include burglar-

ies, thefts, scams, drug investigations, other criminal activity and any other public safety issues. To assist citizens better help law enforcement officers, the Sheriff’s Department provides training to participants on how to start and maintain a crime watch network, how to recognize a drug lab and other narcotics, how to prevent burglaries and have home safety, and how to identify and report suspicious activities, according to the Wise Eyes brochure. When there is a need, law enforcement officers can enlist the help of citizens. Wise Eyes is designed to get the information to the public and those who can assist with passing the information along to others who need to be aware of the situation as soon as possible by using e-mail or fax. That information goes to participants such as neighborhood groups, businesses, and other individuals who are registered with the program. “Wise County is growing at an astronomical pace, which calls for all of us to band to-

Pictured above is Becky Ray, early to mid 1950’s, standing on old beach looking out toward the old river channel. Contributed by Doris Denton

gether and fight crime,” said Walker. “With your help, and by joining the Wise Eyes program, you will ensure criminals will not only have to watch out for Sheriff’s deputies, they will also have to watch for every citizen, oil

field worker, pilot, utility company, rock truck driver or postal carrier.” Training is available for neighborhood groups and businesses. Anyone wanting to start a new group, or get involved

in an existing group should contact Sergeant Debbie Denney at the Wise County Sheriff’s Department at (940) 627-5971 e-mail the Wise County Sheriff’s Office at

Page 30… 2011 Lake Edition


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2011 Lake Edition … Page 31

Boating safety is of high importance on the water by Paul Barnett Safety on the water is of the utmost importance while boating. Whether it be skiing, wakeboarding, tubing or riding jet-ski’s, there are several important precautions individuals need to make in order to stay safe. First of all, vessels must have life jackets for all persons on board the boat. Children under 13 years of age must wear a life jacket at all times when the boat is underway. Anyone who is operating a personal watercraft (jet-ski) must be wearing an approved life jacket. All vessels under 39 feet in length must have a horn or whistle to signal intentions and to sound in times of reduced visibility. All vessels in excess of 39 feet in length are required to carry a whistle or horn, and a bell. In addition to having a horn or a whistle, all vessels must have one bright light, a lantern, or a flashlight visible all around the horizon while not at dock from sunset to sunrise and at times of reduced visibility. This includes personal watercraft, sailboats, rafts, and other man powered vessels. While not a requirement on every boat, having a fire extinguisher on board is highly encouraged. Fire extinguishers are required if any one of the following conditions exists: If there is a closed compartment under seats where portable fuel tanks may be stored, if double bottoms are not sealed to the hull or which are not sealed with flotation material, if there are closed living spaces, if there are closed spaces where combustible or flammable materials may be stored, if fuel tanks are permanently installed, or if there are inboard engines. For any tubers or skiers out there, any motor boat that is towing a person must have an observer of at least 13 years of age or have a mirror that is four inches from top to bottom and four inches from one side to the other. One of the most popular forms of watercraft at Lake Bridgeport is jet-skis, other-

wise known as personal watercraft. On PWC’s, all riders/operators must wear a non-inflatable life jacket. No one under the age of 13 is allowed to operate a PWC, unless accompanied on board by a person of at least 18 years of age. If the craft is equipped with a kill switch it must be attached to the operator or their clothing. These watercraft should not be operated within 50 feet of another watercraft, person, platform or shore, except at a slow speed that does not produce a wake. Also, the jumping of other wakes recklessly or unreasonably close to another vessel is prohibited. While boating, it is also important to avoid alcohol as the chances of having an accident doubles. Boating under the influence is just as dangerous as driving a car while intoxicated and Boating While Intoxicated (BWI) carries very similar penalties as a DWI does, including the possibility of driver’s license suspension. It is a good idea for the whole family to take a boater education course regardless of age. Over half of all boating accidents involve people between the ages of 26 and 50 years old. Although there are no numerical speed limits on the

water, citations may be issued for excessive speed or reckless operation. Pilots should use common sense and operate at a safe speed at all times, especially in crowded areas. Excessive speed is defined as a speed that is greater than is reasonable without regard to conditions or hazards, or greater than will permit a person to stop the vessel in the cleared distance in front of them. Obviously, one of the more

overlooked safety precautions is maintaining their boat and equipment. Having a boat tuned right and maintained can mean the difference between having a good time on the water or being stranded. Maintaining other equipment such as life jackets and fire extinguishers can make a huge difference should an emergency happen on the water. Maintaining a taut tow line

can help keep the line from breakingand stranding tubers or water skiers. Finally, all boating operators need to be aware of markers, buoys, and other boaters. Just simply being aware of these three factors can help prevent collisions, getting stranded or hitting submerged obstacles. These safety laws and tips of the water help keep everyone safe on Lake Bridgeport.

District regulates wharves, docks The Tarrant Regional Water people, property or materials special permit for commercial structures extending onto or District (TRWD) requires a used. The TRWD also requires a into Lake Bridgeport. permit for anyone wishing to construct a wharf or dock on their property on Lake Bridgeport. A permit is also required for people maintaining a boathouse on the lake. No enclosed boathouses are allowed on Lake Bridgeport. The TRWD regulates any structure which floats on the water, or extends into or over the water. The TRWD restricts structures only if they pose problems with navigation,

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Dos Chiles Grandes Cafe 3 Locations to serve you 1703 Chico Hwy Bridgeport 940-683-6566

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Lakefoto by Jo Gilbreath

2011 Lake Edition … Page 35

1 9 4 5 or

1 9 4 6 To the right is a depiction of an actual 1936 flyer of the first fishing tournament on Lake Bridgeport.

SOMETIME IN 1945 OR 46, (a revival was going on; Bro. Jimmy Morgan from For t Worth was evangelist, and Bill Hutcheson was Lake Superintendent) these fisherman were photographed with their catch: BackEarnest Jones, Stanley Caruthers, Homer Green, Otis Meek, Leeland Caruthers, and Coleman Meek. Front: John Ferguson, Pastor First Baptist Church, and Wilson Ray. Photo above, John Ferguson. The photos are in a collection assembled by Addie Ruth Green.

FISH TOURNAMENT MAY 1-2-3, 1936 BRIDGEPORT, TEXAS LAKE BRIDGEPORT Largest artificial lake in Texas, completed in 1931 at a cost $2,600,000. Located 4 miles west of Bridgeport, Wise County, Texas, state highways 24 and 114, most direct route from Lubbock to Savannah, Ga., and one of the main feeder roads from our great west and northwest to Dallas and Ft. Worth. Has a drainage area of 1000 square miles, maximum storage capacity of 285 billion gallons or 850,000 acre feet, maximum surface area of 17,000 acres, normal area of 5,800 acres, length of dam 1,850 feet, height of dam 113 feet, shore line 150 miles and depth 90 feet. Fishing has been excellent for the past three years for crappie, bass, cat, drum and perch. Come and spend the entire summer if you wish. You will find good camping sites, good sand beach for bathing and boating. In fact, it is the best place of its kind in Texas to spend a day, week or any length of time for an enjoyable outing. SIZE OF TEXAS LAKES LAKE BRIDGEPORT - - 285 Billion Gallons Eagle Mountain Lake - - 200 Billion Gallons Lake Kemp - - - - 167 Billion Gallons Medina Lake - - - - 100 Billion Gallons Lake Dallas - - - - 64 Billion Gallons Lake Worth - - - - 5 Billion Gallons THE CITY OF BRIDGEPORT Population, 2,500; fine schools and churches, good streets, municipal water and sewerage, coal mines, brick plant, dairying and live stock center of county, the county that has more cattle than any other in the state, according to 1933 Government Survey. EVERYBODY IS WELCOME

You are cordially invited to attend Bridgeport’s First Annual Fish Tournament to be held in the waters of Lake Bridgeport. Come on all you nim-rods and show us just what you can do with that old rod. Plenty of competition will be offered Meet Your Fellow Fishermen at LAKE BRIDGEPORT RULES OF CONTEST 1. All entrants must register at any Drug Store, Cafe or Service Station in Bridgeport. 2. Any one can enter. No registration fees. 3. All fish must be caught out of Lake Bridgeport. 4. Decision of Judges to be final. 5. Prizes to be awarded each day of contest at 5 p. m. for the largest bass and crappie, on the streets of Bridgeport. 6. Winner must consent to have photograph taken of catch. 7. Fish to be judged by weight. CITIZENS OF BRIDGEPORT WELCOMES YOU TO THEIR FIRST LAKE BRIDGEPORT

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Crucial Lessons About Life Jackets When an emergency strikes on water, a life jacket can make the difference between life and death. That’s why you want to be sure you have the right life jacket onboard — preferably one for each member of your boating party. SELECTING A JACKET When you’re dealing with water, fashion or price shouldn’t factor into your life jacket decision. Choose your life jacket based on what you will be doing in the water as well as the water conditions. Life jackets vary in shape, color and material — just make sure you get one that’s suited for you. The label on the jacket will indicate if it’s designed for your weight, and the proper uses for its level of durability. Following are common types of life jackets: Type One: It’s designed for open, rough waters, or where it may be hard to be rescued. While it’s bulky, it provides the best flotation and turns most unconscious wearers from a face-down position to a faceup position. It usually comes in a visible color and in a few different sizes. Type Two: It’s geared for calm or inland waters, making it the proper choice for boating or fishing. It’s used in waters where there is a good chance of a fast rescue. Type Two jackets are more comfortable than Type Ones, but they cannot be relied upon to turn unconscious wearers to a faceup position consistently. As a result, they are not good for long hours in rough water. Type Three: This jacket is designed for calm waters where there is a good chance of a fast rescue. It’s the most comfortable type of life jacket available in many styles, making it good for general boating or the activity marked on the label. It’s not recommended for rough waters since the wearer’s head can be covered by waves where the jacket cannot provide adequate flotation. Select a life jacket that is U.S. Coast Guard approved (which means it has endured intense testing), properly sized and in

a visible color. Child-size life jackets list the weight range geared for the jacket and should feature a crotch strap, an oversized float collar and a grab loop to pull the child out of water. For all ages, a life jacket should fit snugly but comfortably when all straps, zippers and ties are fastened. Test the jacket on land and on water. If you raise your arms over your head, the life jacket should stay in place. Have someone lift the jacket up by the shoulders; it should stay in place. If you can, test the jacket in a pool or in shallow water prior to use on open water. Relax your body and tilt your head back. Your chin should be above water and you should be able to breathe easily. Another water test is to jump into a pool feet first from a platform the same height as your boat. The life jacket should not pop off over your head. Once you find one that’s suitable, put your name on it so you wear one that is sized just for you. INSPECTION Twice a year, re-inspect all jackets. Make sure children still fit into theirs — children grow fast so their jackets will need to be replaced often. Inspect jackets for tears, holes, deterioration or ripped seams. Patch any small holes, but replace the jacket if they are large enough for water to seep in. Buckles and zips should fasten easily. There should be no mildew odor or signs of shirking. Test the jacket in water again to make sure it still floats. If it failed any of these tests, throw your jacket away. CARE AND MAINTENANCE Proper care and maintenance of your life jacket can help it last for years. After a day of boating, let your jacket dry thoroughly in a well-ventilated place before putting it away. If you were in salt water, rinse the jacket thoroughly with fresh water. Also remember that heat damages life jackets. That’s why you shouldn’t leave it aboard a boat

in the sun when the boat is not in use. Also, don’t dry your life jacket in a dryer, on a radiator, heater or other heat source, which can damage it.

