The Civilian Conservation Corps At Loy Lake Park
(US 75, 1.5 mi S. of FM 120, Denison)
Grayson County officials became aware of a growing need for a public recreation facility for the area's approximately 65,500 residents in 1930. Four years later the Federal Government agreed to create a small lake on land provided by the county. The County Commissioners Court purchased a site 2.5 miles southwest of Denison in October 1933 and secured the services of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), a Federal Public Works program, to construct the dam and build a recreational park.
In early November, 200 men from Wisconsin who comprised CCC Company 857 arrived in Grayson County to begin construction. Many men returned home in April 1934 at the end of the six-month CCC contract. Though it was unusual to employ CCC workers in their own areas, 48 Grayson County men were enlisted to replenish the supply of workers in company 857. By 1934 the CCC men had created a recreation center with a lake, a roadway, 13 culvert bridges, six "battleship" picnic units, a baseball diamond, and a partially completed central tower of native stone. Initially called Grayson County Park, the facility was renamed Judge Jake l. Loy State Park in 1934 in an effort to secure state assistance in completing the park. The Commissioners Court retrieved custody of the park in 1937 after no state maintenance had occurred. Under the supervision of the County Commissioners Court, the facility created by the depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps Program continues to be enjoyed by area citizens.