Originally, Kidd Springs was a private estate, “owned by James Kidd in the 1870’s. It was a private park in 1895, when the Kidd Springs Fishing and Boating Club began construction of a small spring fed lake. The park became a part of the Dallas Parks and recreation system in 1947.” wikipedia.
I’ve seen pictures of the private club where they had boat races. There’s also a postcard with a huge slide when it was a city park. During the 50’s, the park had a frame building near the existing pool and picnic area on Canty for dances and social gatherings.
During the 1980’s there was such a spirit of community in the area. Many families from the area joined forces and errected a large playground with a castle theme — an all day project — built on the Cedar Hill side. Modern in it’s day to prevent deterrioration, it eventually had to be torn down because of chemicals used in the wood. Today, a new, modern, and multi use playground stands in it’s place.
Once upon a time, kids explored the creek area where natural spring water flows.
Below is an account of a Times Herald Reporter when the park was a private “country club” that drew people to the area. Lake Cliff Amusement Park was either new to the area, or would soon open.
OF GREAT EXCELLENCE
Is Being Arranged in the Su-
burbs of Dallas.
Boating, Bathing and Fishing, With all
Modern Accessories, Will be Had at
the Famous Kidd Springs. A
Visit to the Grounds.
When the work planned by the recently organized Kidd Springs Fishing and Boating Club is completed, there will be one of the prettiest pleasure resorts in the state of Texas, or the southwest, almost within the city limits of Dallas.
This organization, which is arranged on the plan of a stock company, with each shareholder on pleasure bent, has bought nineteen acres of land, including the famous Kidd Springs, which have, for years, poured forth an inexhaustible supply of water, in the suburbs of Oak Cliff, and only a short ride or drive from Dallas.
The stock of the organization is divided into seventy-five shares at the value of $200 per share. To be a member, the person must hold one share, and no one man is allowed more than two shares. This is done in order to regulate the number of members.
Accompanied by a member of the club, a TIMES HERALD reporter paid a visit to the grounds a few days ago. Crossing the mighty Trinity on board an Oak Cliff car, and being whirled through that prosperous suburb with only a glimpse of the points of interest. the end of the line was gained. Turning to a right angle in a northward direction, a ten minute walk brought to view the famous springs, surrounded by a thick grove of pecan trees, interspersed with walnut, persimmon, plum and other trees. Here, a contractor with eighteen teams was at work, making the excavations and building the dam to form a lake. In this work, Nature has assisted greatly, a natural ravine, which, when properly dammed and some excavations made, will form a lake of remarkable size, being about 500 yards long, and about 200 yards wide, with an average depth of 25 feet. At the head of the lake will be a miniature island, which will be graced with a pagoda in the center, gainable by rustic bridges, and complete in other appointments.
Among the pecan trees above the lake will be built a club house, plans of which will hereafter be decided on. On the lake, a number of boats will placed and probably a steam launch for pleasure purposes. Bathing will be arranged for, the adults at a point seemingly designed for the purpose near the dam, and the younger element at the head of the lake, where the water deepens gradually.
The work of excavating and building the dam is rapidly nearing completion. The springs will furnish sufficient water the year around to keep the lake supplied, and an overflow is arranged at one part of the dam where the waste water can escape. It is intended that the arrangements will be complete by next summer, with the exception of the fishing feature, which will take a year or so to develop. As soon as the lake is finished, it will be supplied with all the choice finny tribes.
Every arrangement will look to the pleasure of the members, their families and friends. The rules in this regard will be just strict enough to accord every one equal rights.
– December 10, 1895, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 5, col. 1.
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