Read Construction Michael Read P.O. Box 1155 • Bridgeport, Texas 940-683-4226 Fax: 940-683-0171

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Lake Bridgeport dining offers spectrum of food choices by Staff Lake Bridgeport has a few restaurants for hungry individuals who would like to grab a bite to eat in between moments of play. The Club at Runaway Bay is definitely a valuable asset to the area and features 20,000 square feet of elegant yet comfortable space. A dining room, lounge, and terrace afford a gorgeous vista, allowing guests’ eyes to roam across the green hills of the golf course to the lake. Hungry individuals may find an elegant bite to eat any day of the week except Monday. Tuesday through Thursday, doors are open from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m., with Happy Hour from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday’s business hours at The Club are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.,

Saturday’s hours are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday’s hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Don’t try to get off the boat and run into the grill in your swimsuit, though. A dining experience at The Club could be considered somewhat upscale. The Club at Runaway Bay is a semi-private club. Thus, it is open to the public. Two other dining facilities exist on Lake Bridgeport that someone unfamiliar with the area may not consider. Both facilities can be found inside convenience stores on either side of Highway 380 in Runaway Bay. Whether you want something already prepared , or you want prime cuts of meat to prepare in your own kitchen or in your own back yard, One

Stop’s Old Fashioned Meat Market has a variety of selections. It was established in 1970, and not only has bar-b-cue baby back ribs ready for a watering mouth, but also fresh-cut T-bones ready to sizzle on the grill over the mesquite chips. One Stop carries its own spectrum of choices. From a smorgasbord of junk food and alcoholic beverages, to hot-offthe-grill cheeseburgers, and even vegetable seeds for planting in the garden, the store offers diners more than they may have imagined before walking through the doors of the establishment. One Stop even offers the bait to catch your own dinner. Right across the highway from One Stop of Texas is the Shell, with its deli-mart. The

fresh-made sandwiches come plain and dry, and are refrigerated until you choose your flavor. On The Bay Grill, as it’s named, also offers items ranging from egg rolls to Philly Steaks, and of course, hamburgers. Corn dogs, nachos, soft tacos, bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches, chicken

fried steak and chicken strips are all on the menu, too. Food is served in that establishment from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., every day of the week. With all the variety of choices for lunch and dinner, visitors to Lake Bridgeport can decide for themselves what’s for dinner.

Living Word Tabernacle “where we serve God not man”

Pastor: Eddie “Bo” Johnson

940-969-2201 Nondenominational Services: Sunday School ... 10 a.m. Morning Worship.... 11 a.m. Wednesday Bible Study... 7:30 p.m.

Businesses catering to boats on lake by Staff Lake Bridgeport has several unique businesses that serve customers on dry land as well as on water. At least three different businesses on Lake Bridgeport have marinas that offer many services boaters can appreciate on a hot, busy day of fun in the sun. In the Runaway Bay area, One Stop and Shell provide gasoline and a convenience store for refreshing drinks and snacks. One of the special qualities of One Stop is the selection of fresh choice meats available for you to cook, and some come already cooked. Both stores offer deli food and hamburgers and fries cooked to order, and alcoholic beverages are also available. Another marina on the lake is North Side Marina and Resort. It is also a resort where you can rent a cottage or own a new log cabin. Boatslip rentals are available for your boat, like at the other marinas. Also like the others, the marina on the north side of the lake offers a store and fuel for your boat. Customers can also rent pontoon boats, fish, or hire a local fishing guide. These lakeside businesses make it easier for boaters to find much-needed snacks and fuel without straying far from the water.


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by Thomas Stone The longest waterway in Texas which has both its beginning and end within the state is the Trinity River. The main stream and four headwater forks flow through 37 counties, covering 550 miles. Along the way, there are plenty of opportunities for quiet floats through wildlife-rich scenery as well as the occasional manmade whitewater rapid. Flowing through the middle of the mound-building country of the Caddo Indians, the Trinity River was a natural lifeline for early Texas inhabitants. Native American dugout canoes were common on the river and prompted French trappers to name it the River of Canoes. In 1690, the Trinity River was renamed by Spanish explorer General Alonzo de Leon for an upcoming Catholic feast day. The river was known as the primary waterway for the transport of agricultural and industrial goods to market in the Gulf of Mexico. As a result, in those days, Dallas was called “The Inland Seaport of Texas.” Four forks combine to create the headwaters of the Trinity River. They are Elm Fork, Clear Fork, West Fork and East Fork. The West Fork is the one that feeds Lake Bridgeport. Each fork is characterized by narrow channels twisting through undeveloped woodlands of oak, elm, pecan and cottonwood. Sheer banks and privately-owned land are not good for camping, but the slow current makes for an easy upstream paddle upstream. This is an important consideration when planning a paddling trip. Generally, it means that paddlers can easily return to their original put-in site, eliminating the need for shuttles. Also, reservoir dams on each fork ensure good water levels for year-

round paddling. A word of caution: fallen limbs collect in some river bends and create hazards for the unwary or inexperienced boater. The four forks gather south of Dallas and the river continues 430 miles to Trinity Bay on the Gulf of Mexico. Because of limited access and to some degree, pollution, between Dallas and Lake Livingston, this stretch is not recommended for paddling. However, the river below Lake Livingston is perfect for a paddling trip. Clear water released from the bottom of Lake Livingston flows between accessible banks and around sand bars which makes the area ideal for overnight camping. Abundant wildlife and waterfowl are common sights along the route. Beware of alligators in the lower regions. The Fort Worth Whitewater Park includes a half-mile of whitewater on the Clear Fork of the Trinity. There are three manmade rapids, rated as medium difficulty, called Santa’s Chute, Railroad Chute, and Double Chute. Both river surfers and rafters can play in the waves of a water park that is accessible year-round free of charge. Pollution caused by waterside industry has been problematic since the nineteenth century. In 1846, pioneer A. W. Moore described the Trinity as “a little narrow deep stinking affair.” In the following years, when the river continued to decline in water quality, the state health department called it “The Mythological River of Death.” Conservation efforts have greatly improved water quality since, although officials still advise paddlers using the river between Dallas and Lake Livingston to avoid ingesting river water.

Lakefoto by Thomas Stone

The First National Bank of Runaway Bay would like to say “welcome” to those of you who are just now becoming a part of this growing community. Whether you are a newcomer or longtime resident of Runaway Bay or the surrounding area, we hope that you will let us help you with all of your banking needs.

1055 Hwy 380 West • Runaway Bay • 940-575-2100 • Telebank • 374-3522

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Triathlon brings competition to lake

Lakefoto by Paul Barnett by Paul Barnett The Wise County Triathlon has become an annual event on the weekend after Labor Day. The Triathlon consists of two races of different lengths. The Olympic course and the Sprint course. The olympic course consists of a 1500meter swim, a 24.8 mile bicycle ride, and a 10K run. The sprint race starts approximately 45 minutes after the Olympic length race and features a 400meter swim, a 12 mile bike ride, and a 5K run. The competitors are grouped by age and gender, with winners from each age group, as well as an overall male and female winner.

The event itself is held to benefit Sarah’s Cure, a nonprofit organization which raises money for research to help find a cure for Galactosemia, a disease that affects one in 80,000 children. This year’s triathlon will have more of a patriotic theme to it, as it will be held on the morning of Sunday, September 11, 2011. With this in mind, this year’s event will benefit Tuesday’s Children as well as Sarah’s Cure. Tuesday’s Children is a family-oriented nonprofit organization that has made a long-term commitment to support individuals directly affected by the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, and

Lakefoto by Keith Bridwell

global terrorism worldwide. This year will feature a helicopter fly-over and maybe even fireworks during the national anthem before the race. Last year’s event featured more than 100 men and women competing in the two races from all over the state. More than 200 people volunteered to support the race, giving out re-

freshments and helping set up the course for the race. “Last year was a huge success,” said Mike Bowers. “We’ve had the opportunity to growth the event over the past couple of years and this year is going to be the best yet.” Bowers pointed out that the race is good for the community. A race was started in Lubbock 20 years ago with 90 participants and now draws an average of 2,500 participants each year. “We hope that we can grow this event to help raise money for these charities as help benefit the community as well,” said Bowers. “La Quinta Inn provides the official lodging for the event. We’d love to expand that to other motels around the area.” Bowers said that experience of the competitors is critical to the success of the event. “Our growth is very dependent on word of mouth,” he said. “We need to get the word out, but the experiences of the athletes is what is going to keep bringing them back year after year after year, as well as help grow the event.”

The 2011 Wise County Triathlon is currently looking for volunteers and sponsors. Anyone who is interested in being a sponsor or volunteer for the Wise County Triathlon can go to

WET & WILD WATER SPORTS If boating is not your idea of an exciting day out on the water, try your hand at any number of other water activities of varying levels of difficulty. Some ideas to choose from include: white water rafting — ride the rapids of a local river; canoeing — paddle your way through a nearby body of water; or parasailing — soar way above the waves.

