Newcastle Roadside Park – Newcastle TX


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.

Source notes

A Guide to Depression Era Roadside Parks in Texas. (1999). Environmental Affairs Division of the Texas Department of Transportation.  Retrieved from

Barnes, M. (2011). The state's first roadside park awaits a mantle of flowers. Austin-American Statesman. Retrieved from

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

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

Project originally submitted by Susan Allen on June 30, 2014.

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.


Location Info

US Hwy 380 & TX state hwy 61
Newcastle, TX 76372

Coordinates: 33.1773448, -98.74072949999999

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