The marker is located on the trail to the west of the spillway.
GPS coordinates: 33-degrees 50' 35" N and
98-degrees 32' 10" W
Officially incorporated in 1889, the City of Wichita Falls continued to experience growth entering the Twentieth Century. With this increased population, the availability of water remained important. As a result, Joseph A. Kemp, a local businessman and promoter of Wichita Falls, began looking for a place to build a dam. Always on the lookout for a lake location that could supply flood control, irrigation and community water, Kemp found a site at Holiday Creek.
While returning from a business trip after a rainstorm in 1900, Kemp came across a flooded Holiday Creek near the community of Bowman, a small town near Wichita Falls. At his own expense, Kemp then brought engineers who determined the potential location feasible for a reservoir. Residents of Bowman were forced to leave as the dam, completed in 1901, captured the water from Holiday Creek and formed a lake. The third man-made lake in Texas, a concrete dam, completed in 1921, eventually replaced the original earthen dam with a more reliable means of holding water.
Besides providing water and irrigation for residents, Lake Wichita became known as a choice recreation spot. In 1904, lands were granted for a public road to the lake. Shortly thereafter, Kemp developed amusements near the lake including a pavilion, hotel, race track, baseball park, rides, boating, picnicking and summer cottages. Lake Wichita's water levels continued to diminish due to silting and became essentially dry by 2014 before rebounding from significant rains. The lake served as the primary potable water source and recreational area for many years, and continues to hold an important place in the development of the community of Wichita Falls. (2107)