Former Roadside ParkSite of former roadside park, Newcastle Lake
Roadside picnic areas were created by the National Youth Administration in cooperation with the Texas Highway Department. Lyndon Baines Johnson was the first director of the Texas branch of NYA from 1935-37. Tables and benches were built of local materials, usually stone with concrete slab tops. The Newcastle park, constructed adjacent to the lake was part of the development of roadside parks in anticipation of the tourists and visitors to Texas for the 1936 Texas Centennial celebration. The original purpose was “to provide cool shade alongside tortuous highways navigated by Depression-era cars without air-conditioning” (Barnes, 2011). Only 41 parks remain of the 674 constructed (Williams, 2011). Nine of the remaining 41 are in Jeff Davis County near Ft. Davis. The picnic tables and benches from this park have been removed or demolished, although the markers remain.
A Guide to Depression Era Roadside Parks in Texas. (1999). Environmental Affairs Division of the Texas Department of Transportation. Retrieved from http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot-info/library/pubs/kids/roadside.pdf Barnes, M. (2011). The state's first roadside park awaits a mantle of flowers. Austin-American Statesman. Retrieved from http://www.statesman.com/news/lifestyles/the-states-first-roadside-park-awaits-a-mantle-of-/nRZHg/?__federated=1 Cushman, G. T. (2000). Environmental therapy for soil and social erosion: Landscape architecture and Depression-era highway construction in Texas. In Michel Conan (ed.) Environmentalism in Landscape Architecture, Volume 22. Washington, DC: Dumbarton Oaks. Hendrickson, Jr., K. E. National Youth Administration. Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved from http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/ncn04 Steely, J. W. (1999). Parks for Texas: Enduring landscapes of the New Deal. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press. Williams, J. (2011). State's historical roadside parks, rest area still serve a purpose. Temple Daily Telegram. Retrieved from http://www.milamcountyhistoricalcommission.org/newspaper_087.php
Project originally submitted by Susan Allen on June 30, 2014.
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