There’s a rumor there’s a lot of artistic people residing in Hood County.
So, it’s only fitting that the celebration of Lake Granbury and DeCordova Bend Dam’s 50th birthday coincide with a community art contest.
The Brazos River Authority is kicking off the birthday party with a call for youth and adults to enter a local poster contest. The BRA is celebrating the anniversary of the completion of Lake Granbury and the DeCordova Bend Dam with an old-fashioned picnic in the park, highlighted by the organization’s 5th annual Water Safety Awareness Day.
The festivities will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the DeCordova Bend Park at 7710 Rainey Ct. and will include food, fun and freebies.
An expansion on the already-popular Water Safety Awareness Day, roughly 300 kids’ life jackets will be given away on a first-come, first-serve basis. And since Lake Granbury is a popular fishing location, the BRA will also give away 100 fishing poles to the first 100 kids. While we’re there, we will host a kids-only fishing tournament, awarding trophies for those who catch the biggest fish each hour. The day wouldn’t be complete without free hot dogs and birthday cake while supplies last, an antique boat display, tours featuring views of the downstream side of the dam, and roughly 30 different booths, featuring local organizations, and other surprises.
“We have an exciting event planned to commemorate our 50th year in Hood County,” said David Collinsworth, BRA general manager/chief executive officer. “There will be something for everyone at DeCordova Bend Park and we hope that all of Hood County will come out to enjoy the event.”
The entries from the winners of the local poster contest will also be featured at the event. Interested participants have until 5 p.m. April 17 to submit their poster to the BRA Lake Granbury office, 4552 Mambrino Hwy. Each person gets one entry and it must include original work. The poster art must feature the lake, dam and/or the theme “50 years in Hood County.” The poster can be no larger than 18”x24” and an entry form must be completed and taped to the back of the poster upon entry. Winners in each category will receive a trophy and an opportunity for an insider’s tour of the DeCordova Bend Dam. Entry forms and contest rules may also be obtained from the Lake Granbury office or via email request at email@example.com.
There is, after all, a lot of great history in the dam, lake and community.
Construction on Lake Granbury began in December 1966, with a groundbreaking ceremony at the site of the DeCordova Bend Dam. That construction was completed in late 1969, and a formal dedication attended by hundreds was held during the spring of 1970.
Constructed, owned, and operated by the BRA, the dam and lake provide a vital source of water supply. The project was authorized through a permit issued by the State of Texas in 1964 and provides capacity for conservation of flood and storm waters to meet the needs of municipalities, industries, agriculture, and mining. The reservoir was built without use of tax dollars, having been financed entirely with revenues from sales of water by the BRA. And the reservoir has five public access areas for picnicking and fishing, of which there are also four parks offering primitive camping sites.
The DeCordova Bend Dam is named for Jacob De Cordova, a prominent land agent and colonizer who settled in Texas during the late 1830s after the Texas Revolution. Before that, De Cordova helped supply Texans with necessary goods from New Orleans. After serving a term in the Texas House of Representatives in 1847, he traveled throughout the state and acquired land to sell to prospective settlers.
The 35.3-mile-long lake provides 8,282 acres of surface area and 121 miles of shoreline. The dam itself has 16 flood gates and is 84 feet tall. In 2020, there are more than 3,300 residential boat docks and another 25 commercial boat docks.
Granbury, which is 36 miles southwest of Fort Worth, is home to one of the three BRA reservoirs. The other two owned and operated by the BRA include Possum Kingdom Lake, located on the main stem of the Brazos River northwest of Fort Worth, and Lake Limestone, which is located on the upper Navasota River in Limestone, Robertson and Leon counties.
All three reservoirs were constructed for water supply purposes.