The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) developed the former Eastern New Mexico State Park, occasionally referred to as “Blackwater Draw Park”, ca. 1934-6.
Flynn: “This CCC-built site was originally created to reforest 9,600 acres of that Dust Bowl area. Later the state government reduced the amount of acreage to 400. The CCC built a large bath house, other houses, camping areas and a lake. All but one long house near the highway remains and was most likely the home for the park manager. In 1951 the state deeded the property to Eastern New Mexico University in Portales and they later built a large football stadium and the Blackwater Draw Museum which houses major archaeological findings from the area.”
Public Art and Architecture in New Mexico 1933-1943: A Guide to the New Deal Legacy, compiled by Kathryn A. Flynn (pg. 105)
(accessed Feb. 2018)
Project originally submitted by Evan Kalish on February 19, 2018.
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The remaining building was in fact the home of the first park manager. This was Howard Jones who not only manager but game warden lived on the site with his wife Verna and five children. He managed the lake maintenance operated concession stand, rented bathing suits,etc. When the archeologists were excavating the blackwater draw site (next door) they camped in the park and actually slept atop of the bath house. Mrs. Jones would prepare breakfast and sack lunches for them. Due to a population of prairie dogs in the area rattle snakes were prevalent. Jones moved into clovis in 1941. They were my parents.
Park manager from 1934 to 1941 was my father Howard Jones. My family lived in the only building left on the site. My family has photos of the park during that time period. Howard planted trees , maintained and stocked the lake built the entrance fence of adobe with a sign denoting the park. Constantly ridding the park of prairie dogs and rattle snakes. Operated the concession stand, rented bathing suits and maintained the bath house and many other duties in caring for the park.