2011 Lake Edition … Page 41



encompass Prepaid Phone Cards & Wireless Refill


Open: Mon-Sat 5ATam-10 • Sunday 6 am-10 pm O PEN : M ON -S 5 AM -10 pm PM • S UNDAY 6 AM -10 PM

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“Off 380 Players” offer theatrical adventures by Joann Pritchard “Is that a band, or what?” The Off 380 Players are celebrating their 10th season of theatrical performances, hearing less and less often such questions as the above as more and more people become aware of their productions. After knocking about from venue to venue since presenting “Everybody Loves Opal” at the Runaway Bay Community Church, the community theatre group is now at home at the Bridgeport Stage. Renovation of Bridgeport’s old Arcadia Theater is a story in itself; just say that now, the Players and their audience can enjoy their surroundings as well as their shows. Of course, ambition has not faltered. The Players welcome participation by anyone interested in any aspect of theatre, onstage or off. Call 575-4548. Experience within the group varies from professional to strictly amateur. Stan Baker of Chico, past president, promised to find a job (non-paid, that is) for anyone interested in participating. Charlotte Keefe, founding past president of the group, has listed talents and skills pertaining to production. A Play Selection Committee "reads lots and lots and lots of plays," then recommends five plays for consideration by the board of directors, who pick three plays for production. A Director plans staging, auditions, actors, and then, of course, directs. The director works with the crew (the Off 380 Roadies) who build the sets, find the props, etc. People with carpenter skills are welcomed when it comes time to build sets. "Most of the time the set needs to be painted," Ms Keefe said. "If you can make big strokes with a paintbrush, we can use you." The Props Manager enlists friends to find the props, stage furniture, and anything needed to "dress" the stage. Costumes have to be found or made, and during performances, help is needed with the actors' makeup. Once the set is constructed

and the actors know where they are supposed to be at all times, the Light and Sound Crew starts to work. During performances the crew has to watch and listen closely and be ready to bring lights up and down and execute sound effects at the exact moment they are needed. The crew has to be prepared to improvise in case an actor forgets a line or changes the script. A Backstage Crew moves furniture and props between scenes; pulls curtains, helps actors with costumes, etc. The Front of the House takes care of the audience, selling tickets and handing out programs. Volunteers serve refreshments during intermission. After the final performance, it's time to strike the set. Everything is taken down, put away and the stage is cleaned. "The imaginary world that took

six weeks to create vanishes within a few hours," Keefe said. "Live theatre must have actors, but as you can tell, it must have the help, talent, skill, and willingness of many, many people." Stan Baker lists facts debunking myths concerning the troupe. It is a myth, he notes, that "only individuals who can act are involved in Off 380." Acting ability is not necessary nor required. The myth that only creative people join theatre groups requires definition: Baker says that "Everyone is creative -community theatre helps people find their creative niche." As for theatre requiring too much time, Baker stresses that "We want you to be involved as much as you have time for - a tiny bit or a whole lot!" Only

outgoing, gregarious people get involved in the theatre? Not so, Baker says. "People with every type of personality are involved. We love diversity." Myth: You have to know something about the theatre to get involved. Fact: "Wrong -you can learn along with the rest of us!" Off 380 Players board members are Geoff Sherman, president; Ray Cornelison, Jr., secretary; Judi Conger, treasurer; Justin Prestidge, past president; and vice presidents Russell Blanton, production; Darla St. John, house management; Ted Konetski, development; Sheril Rodgers, programming; Char Setters, community relations; and Trish Bridwell, publicity and promotion. For information on upcoming productions, see

2011 Lake Edition … Page 43

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The flood that caused lake’s creation.... continued from page 19 dam. He immediately began trying to interest the Fort Worth organization (then an unincorporated association) in building a dam on the West Fork of the Trinity River, four miles west of Bridgeport. In the spring of 1925, Mr. Lillard and Mr. Munn succeeded in getting a party to come to Bridgeport for inspection of the dam site. The party consisted of Mr. Ireland Hampton, attorney, John B. Hawley, engineer, W. E. Bideker, Director of the Water Improvement District (which succeeded the association that originated the project), John A. Norris, Chairman of the State Board of Water Engineers, Mr. Lillard and Mr. Munn. The State Board of Water Engineers, through inspection

made by Mr. Norris, requested borings at the dam site to test foundation conditions. After preliminary surveys and geological tests, the State Board of Water Engineers recommended the building of the Bridgeport dam. On July 29, 1927, plans were adopted for flood control, which included Eagle Mountain Dam and Bridgeport Dam. On October 7, 1927, the question was submitted and approved by voters as to issuing bonds to provide money to construct the two dams. The contract for construction was awarded to the Trinity Farm Construction Company, the McKenzie Construction Company, and the Uvalde Construction Company on January 23, 1930. The Bridgeport Dam was completed in

September 1931 and accepted on December 15, 1931. The dam, 1850 feet in length and 110 feet in height, creates a lake with a maximum capacity of 285 billion gallons

or 870,000 acre feet. The maximum surface area is 17,000 acres. The water surface at spillway level is approximately 12,000 acres. The total cost of the Bridgeport project was $2.6

million dollars. *Eugene Munn was the grandfather of Bridgeport resident Bill, Donna, and Jerry Munn.

The core trench, where rock was excavated for the dam, was allowed to be placed on each slope and “puddled in with soil.” Photo by C.L. McNair

According to the information written on the back of the original photograph, “a man was killed on this part of the job. The shovel operator backed the machine- the Caterpillar tracks catching the man’s feet. The victim was sitting beside the machine with feet behind him. The accident happened a few minutes before midnight.” Photo by C. L. McNair

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Forecast weather without gadgets continued from page 20 and moving in different directions usually mean a storm is coming. Higher altitude clouds indicate better weather. Changes in humidity can tell a lot about what is happening. Many people can feel a change in humidity. It may cause hair to curl and become frizzy. Some people get headaches (also with barometric pressure changes) or joints may ache. The leaves of oaks and maples tend to curl in high humidity, which tends to precede a heavy rain. Pine cone scales open in dry air, but stay closed if the humidity is high. Animals have a keen sense for changes in the weather. Check the following to interpret their actions in regard to weather. If birds are flying high in the sky, there will probably be fair weather. (Falling air pressure caused by an imminent storm causes discomfort in birds’ ears, so they fly low to alleviate it. Large numbers of birds roosting on power lines indicates swiftly falling air pressure.). When birds don’t fly, or they stay in the bushes, and sing or squawk more than usual, stay near camp -- bad weather is on the way. Seagulls tend to stop flying and take refuge at the coast if a storm is coming. Animals, especially birds, get quiet immediately before it rains. Cows will typically lie down before a thunderstorm. They also tend to stay close together if bad weather’s on the way. Ants build their hills with very steep sides just before a rain. Cats tend to clean behind their ears before rain. Turtles often search for higher ground when a large amount of rain is expected. You will often see them in the road during this period. (1 to 2 days before the rain). An old wives’ tale says if birds feed in a storm, it will rain for a long time; if they don’t, it will clear soon. Observe animals! They are far more likely to react to changes in air pressure than we

are. Here’s an interesting tip: look for a rainbow in the west. Most major storm fronts travel west to east, and a rainbow in the west means moisture, which can mean rain is on its way. On the other hand, a rainbow in the east around sunset means that rain is on its way out and you can look forward to sunny days. Remember: Rainbow in the morning, need for a warning. Ever heard this verse before? “Red Sky at Night, Sailor’s Delight, Red Sky in the Morning, Sailors Take Warning!” If there is a red sky during sunset (looking to the west), there is a high pressure system with dry air that is stirring dust particles in the air, causing the sky to look red. Since prevailing front movements and jet streams usually move from west to east, the dry air is heading towards you. A red sky in the morning (in the East, where the sun rises) means that the dry air has already moved past you, and what follows behind it (on its way towards you) is a low pressure system that carries moisture. Take time to smell the roses. While outside, test the air and take a deep breath. Plants release their waste in a low pressure atmosphere, generating a smell like compost and indicating an upcoming rain. Swamps release gasses just before a storm because of the lower pressure, and that leads to unpleasant smells. A old proverb says “Flowers smell best just before a rain.” Scents are stronger in moist air. The moon at night can say a lot about the weather. If it is reddish or pale, dust is in the air. But if the moon is bright and sharply focused, it’s probably because low pressure has cleared out the dust, and low pressure means rain. Also, a ring around the moon (caused by light shining through cirrostratus clouds associated with warm fronts and moisture) can indicate that rain will probably fall within the

next three days. Remember: circle around the moon, rain or snow soon. For the campers: if you are camping, smoke from a campfire should rise steadily in calm weather. Smoke that swirls and descends is caused by low pressure (i.e. rain on the way). If the smoke from your campfire rises straight up, good weather will continue or arrive soon. If the smoke rises and then falls, or hangs low over the fire, rain is coming soon. Also, a campfire will be harder to light before a rain, but once

going, it will burn warmer and brighter. Check the grass for dew at sunrise. If the grass is dry, this indicates clouds or strong breezes, which can mean rain. If there’s dew, it probably won’t rain that day. If distant objects appear clearer and closer than usual, rain is probably near. If you suddenly begin feeling sluggish, suspect the falling barometric pressure that precedes bad weather. Morning fog usually preceeds a bright sunny day.

Watch the sun as it sets on a clear horizon. If it blinks emerald green just before it disappears, you’re in for fair weather for at least the next day. A white halo around the moon means bad weather within three days. A halo around the sun forecasts rain or snow within 24 hours. Pine and Spruce cones open in dry weather, close as wet weather nears. A clear bright moon means good weather tomorrow.

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Buying a used boat has its perks by Paul Barnett The adage that a boat is a hole in the water where people throw their money can be true. However, by following a few tips on buying a boat, people can make sure they stay out of the hole with their new boat. Most of these tips pertain to buying a used boat. However, many of these same tips can be used for buying a brand new boat. Buying a pre-owned boat can save a considerable amount of money as compared to buying a new boat. Many people take heed of this fact; as 60 percent of first-time boat buyers purchase a new boat according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association. There are many people who often find themselves at a loss when searching for a boat. The questions of what they are looking for? How will they use it? And how often they’ll use it are just a few of the questions one needs to ask themselves before they consider purchasing a boat. When you’re considering getting a boat, the first thing you have to think about is how will you use it? Obviously, you don’t want a drag boat if your going to use it as a bass boat or if your going to use it for recreation such as tubing or skiing. Second, are you going to buy a new or used boat? One of the great advantages of buying a used boat is that it is tried and tested. Still, while looking at a used boat there are a number of things to look out for. While prospecting for a boat, always do a visual inspection of the vessel. If the boat looks horrible, then more than likely it was not maintained properly. It is important to lift any objects on the boat, ropes, flooring materials, or anything else on deck. While some discoloration is common,

deep discoloration and/or moss is a sign that the boat was neglected. Look over the Hull and the Gel-Coat. Any discoloration or chalkiness means that it was not waxed annually or that the hull may have been repaired. Always inquire about the matter of repairs to make sure they were done properly, as you don’t want to be out on the water and have the boat spring a leak. Make sure all bulk heads are secure. Most of the time, bulk heads are secured with a laminate. Over time the laminate may separate from the hull, this is a serious red flag for boaters looking to buy a boat. While most of the preceding may not have much to do with performance, many boaters take pride in how their boat looks. While many of us don’t have a basement, you don’t want to be Gibbs on NCIS constantly sanding and painting your new boat. There are things with a boat that you can’t see with the naked eye. Mechanically take a closer look at it. Check the oil and batteries. The batteries should be check every time the boat is taken out. The oil can tell you how hard the boat has been run or if the engine has been well maintained. Take a look at the engine to see if there is dirt or grime near

gaskets and seals. This is important as this can cause significant leaks. Freeze plugs should be brass and not steel. Any steel plugs will have to be replaced. Check the steering cables by giving them a small tug. If they are loose they will need attention. Make sure the boat is winterized. If the boat is not winterized, it will have to have a

tune up. For boats, this could add an additional $700-1000. One of the more important things to check on a boat is the bilge pump. The bilge pump removes water from the hull. Finally, take a test drive with the owner of the boat before you buy it. Getting a feel of the boat can be a deciding factor in whether or not you want to buy the boat or keep looking for a better deal.

J. P. Carpenter




940-683-2841 Office 940-393-1574 Mobile


P. O. BOX 847 BRIDGEPORT, TEXAS 76426 940-683-5447 Fax

2011 Lake Edition … Page 47

Sid Richardson Scout Ranch offers wide array of activities for visitors along with lodging by Dorothy Clark, Keith Bridwell and Jennifer Haney As many as 20,000 boy scouts from across the United States and several foreign countries visit the 2,460-acre Sid Richardson Boy Scout Ranch on Lake Bridgeport during the course of a year. Equipped with scenic cliffs and 19 miles of raw shoreline, the ranch is a rugged backdrop of outdoor activities, in contrast to the ugly scars modern progress can bring. The Ranch is part of the Boys Scouts of America’s Longhorn Council, with approximately 38,000 boy scouts in its registry, which also has camps in Denton, Palo Pinto, Lake Worth, and Waco. Located immediately west of Runaway Bay on land donated in 1968 by Fort Worth oilman Sid Richardson, the Boy Scout Ranch’s scenic bluffs, rolling hills, rugged shorelines, and open forests provide an ideal setting for camping, water sports, and other outdoor activities. The Ranch boasts the presence of longhorn cattle, working oil and gas wells, an 1870’s U.S. Cavalry outpost, and the rumor of buried gold at the Devil’s Den hideout of famous outlaw Sam Bass. A country store, museum, saloon, and post office located on the premises are official Texas landmarks relocated with their original artifacts to their new home on the Boy Scout Ranch. The Ranch offers boy scouts and their leaders sevenday summer sessions from early June through mid-July. Weekend camping is available year-round for boy scouts and

cub scouts. Basic outdoor skills are taught for rank advancement with younger scouts. Merit badge classes for all levels, including Eagle Scouts, as well as lifeguard classes are also available. Boy scouts participate in a wide array of activities at the Ranch, including camping, hiking, rock climbing, rappelling, mountain bike riding, horseback riding, water skiing, tubing, wind surfing, sailing, swimming, kayaking, canoeing, wake boarding, fishing, horseshoes, and sand volleyball. Planned activities continue after dinner every night until lights out. A special challenge course, C.O.P.E (Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience), is designed for boys and girls ages 13 and above and is available for use by scouts, church groups, businesses, and others who want to develop teamwork, self-esteem, trust, decision-making, and leadership skills. An aquatic school for boys over 13 years of age is offered, and advanced water sports are taught at the Steele Island Aquatics Base. Captain Kidd’s Escape, a water amusement facility, features a water trampoline, water slide, canoe jousting, rope swings, and other activities. Older boys can take day trips to Fort Richardson Outpost, where they can fire a standard issue, authentic cavalry cannon and participate in reenactment skirmishes. Overnight stays in a teepee village, including learning about Indian hunting weapons around a

council fire, are featured at Comanche Village. Orienteering groups use the Ranch for team competitions. Orienteering involves people finding their way with maps and compasses in wilderness settings. Periodically, a Texas Department of Public Safety helicopter and approximately 50 troopers from across the state come to Lakeview Lodge, a

Ranch facility, for water rescue training. Lakeview Lodge has cottages and dormitories available for rent by the public for meetings, conferences, family reunions, and other gatherings. The new manager of the lodge, Valerie Cantero, said she didn’t know how great the place was to visit. She said she didn’t even know the place

existed, and all three of her boys are Boy Scouts. Cantero pointed out the Scout Ranch is not just for Scouts. Many people from the community have visited the ranch just to get away from their families for a night, and others have used the place to spend a family-building weekend. She said it’s one of Wise County’s best kept secrets.

This pavilion is one of the little extras that can add to visitors’ experiences at the Sid Richardson Boy Scout Ranch. Surrounded by woods of natural Texas timber on three sides, and beautiful Lake Bridgeport on the other, the structure offers a place for campers to find a moment of solitude or a special gathering place. -Lakefoto

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Page 48… 2011 Lake Edition

Commitment Runs Deep

Benefits Beyond Measure We strive to set the standard as a good neighbor, a good community partner and a good steward of our environment. We employ innovative methods that increase efficiency and embrace initiatives that minimize environmental presence. At Devon Energy, we are committed to operating with responsibility and integrity – providing benefits beyond measure.

2011 Lake Edition … Page 49

by staff Texas lakes provide a mouth-watering assortment of fresh water fish from Bass to Crappie. In Lake Bridgeport, the locals know where to find the fish, and it’s what’s for dinner. Most of Lake Bridge port’s 170-mile shoreline makes an excellent bass habitat. It consists of 7 miles of riprap, 90 miles of boulders, and many coves and points. The Sid Richardson Scout Ranch near Windy Point, provides an environment most fish love to call home. Gravel piles. There are several submerged gravel piles that were deposited when the West Fork Trinity River flowed free and uncontrolled. The piles provide an excellent habitat for white and black bass. Along with the gravel, there is floating pondweed, cattails, and a vegetative cover of bulrush. Crappie are more easily caught during the winter months when the fish school around structures located in deep water. The spring months bring the crappie into shallow water where they intend to spawn. The main-lake points, ledges, and channels provide an excellent wintertime habitat for crappie. For Lake Bridgeport, Bean Creek and Big Creek are two of the best spots for crappie during the spring with minnows and jigs being the bait of choice year round. Lake Bridgeport has been known to boast some rather large channel cats. These fishing line breakers are best in the spring when tributaries are running and again in the summer when the fish concentrate on their “sunning” atop submerged flats and can be drift-fished with shrimp or cut bait. White bass fishing is best during the spring spawning season. All main-lake points and any

inflowing tributaries are good places to snag one of in the water fishing for bass, try crawfish-mimickthese beauties, but you are likely to see them any- ing baits, spinners, and jigs in turbid and shallow water. These grand-pappy fish are just waiting for where. It is not unusual to see them during the summer the roll of a spinner bait, bump of a crankbait, or a months in front of the dam, near Rattlesnake Island Texas rigged worm being dabbled around the gravel in open water, and around those coveted gravel piles. piles to make their strike. When they do, you better The winning baits here are surface lures, plastic be holding on to something solid, or have someone shad, small spoons, jigs, and live minnows or shad. holding on to you! No matter what type of fisherman you are, beHybrid striped bass like the same bait, and can be found in the same locations, but during the win- ginner, amateur, or bonafide pro, Lake Bridgeport ter months they can usually be found feeding on shad has it all. So plan a trip to the area and see what this and drawing the attention of hundreds of sea gulls. beautiful lake can do for your family’s memory box. The average fisherman can look forward to finding a variety of black bass in Lake Bridgeport including largemouth, spotted, and smallmouth. Fishing is a sport that captivates many people. It provides more than They are caught year just a chance for a leisurely getaway; fishing is also big business. Accordround, but spring and fall ing to the American Sportfishing Association (ASA), there are 40 million are tops for the most sucanglers in the United States alone. Fishing enthusiasts and people who fish cessful trips. for a living help to employ the manufacturers of fishing poles, lures, tackle For those who want boxes, and all of the other necessities for the sport. It is estimated that $45 nothing but a trophy billion in retail sales are generated each year from sportfishing. catch, try fishing in FebA report by the 2006 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildliferuary and March. SucAssociated Recreation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lists California as cessful baits for the the state with the most recreational anglers ages 16 and up for that year. spring months are the But all across the country, anglers cast their lines for fun - and new fishing Carolina Rig worm or 6recruits sign up every season. inch lizard, a Texas There are many different types of fishing, so you're bound to find a method rigged worm measuring you will enjoy. Here's a look at some of the popular types. 7-inches, and crankbaits. Fishing line fishing: This is by far the most popular type of fishing around. As summer rolls around Using a rod and line, a fisherman attempts to hook a fish with a hook and the jig and pig, spoons, bait. Texas rigged worms, and Hand fishing: This type of fishing is just what the name implies. A percrankbaits seem to work son uses his or her hands to catch a fish, such as in lobster or pearl diving. the best. In some areas of the southern U.S. catfish are caught this way. This type of If fall finds you on or fishing for catfish is called noodling. Trolling: This is a form of fishing that involves drawing the fishing lure through the water in order to attract fish. This method is often used when fishing for big game fish such as marlin and tuna. Bow/Spear fishing: This is based on a primitive type of fishing where a person stands above the water to shoot or spear a fish. In the past the spears were hand-thrown and the bows hand-powered. Today, automatic spear guns and pneumatic bows help propel the weapon at the target. Dredging: This is a method of attaching a large net or chain mesh behind a boat to scoop up fish. It is commonly used to catch scallops and oysters, and is typically associated with commercial fishing. Fishing can take place on the shore, while standing in the water or aboard a boat. Regardless of the type, the end result is to catch a meal or a trophy fish. Still, most sportfishing enthusiasts simply fish for the thrill, and then throw their catch back. Bait Fishing vs. Spin Fishing: Sportfishermen typically use two main methods of catching fish when line fishing. Bait fishing involves using live or dead bait, which the fisherman attaches to a hook. Depending upon the fish sought out, the bait will either lie on the hook at the bottom of the water, be jigged to attract the fish, or slowly reeled in to catch a fish's eye. Spin fishing relies on using an artificial lure that will spin under the water attracting fish. The lure is chosen to mimic the natural prey of the species being fished.

Lakefoto by Paul Barnett

Different types of fishing

Page 50… 2011 Lake Edition

Bridgeport Conference Center ideal for multiple events by J.D. Clark The Bridgeport Conference Center (BCC) on FM 2952 occupies a prime spot on Lake Bridgeport. The conference center is part of the camping and retreat ministry of the North Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church. The camp was developed when the North Texas Annual Methodist Conference accepted a gift of 142 acres of land from the citizens of Bridgeport in 1947. After that, a massive capital funds campaign began, and monetary gifts flowed in from across North Texas, ultimately resulting in the BCC. The camp officially opened on August 16, 1949, with 128 intermediates and adult counselors in attendance. Caleb Burk, who began working at the camp in February 2007, is the director of guest services. Trueman Hoffmeister, the executive director of the camp, just joined the team in November of 2008. He has 18 years experience working with camps and conferences for the YMCA, and is excited to make the transition to BCC. He moved from North Carolina where he managed an 2,160 acre YMCA camp that he helped develop and build from the ground up.

During its peak season, the camp employs approximately 35 people. Each decade has seen improvements, growth, and renovation at the camp. Notable improvements in recent years include the new water mains, a new swimming pool, a massive ropes course, and the Lakeside Lodges, which expanded the camp’s bed space by approximately 50 places. There are several impressive buildings available for use at the BCC. The Kiker Building, complete with cooking, dining, and conference facilities, was once the main building in the camp until Martin Hall was built in 1964. Martin Hall is a large building that can seat 250 for meals and other large group meetings. Its large rear windows look out over a large wooden cross and outdoor amphitheater, with a lake background. Folsom Center is located at the edge of the lake and provides wide, beautiful views of Lake Bridgeport. The center contains a fireplace pit, a balcony, a downstairs seating area, and kitchen facilities. It is considered to be an ideal spot for meetings and retreats. Additionally, the pool facility is located next to Folsom. There are 270 overnight

spaces available at the camp. The cabins available at the camp are Lakeside Lodges, Hilltop Doubles, and Hilltop Dorms. Up to five different groups can be accomodated at one time, and food service is available to those using the camp.

A variety of camp sessions usually entertain over 2,000 children and young adults each summer. Between May 27 and August 16, college camps, SEEK camps, music and arts camps, childrens’ camps, junior high camps, and senior high camps will be held.

The facilities can also be rented by members of the community for parties and “all types of events.” For more information at the BCC or to rent spaces, contact Burk at 940-683-2555. The center also is online at

Chico High School graduates Steven Gassiot (left) and Jordan Karch face the challenges that the BCC’s ropes course poses. Lakefoto by J.D. Clark




The entrance to the Bridgeport Conference Center (BCC) is located on FM 2952, alongside Lake Bridgeport. It is a popular site for church retreats as well as meetings and other gatherings. Lakefoto by J.D. Clark




(940)683-2555 Fax (940)683-3085

P.O. BOX 215, 3280 FM 2952 BRIDGEPORT, TX 76426

2011 Lake Edition … Page 51

Building of Lake Bridgeport brought needed jobs to area continued from page 14 District. It and Eagle Mountain Lake form the West Fork part of the water district . The water from these lakes, flowing through Lake Worth, supplied all the raw water needed by the District until the 1970s. In the 1950’s record drought and a growing Tarrant County population led the District to look for more water sources.

They received permits in 1957 for two more reservoirs, which initiated the Cedar Creek Lake and Richland-Chambers Reservoir. Cedar Creek Lake construction began in 1960 and began water delivery to the Metroplex through a 72-inch pipeline in 1973. The Richland-Chambers Reservoir project began in

1979, was finished in 1988 and is the third largest to lie totally within Texas. Its shoreline covers approximately 400 miles and its surface covers 45,000 acres. It delivers up to 180 million gallons per day to the district.

Lake Arlington was built and is owned and operated by that city. The District supplies its water from Cedar Creek Lake. Lake Worth, constructed from 1911-1914, is owned and operated by the City of Fort

Worth. Its water comes from release at Eagle Mountain. Marine Creek Lake, on Fort Worth’s north side, was constructed and is owned by the District.

Deep roots flourish at the old Mitchum/ Marlett place continued from page 4 was killed in Germany in April 1945. Another confusion along the way, according to Marlett, was the name of the school that used to sit on the old Mitchum place. He said there was a church named the Mount Horum Church, to the north of the Mitchum place. The school picked up the name Mount Horum School; however, the name was really the Lyle School, according to the Lyle sisters, who lived in the area for a very long time. Marlett said there is one of the Lyle sisters who is 103 years old, now living in Salado, who remembers that the school was called the Lyle School, possibly because so many Lyles went to school there. Life came and went as usual on the lake until World War II came around, and military activity moved into the area, temporarily using the body of water as a practice area for landing maneuvers, drills, and other military actions. “They carried wooden rifles,” said Marlett. They dug fox holes where Marlett’s house is now. Marlett said he could remember how the military would circle out in the lake in landing craft, like the kind that landed in Normandy, and then land on the shores. Once landed, the men would come stampeding out of the boats and onto the land. They made a large stone bullseye target, on the hill where the Methodist Camp is now, and used if for bombing practice. It was an amazing sight to see

when he was a young boy, said Marlett. He said during the time of the war, his grandfather was a guard at the marine landing craft base stationed on the lake. One day his grandfather dropped his gun on the concrete floor, causing it to fire, and shooting him in the shoulder. Six or seven days later, his grandfather Mitchum died. Marlett said he can remember visiting his grandparent’s place every summer. Even though he never lived in Wise County, except when he was an infant and lived in Chico, he decided he wanted to retire on Runaway Bay bridge in the early 1980’s during a major drought. Photo contributed by Doris Ware the old homestead. He designed and built a home, much like the original two-story home that first sat on the Mitchum Place. Now he and Carolyn invite their grandchildren to make their own memories of Lake Bridgeport. Since the first house was built, some of the land has gone into other hands, but the place where Robert and Carolyn’s home sits is just as deeply rooted into his being as his historical memories of the place.

“Today is your reward for being safe yesterday.”

856 FM 2952 • Chico • 940-644-2759

Page 52… 2011 Lake Edition

‘Experience the Difference’ that life at Senior Care Health & Rehabilitation Center delivers. Our mission is to treat each resident with dignity and respect while making a difference in their life.

We offer a full array of services from skilled nursing care and rehabilitation to assisted and independent living. A full team of therapy professionals is on staff to provide therapeutic intervention.

Our goal is to enhance the lives of each of our residents by providing personalized care, a comfortable environment and stimulating activities. Come experience the difference that life at Senior Care Health & Rehabilitation Center delivers.

Senior Care Health & Rehabilitation Center 2108 15th Street • BRIDGEPORT • 940/683-5023 701 Bennett Road • DECATUR • 940/626-2800

2011 Lake Edition … Page 53

Wise County Park rules of conduct (a)Entrance/user fees: payment. It is an offense to enter, use, or occupy a facility in any portion of a park for which a fee has been established, unless the person has first paid the fee or satisfied the requirements of the fee, has received an entrance/use permit issued by the department, and has attached the permit to their vehicle as and when required by the permit. If the office is closed, payment must be made according to posted instructions or signage. (b)Use of facilities. It is an offense to: (1) use an area or facility for any purpose contrary to its designated purpose; and (2) keep, use, or arrange a motor vehicle, trailer, camping, or other equipment except as specified by the director. All vehicles and trailers must remain on paved surfaces and in designated areas only, unless otherwise specified by the director. (c) Plant life. It is an offense to willfully mutilate, injure, destroy, pick, cut, or remove any plant life except by permit issued by the director. (d)Fires; smoking; firewood; fireworks. It is an offense to: (1) light, build, or maintain a fire within a park except in a facility or device provided, maintained, or designated for such purposes or to smoke or build fires when an extreme fire hazard has been posted; (2) notwithstanding paragraph (1) of this subsection, portable camp stoves may be used in designated campsites or picnic areas; (3) possess within a park any fireworks, explosives, or similar devices capable of explosion, or to discharge, set off, or cause to be discharged in or into a park any such device or substance, except with written authorization from the director. (e) Animals. It is an offense to: (1) bring into or possess within a park a pet or other domesticated animal, unless the animal is secured by a leash not exceeding six feet in length, or confined in a vehicle, or to permit an animal to enter into or remain in a unit of the park

unless so secured; (2) permit a pet or other animal to remain unattended or create a disturbance or hazard within a park; (3) permit an animal (except a trained assistance animal accompanying a person with a disability) to enter into or remain in any building or enclosure designated for public use including, but not limited to, a restaurant, snack bar, cabin, lodge room, restore, park store, shelter, refectory building, amphitheater, administration building, or railroad coach; (4) permit a pet animal in the water of a designated swimming area or to permit a pet animal (except a trained assistance animal accompanying a person with a disability) within the land or beach area adjacent to the water of a designated swimming area; (5) bring into, permit to range, or release into a park a wild animal, pet, fowl, or livestock except as authorized in this chapter or a permit or by law; (6) possess a noisy, vicious, or dangerous animal, or one which is disturbing to other persons, in a park; (7) through (10) no horses (f) Arms and firearms. It is an offense to: (1) possess a firearm with a cartridge or projectile in any portion of the mechanism, except when authorized by the commission or the director; (2) display a firearm, except when authorized by the director or the commission; (3) discharge across, in, or into a park any arm, firearm, or device capable of injuring or killing any person or animal or damaging or destroying public or private property, except when authorized by the director. (g)Assembly. It is an offense to conduct or participate in an assembly or public demonstration except with written permission of the director. (h)Nudity and disrobing. It is an offense to appear nude. (i) Closed area. It is an offense to: (1) prevent or interfere with development, construction, or management of a park;

and (2) enter or remain in an area of a park that has been closed by the director for any reason, including security, safety, preservation, or restoration. (j) Alcoholic beverages. It is an offense to consume or display an open container of an alcoholic beverage in a public place or sell alcoholic beverages within a park. (k)Soliciting. It is an offense to solicit funds or donation of any item, or offer to sell any goods, wares, merchandise, liquid, or edibles, or render any service for hire, or distribute written material, in a park, except by authority of a concession agreement approved by the director. (l) Metal detector. It is an offense to operate or use a metal detector. (m) Responsibility for minor children. It is an offense to permit a child or ward to violate a regulation when such child or ward is under 17 years of age. (n)Speed limit. It is an offense to drive a vehicle within a park at a speed: (1) greater than is reasonable or prudent, having due re-

gard for the traffic and the road conditions then existing; (2) which endangers the safety of persons or property; (3) which exceeds the posted speed limit in any portion of the park system. (o)Vehicle operation. It is an offense to operate a vehicle in a park except on roads, driveways, parking areas, and areas designated open for vehicles. (p)Parking. It is an offense to: (1) park a vehicle or trailer in a park except in areas designated, constructed, or designated for that purpose; and (2) park, store, or leave a vehicle or trailer in violation of subsection (b) of this section when signs have been posted in the affected areas. (q)Motorcycles. It is an offense to operate a motorcycle that is not licensed and inspected as authorized by Texas Motor Vehicle Laws. (r) Trail use. It is an offense to operate or use a vehicle, including a motorcycle, a motorbike, a mini-bike, an all-terrain vehicle, a golf cart, or a bicycle on a trail or path not designated and posted for use by such vehicles (wheel chairs and electric scooters used by persons

with a disability are exempt) or use the trail in a manner that is dangerous to a person or animal. (s) Traffic. It is an offense to: (1) operate a vehicle in a park between the park closing hour and 6 a.m. opening hour, except for emergency or necessary purposes; and (2) operate a vehicle in an indiscriminate or unnecessary manner (cruising). (t) Camping. It is an offense to camp except as authorized by permit in areas designated or marked for that purpose. Camping is defined as: (1) occupying a designated camping facility; (2) erecting a tent, arranging bedding, or both, for the purpose of, or in such a manner as will permit, remaining overnight; or (3) use of a trailer, camper, or other vehicle for the purpose of sleeping during nighttime hours. (u)Minors, camping. It is an offense to remain in a park between the park closing hour and opening hour, if the person is under the age of 17, except the following: (1) a person who is ac continued on page 60

The “Wise” Choice

WISE COUNTY TITLE COMPANY Conveniently serving the Lake Bridgeport area from our Bridgeport office 1709 9th St. • Suite 101 • Bridgeport • 940-683-3581 or from our Decatur office at 405 Park West Court • Decatur • 940-627-3581 For more information visit

Page 54‌ 2011 Lake Edition

2011 Lake Edition … Page 55

Activities available for young and old at Bay Landing RV Park some tent sites are available close to the lake. On-site are a wealth of outdoor activities for young and old alike. There is, of course, plenty of fishing in the wellstocked and beautiful waters of Lake Bridgeport. Boat and canoe rentals can be arranged. There is also a pool and a hot tub for those afraid of lake water. The campground has a children’s program with plenty of activities to keep the young ones engaged for hours. Other on-site entertainment includes a basketball court, bicycle rentals, mini-golf, ping-pong, shuffleboard courts, a playground, a game room with pool table, biking and walking paths, a volleyball court, an 18 hole executive golf course, and horse shoe pits. For resting in the RV, there are also video movie rentals. For those who cannot completely break away from the internet for a few days, modem hook-ups are available along with a copy and fax service.

by Thomas Stone Located along the southern shores of Lake Bridgeport, Bay Landing is a spacious, wellkept Recreational Vehicle (RV) camping park with a number of amenities for vacationing campers. Although service is limited during winter months, full amenities can be enjoyed March through October. Campsite accommodations include 28 full RV hook-ups sites; 17 of those with 30/50 amp power, 250 (30 amp) power and water only. Additionally, there are two dump stations and a honey bucket truck. Available cabin rentals include two deluxe cabins, 28 “regular” cabins, and four Aframes. Two cars are allowed per reserved site. Additional cars are charged a nominal fee per car. Oh, and pets are welcome. Tent camping is also available. Each site has a picnic table, a grill, fire ring, and there is a bath house located nearby. Some tent sites have 30 AMP outlets available. As a bonus,

On the practical side, the campground also has a coin-op laundry facility, ironing boards and irons (if you want to look good while fishing), and ice can be purchased. Shower facilities are also available. Bay Landing is a controlled, gated campground with 24 hour se-

curity. Located off-site just a few miles down the road is the beautiful Club at Runaway Bay offering golf, dinner, and adult refreshments in the bar. Lake Bridgeport is known for its fishing, water sports, and its excellent paddling trails.

Check In time is 12:00 p.m. and it is the same for check out time. For more information, please call (877) 570-2267. Bay Landing is located off Highway 380, four miles west of Bridgeport.

Lakefoto by Paul Barnett

Bridgeport 35


Lake Lake Bridgeport Bridgeport


LBJ Natl. Grasslands


Bridgeport Bridgeport





114 920

2009 National Main Street City 2007 Texas Emerging Technology Fund $1.5 Million Grant Recipient: OptiSense Network, Inc.

Bridgeport leads the way among small cities An established and expanding industrial base fires the local economy, creating tremendous retail and residential opportunities


Denton Denton


2011 Texas Main Street City

New retail and restaurants 81

Wise Wise County County


Bridgeport is at the nucleus of Barnett Shale activity


287 81

Ft. Worth


Alliance 114 Alliance Airport Airport



Fort Worth

Tarrant Tarrant County County

A new healthcare industry is attracting medical professionals and drawing patients from a wide area

10 Miles

BridgeporT E C O N O M I C D E V E L O P M E N T C O R P O R AT I O N

William Myers – Executive Director 608 13th Street (Street Address) P.O. Box 298 (Mailing Address) Bridgeport, Texas 76426 T 940.683.3490 F 940.683.2888

North Texas Community Hospital transforming medical offerings

Bridgeport is the closest retail center for thousands of under-served households — with more on the way An aggressive capital improvement plan, including a tax-increment zone, is funding major water, sewer, and roadway projects

Stagecoach displayed in the “Stagecoach Capital of Texas”

The City’s new industrial park is designed with hundreds of acres of recreation and conservation land — putting the “park” back in “business park” and creating eco-tourism business opportunities The City is minutes from Lake Bridgeport and Runaway Bay

New hotels with generous amenities and meeting facilities

Contact us to explore your own Bridgeport opportunities

Page 56… 2011 Lake Edition

Island names remain a mystery by Staff Horse, steele, stripling and rattlesnake–these words may seem mismatched and jumbled and may not mean much to many, but for those living near Lake Bridgeport, those words take on a whole new meaning. While the lake has nine islands located on their property, the four largest and most wellknown ones are Rattlesnake Island, Stripling Island, Horse Island and Steele Island.

Lakefoto by Jo Gilbreath

Both Rattlesnake and Stripling Islands are linked to the main roadway by a causeway. “I have no idea how they got their names,” said Richard Ellis of the Tarrant Regional Water District. He guesses that the islands were probably named in the 1920s and 1930s while the lake was being built. Rattlesnake Island probably got its name from its inhabitants, according to Ellis.

Gas and oil wells are located on the island, and workers continue to find rattlesnakes around the land. The naming of Horse Island has not been made known as of yet, and the word “stripling,” found in the Webster’s Dictionary means, an adolescent, youth or young one. Unless new information surfaces, the stories behind these curious names will remain a mystery.

Lakefoto by Jo Gilbreath

2011 Lake Edition … Page 57

Mouth-watering breakfast and lunch menus await you! (And FRIDAY IS FISH DAY!) We proudly announce the completely remodeled and improved ONE STOP OF TEXAS - the Shopping Oasis of Lake Bridgeport! You will find a dining area to serve quality breakfast and lunch items, and a wellstocked meat market including all your favorites - sausages, chicken, beef cuts and more! We offer specials everyday and keep the grill open until 8 p.m., Mon.-Fri. Of course, all your favorite cold beverages will be on hand - beer, wine and coolers - but you’ll also enjoy shopping in a clean, brightly-lit and non-smoking envi- YOU’VE RELIED ON ONE STOP FOR YEARS to supply qualronment for the grocery items you need. ity meats at affordable prices. We hope you’ll take the opporClean indoor restrooms await you, and tunity to see what’s waiting for your outdoor barbecue now. your favorite boating and automotive fuels, oils and accessories are available. You’ll find a clean, well-stocked and uplifting store to entice you to return again and again. We hope you’ll accept the offer. Berry and Linda White and Berry White IV


STOP Est. 1970


FISHING HEADQUARTERS ON LAKE BRIDGEPORT! We stock your favorite lures, rods and reels, live bait (crappie, bass & goldfish), minnow buckets and related items, and have an enclosed bait room for cleanliness and convenience.

Runaway Bay, Texas Phone 940/575-2811

Page 58… 2011 Lake Edition

Butterfield Mail Company’s route passed Col. Hunt’s headquarters in what is now Lake Bridgeport by Dr. Robert Marlett and Keith Bridwell February, 2010, marked the sesquicentennial of the first bridging of the Trinity River at a site that became the village of Bridgeport, Texas. That bridge was built to accommodate the Overland Mail Company’s route from the eastern railhead at Tipton, Missouri, through Decatur, Bridgeport, Jacksboro and on to San Francisco on the west coast. This John Butterfield venture was the first, and longest, transcontinental stage coach route in the world. Although a mail stagecoach route already existed from San Antonio to California, it did not connect directly to eastern railroads as Butterfield’s route did. The Wise County part of this great mail, freight and passenger route was constructed primarily by local folks, led by Col. W.H. Hunt, who saw the benefits of this kind of commerce for Wise County. This road left the “bridged port” and proceeded west for about two miles. It ascended the hill that borders Lake Bridgeport on its southeastern side. This is probably where FM 1658 turns from west to north in the City of Lake Bridgeport. Proceeding south-southwest approximately three hundred yards down Twin Hills Road, it then turned slightly west and entered the valley now inundated by Lake Bridgeport. It crossed Boon’s Creek and passed near Col. Hunt’s ranch headquarters. Next, it passed between the hills that are now called Rattlesnake and Horse Islands. The road then ascended the western side of the valley and proceeded along a route that is now Jim Ned Road, passing through the northern part of what became Wizard Wells, on to Jacksboro and thence to San Francisco. A.C. Greene’s 900 Miles on the Butterfield Trail described Waterman L. Ormsby accompanying two small packages of mail from St. Louis to San

Francisco in 1858 on the first westbound journey of the Butterfield, and riding directly from Joseph B. Earhart’s station at Hog Eye Prairie, as the area was called, inside Jack County, “to Jacksborough, fording the West Fork of the Trinity River about halfway between the two stations. “In December, 1858, a small station was established at this West Fork crossing because frequent flooding often caused the river to be too high to ford, so passengers and m a i l needed shelter until the water went down. “Albert D. Richardson, on September 28, 1859, arrived on the westbound stage at 1 a.m. and ‘found the West Trinity too much swollen for fording. The little station was full; so we slept refreshingly upon corn-

husks in the barn.’” Next morning, Mr. Greene’s account tells that “passengers crossed the river on ‘a slippery log’ while the drivers, conductor and station men carried the heavy mail bags over the same way. Another coach was waiting on the

far bank to continue the trip.” “The 1860 stage route ran slightly north of Wizard Wells. (It was originally named Vineyard for George Washington Vineyard. When the Rock Island Railroad built through in 1898, another town, some two

miles south, became Vineyard.) The stage line, from a few miles above it, paralleled modern U.S 380 into the Jacksboro station, south of the town square. “The 1858 Butterfield route, which had passed far north of both Decatur and Bridgeport, followed a southwest course from the Earhart station location on the banks of Big Sandy Creek, and it, too, passes through many roadless acres laced by the maze of West Fork (Trinity) bottoms. “But Highway 1810, while paved, sticks close enough to the old roadway to furnish the atmosphere of the run, going by Cundiff and Maryetta, four miles west. It’s a pleasant drive, but if you are bound to drive over a stretch of the old trail, there is a gravel road off to the left less than a mile west

of Cundiff which, in its eleven miles or so, uses more than two miles of the mail road. “The passage is more than worth the extra mileage involved in traveling it. The West Fork of the Trinity station was located on the north bank, just east of where the present road crosses the West Fork.” From Decatur to Bridgeport the modern highway must follow the old mail road fairly closely. Mr. Greene continues, “Going south through town [Bridgeport], you come to a marker telling about the toll bridge, built over the West Fork of the Trinity in 1860, and the site of the old town of Bridgeport, which occupied a meadow some 50 feet to the east of the river crossing. As the historical plaque states, the wooden toll bridge fell in shortly after the Butterfield ceased operating in 1861. The town moved over about a mile to the railroad when it built to this point in 1893, despite the fact a sturdy iron bridge had replaced the fallen wooden one in 1873.”

2011 Lake Edition … Page 59

Lightning only one of many dangers on the water Boating, swimming and other water sports are some of the more enjoyable recreational activities, provided safety is intermixed with fun. There are a variety of dangers lurking below the surface of the water and from water itself. But many people don't realize the dangers beyond the water, notably lightning. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), an estimated 40 million lightning strikes account for nearly 100 deaths annually in the United States, making lightning considerably more harmful than hurricanes and sharks. Being completely exposed on a boat or another type of craft, such as a surfboard or water skis, makes water recreation dangerous when a storm is pre-

lightning to realize the danger involved. Lightning occurs when the difference between the positive and negative charges, the electrical potential, becomes great enough to overcome the resistance of the insulating air and forces a conductive path between the positive and negative charges. Lightning will generally seek the easiest path to the ground. Therefore it tends to strike the highest point in the immediate area. On the flat surface of the water, that is generally a boat. Most smaller crafts are not made from metal. They are made from lightweight materials such as fiberglass. Therefore, if lightning strikes, it will search for any path to ground and the human body may be How Risky Is Lightning? It's important to understand the best route. Radio antennae, fishing some fundamentals about dicted. Sailboats with their tall masts are more susceptible to lightning hits than powerboats. But lightning can also funnel through the electronic systems on any boat. The National Marine Electronics Association dealers report substantial amounts of lightning damage to big-boat electronics every year. According to marine experts, there are no ways to actually protect a boat from lightning, just ways to limit the damage if a strike should occur. Actually, keeping a boat docked during storms that have the potential for lightning is the only surefire way to ensure passenger safety.

struck by lightning. Prompt artificial breathing and CPR can jump-start the heart and lungs should they fail after a strike. Remember, there is no danger to touching a person who has been struck by lightning - the current has already Medical Help CPR may be required to res- passed through to the ground cue a person who has been or water. Keep a level head and provide emergency care. rods - and even lightning protection system rods themselves - may be targets for lightning strikes. Again, reason enough to keep off the water if lightning is forecast.

Bridwell Publishing Co. Publisher: Keith Bridwell Photo Editor: Jo Gilbreath Production Director: Francine West Reporters: Whitney Bridwell, Paul Barnett, Jeannette Ward, Thomas Stone Contributors: Joann Pritchard, J.D. Clark, Dorthy Clark Front Cover Design by: Jo Gilbreath Design & Layout by: Francine West

Avoid boating or entering the water when strong lightning-producing storms are predicted. Lakefoto by Shelley Moore

Photography: Paul Barnett, Keith Bridwell, Jo Gilbreath, Shelley Moore, Thomas Stone, Jeannette Ward, Francine West

FACTS about Lake Bridgeport• 3 miles wide • 8 miles long • maximum depth of 85 feet • average depth of 29 feet • 70 miles of shoreline • 12,900 surface acres at conservation pool level • 836 feet above sea level • 851 feet maximum flood elevation • 844.53 feet highest level in May, 1990; second highest level was 839.57 feet in 1989; third highest was 838.84 feet in 1982 • lowest level was 779.8 feet in 1956; second lowest level was 784.0 feet in 1957; third lowest was 787.0 feet in 1954 • 386,539 acre feet water conservation storage • 537,295 acre feet flood storage • 923,814 acre feet total capacity • dam height is 137 feet • dam length is 1,800 feet • spillway maximum release is 47,092 cfs (cubic feet per second) • watershed size is 1,111 square miles • lake elevation raised from 826 feet to 836 feet in 1972.

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Wise County Park rules of conduct continued from page 53 companied by a parent or legal guardian; (2) a person who furnishes to the park headquarters the written consent of and the full name, residence, and telephone number of parent or legal guardian; (3) a person who is part of a group which is supervised during those hours by at least one responsible adult for each 15 persons under the age of 17; and (4) married couples. (v)Peace and quiet. It is an offense to: (1) disturb other persons in sleeping quarters or in campgrounds between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.; and (3) cause, create, or contribute to any noise which is broadcast, or caused to be broadcast, into sleeping quarters or campgrounds, or which emits sound beyond the person’s immediate campsite, between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.; whether by shouting or singing, by using a radio, phonograph, television, or musical instrument, or by operating mechanical or electronic equipment: (A) use electronic equipment, including electrical speakers, at a volume which emits sound beyond the immediate individual camp or picnic site at any time without specific permission of the director; (B) create a disturbance by causing excessive

noise by any means. (w) Abandoned and unattended property. It is an offense to: (1) abandon a vehicle or other person property; (2) leave a vehicle, boat, barge, or other property unattended in a unit of the park system in such a manner as to create a hazardous or unsafe condition; and (3) leave property unattended in a park without having received prior permission from the director or to leave a vehicle unattended after the closing hour, unless such person is legally in the park after closing, and unless he has parked the vehicle in a place designated by the director or he has prior permission from the director. (x)Water skiing; swimming. It is an offense to: (1) engage in water skiing, surf boarding while being towed, towing a person or a similar device, or operate a motorized ski device on lakes of less than 650 surface acres located in a park; (2) enter water or swim in an area closed for that activity; (3) swim at night unless otherwise posted; and (4) introduce, carry into, or possess, use, break, dispose of, throw, or abandon any glass container in the water of a

swimming area, swimming pool, or in the beach area adjacent to the water of a swimming area. (y)Mooring. It is an offense to: (1) moor, dock, or berth a boat or any other object between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., except in mooring areas designated by the director; and (2) moor, dock, or berth a commercial vessel at any part of a park except by permit from the director. (`z) Public use limit. It is an offense to: (1) enter into, or remain in, an area or facility for which a public use limit has been established when such action will have the effect of exceeding the established limitations; and (2) exceed the public use limit establishing a maximum number of persons and, if appropriate, the number and type of motor vehicles, trailers, and equipment permitted to enter into, or remain in, a designated area or facility at any time. (aa) Checkout time. It is an offense to continue to occupy a facility past checkout time when a checkout time has been established by the director. (bb) Wildlife. It is an offense to: (1) harm, harass, disturb, trap, confine, catch, possess, or

remove any wildlife, or portions of wildlife from a unit of the park system, except by a permit issued by the director or as provided by the Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 62, Subchapter D; and (2) release any fish into the waters of any park, except as authorized by the Parks and Wildlife Code. (cc) Geological features. It is an offense to take, remove, destroy, deface, tamper with, or disturb any rock, earth, soil, gem, mineral, fossil, or other geological deposit except by permit issued by the director. (dd) Cultural features and/or artifacts. It is an offense to take, remove, destroy, deface,

tamper with, or disturb any artifact or cultural feature except by permit issued by the director. (ee) Waste water, sewage, and gray water. It is an offense to: (1) deposit waste water, sewage, or effluent from sinks, toilets, or other plumbing fixtures directly on the ground or into the water; (2) use any water fountain, drinking fountain, pool, sprinkler, reservoir, lake or any other water body contained in the park for bathing, laundering, and washing dishes, pets, or vehicles; and (3) deposit fish parts at any location except park fish cleaning facilities.


Bridgeport Area Chamber of Commerce is genuinely committed to the growth and prosperity, not only of the City of Bridgeport, but the entire surrounding area. ••• “Come enjoy the hometown atmosphere on Historic Halsell Street in Downtown Bridgeport. Good food, antique shops, salons, and boutiques.” ••• Lake Bridgeport ... Year- round recreation ... the only reliable source of fresh water in the county ... the addition of countless dollars to our economy ... attracting business, industry and outdoor enthusiasts. President ............................................... Colby Shawn First Vice President ............................... Will Carpenter Second Vice President ......................... Mary Williams Executive Director ....................................... Teri Bland

Lakefoto by Paul Barnett

Bridgeport Area Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center 812 A Halsell Street • Bridgeport, Texas 76426 940-683-2076 •

Safety tips for skiers For the number of participants in the nation, nearly 16 million, water skiing is remarkably a safe sport considering the action. The reason for this is the observance by most boaters and skiers to common-sense rules of safety. It starts with having good communications between the boat driver, the skier and the observer in the boat who’s watching the skier. Here are some additional tips: • Know the waters in which you’re skiing to avoid any shoals, stumps, posts that may be unseen just beneath the water’s surface. • Never water ski at night or in a fog. • Stay clear of solid objects such as buoys, abutments, and other boats and the like. • Know the ability of the boat driver and go over the hand signals you’ll be using to communicate before you get on the water.

• Keep a reasonable distance from fishermen, swimmers and other skiers when water skiing. • Know the state and local laws regarding water skiing and the extra safety items which may be required in your boat. • The skier should always wear a USCG approved Type III flotation jacket no matter

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how well he can swim. • Never use alcoholic beverages or drugs that may induce sleepiness when skiing or boating. • Never ski double with different rope lengths. If the skier on the long rope falls, the line can entangle the skier on the short rope.

Lakefoto by Francine West

Lakefoto by Jo Gilbreath

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Surveyor’s journals from the 1930s and ‘40s provide interesting glimspe into the past of Lake Bridgeport continued from page 18 included a diagram where he marked where he found a a dead doe and fawn in Beans Creek. On September 10, 1951, Funk wrote a long passage concerning the sighting of approximately 15 wild turkeys

near the Green Elm crossing on the west fork of the Trinity River. He then wrote, “Have seen many wild deer and turkey in and near this area this summer.” Obviously, the frequent sightings of these animals must have been unusual or Funk would not

have made such a detailed note in his jounal. In this same entry, Funk wrote that “skunks are often seen and at times have to be driven away from work area.” He also mentioned killing seven rattlesnakes (with “some near bites”) and noted seeing

Many websites offer more information by Staff If you have a little time, and you want to learn even more about Lake Bridgeport, you can get online for information. Many websites exist that can link you to information about Lake Bridgeport. The following websites can lead you to more information about the topics in which you may wish to learn, or just a place to visit for the fun of it. The Lake Bridgeport website is within reach at It’s a place where you can find all kinds of links to other information about the area around the lake. You can report people who litter, find out about the Sand Flat Volunteer Fire Department, read unofficial Lake Bridgeport news, find out about Lake Bridgeport’s Sportsman’s Association, and find many other links that could be helpful, including a link to the Bridgeport Historical Society. The website notes Lake Bridgeport as “11,954 acres with a maximum depth of 85 feet. The lake was created in 1932 to end flooding of the city of Fort Worth. Bridgeport reservoir was built with a flood control capacity of 580,000 acre-feet and conservation capacity of 290,000 acre feet. The original spillway had three 20-foot bays, two equipped with vertical lift gates and the third left open.” On this website, you can also find a link to the current Lake Bridgeport fishing report and records. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Website has a link to Lake Bridgeport and Wise County Park at There you can learn about of-

ficial facts about the lake, and the state park. More information is to be learned about Bridgeport Conference Center by logging onto To learn about a visitor’s guide online, log on to Fishing information can be found by logging on to At that website, you will find a “Google” search engine that searches just the sport fishing site. Enter “Lake Bridgeport,” and find out more. At, you can learn more about Wise County, which is where most of Lake Bridgeport is located. To learn more about the Tarrant County Water District, log on to There you can find facts about lake levels, more history on the lake, and other educational topics about Lake Bridgeport. To learn about the City of Lake Bridgeport, log on to At, you can find information on gaining a licensed guide to go out on the lake. Waterfront resident Keith Bunch is the owner/operator of Lake Bridgeport Guide Service, and with a lifetime of fishing, comes with plenty of experience on this lake. If all that isn’t enough information for you about Lake Bridgeport, there are some random blogs out there; just search the Internet, and you may come across them. On facebook, Lake Bridgeport has their own site. You can find it at lakebridgeport. While the site doesn’t provide much informa-

tion, it has pictures of the lake during all seasons submitted by fans of the site who have been to the lake. When you’re done reading about the lake, it will still be there waiting on you to get your feet wet in its waters.

several large wild cat carcasses on fences. Funk became the subject of his own notes when on August 1, 1946, he recorded that he did not work because he attended a funeral in Dallas. On August 12 of that year, he missed another day of work because of a case of poison oak. A dust storm on November 5, 1948, forced Funk and his crew to stop working. Funk noted the wind was so strong it could blow the transit over; a transit is the instrument on a tripod used to measure angles. Funk also kept excellent notes on his various financial affairs. In 1949, Funk noted that untrained helpers were paid at a rate of $0.75 an hour, while trained helpers were paid $1.02 an hour. For surveying 4641 feet of line, Funk recorded that the total cost of the survey “including surveyor, car, etc.” was $198.68. His cost for a survey was $0.05 per mile. Today, the cost

is 44.5 cents per mile. On June 27, 1946, Funk noted that he purchased three meals for $1.35, a seemingly unbelievable figure compared to today’s restaurant costs. On June 28, 1946, Funk recorded that he spent $0.50 sharpening his brush hook and later spent $0.23 on a phone call. On multiple occasions, Funk noted the water level of Lake Bridgeport. For example, on September 13, 1943, he recorded that the “top of the water” was at 810.75 feet. On April 12, 1944, he wrote that he measured the lake level on the gauges at the dam, which indicated the elevation to be 809.6 feet at 8:45 a.m. He also noted that the water was calm. Many of these notes may sound trivial, but obviously Funk found them important enough to be recorded in his professional notebooks. Today, they provide an interesting glimpse of what life was like for a surveyor in the lake area more than 50 years ago.

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2011 Lake Edition ‌ Page 63

Gunplay was also part of history of building of Lake Bridgeport Dam continued from page 12 stand between these men and their attackers. As the result of this and the discussion that Mr. Leamon had a few days later with the local group, two of the leaders of the local group were arrested for questioning but were not put under peace bonds. The next two weeks would have caused the tourist to think that the old wild west was being relived by the members of the Leamon faction or maybe they had not heard of the Texas law that did away with gun-toting. Everywhere that any of the Leamon faction went, whether it was in any of the stores or into an individual’s home they carried a shot gun and pistols strapped to their sides. This state of alarm was also observed on the job where the

men were working and an that followed in the next tim- sis and the value or price paid people had to work, their famiarmed check guard was placed ber clearing project. The next was very low in some cases lies were without food and at the entrance of all roads group were put on contract ba- and fair in other cases. But clothing. leading to the area where they worked. It was at this point that the Mexican Consular Service entered the investigation. The consular promptly caused all of the Mexican nationals to be given safe conduct to their homes in Mexico or elsewhere, where it was considered safe for them. Thanks should be given to the Mexican Consular Service for relieving a tense situation. It is not known whether the Mexican officials were invited by the Tarrant Water Board or came on their own accord to check on the trouble that had occurred to their nationals. This brought on changes and reprisals to the labor group

Photo circa 1931 as Lake Bridgeport was being constructed.

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The City of Runaway Bay is nestled along the southern shoreline of beautiful Lake Bridgeport in the rolling hills of Wise County Approximately  friendly people enjoy a leisurely lifestyle Runaway Bay is located  miles north of Fort Worth and miles west of Denton Driving distance to DFW International Airport is  miles and  miles to Dallas The warm dry climate allows practically year round golfing fishing and boating Runaway Bay boasts a challenging  hole cham pionship golf course with the finest bent grass greens in North Texas The Club is open to the pub lic and features an elegant dining room and lounge A modern marina owned by the City includes 

lighted boat slips in a wind protective cove Bridge port Municipal Airport bordering Runaway Bay offers  hour facilities Nearby one finds camp ing and outdoor activities at Bay Landing a Thousand Trails/NACO preserve and the Sid Richardson Boy Scout Reservation Lodging is available at the Harbor Inn and Westwind Manor Restaurants include The Club's dining room and lounge One Stop of Texas and Bay View Deli Mart Picnic facilities are located by the public beach area Cricket Ridge Park and The Park

Summer activities include a golf cart pa rade followed by a Fourth Fest spectacu lar fireworks display Fishing and golf tour naments attract participants throughout the year Beau t i f u l Bridge port Lake offers all sorts of recre ational opportu nities to visitors For more information contact us or visit the web site at wwwrunawaybay texascom

Lake Bridgeport 2011  
Lake Bridgeport 2011  

stories, pictures and local advertising for Bridgeport Lake in Bridgeport, Texas.