A History of the Parks in Carrollton, Texas
by student interns Lauren Garber and Samantha Pettey, November 2012
Introduction to the Parks: A Brief History of Carrollton
The following is a brief history of the Parks in Carrollton. Many of these parks are named after Carrollton’s early settlers and prominent leaders throughout Carrollton’s history. Below is a brief history of Carrollton designed to provide some background information on some of the parks named after early settlers and their families.
The Fifth Congress of the Republic of Texas (independent nation until it became a state in 1845) met in 1841 and adopted a law that ended up sparking interest in the area. “An Act Granting Land to Emigrants” was passed and the law’s purpose was to colonize unoccupied parts of Texas. William Smalling Peters was one of the contractors tasked with colonizing North Texas. The group in North Texas became more commonly known as The Peter’s Colony. The Peter’s Colony advertisements sparked interest in the area and is how Carrollton became settled. Most historians believe Carrollton received its name from the previous hometown of early settlers who migrated from Carrollton, Illinois. Settlers began to arrive during the time of the Peter’s Colony grant in 1844 but the name Carrollton was not officially established until May 16, 1878 when the first U.S Post Office opened in Carrollton.
A.W Perry was a founder of Carrollton during the 1840s. The Perry family was very generous and donated quite a bit of acreage to the city. A few parks are named after the Perry family and their descendants; including the A.W Perry Homestead Museum. A.W. Perry immensely helped promote the growth of Carrollton by “making railroad right of ways available, plating residential additions and granting use of land for school, church and cemetery”. In 1900, brothers G.F. and J.S. Myers platted the town square. In June of 1913, the town was incorporated and Mayor W.F. Vinson was elected the first Mayor of Carrollton.
Webb Park was the very first park in Carrollton which opened in 1924. Located on the southwest corner of Crosby Road and Denton Drive, the park was built from a community effort. The property belonged to Mr. Ashley Webb. The park equipment was paid for by the local Women’s Civic Study Club. When the park was torn down, the equipment was moved to the nearby elementary school.
The Parks and Recreation department began in June of 1969. When the department started, there were only 10 acres of developed land and three parks. Today there are over 50 parks and 1792 acres. Throughout the years the department has been able to obtain federal grants from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department for a few park development and improvement projects. In 1975 the City Council set out guidelines to establish park sites in residential neighborhoods. They also set a goal to provide 18.5 acres of park land for every 1000 citizens. The parks system has grown with the community. Below are some of the many activities the department has hosted through the years (other activities can be found in certain park’s histories).
In 1990, the Department (along with Farmers Branch) hosted the Pepsi Games of Texas that brought in approximately 11,750 athletes and 23,000 spectators from all over Texas. The Games of Texas is patterned after the Olympics and made specifically for amateur athletes in Texas. The purpose behind the annual games is to develop skills and physical talents and competitive ability in people of all ages. Athletes winning the top three spots for their sport would receive a medal (gold, silver and bronze). The department also held an annual biathlon which benefitted the Metrocrest Rehabilitation Center. Since then, the department has hosted other athletic events as well and still host many today.
(Harry E. Wade, "PETERS COLONY," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/uep02), accessed August 22, 2012. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.)
*Park histories are listed alphabetically, not chronologically
Amphitheater (1945 E. Jackson Rd., 75006)
Creatively funded, the Amphitheater was dedicated and opened in July of 1986. A house was built as a special project of the Carrollton Home and Apartment Builders. Through cooperative efforts and donations, the house was completed at 3701 Galloway Street with the purpose of auctioning it off to fund the amphitheater. On September 22, 1985, the house was auctioned off in addition to gift certificates, trips to Colorado and some various household items and services. The auction raised $188,500 for the 2,000 sq foot home and other donated goods. The city awarded the Carrollton Home and Apartment Builders Association in February of 1986 with the Texas Recreation and Park Society Commercial Award.
The amphitheater sits on four acres of rolling hills, a winding stream, and trees surround this facility designed for community rentals. It has a raised stage, restrooms, water fountain, parking, and bench seating for approximately 300 people, with additional ground seating for approximately 500 more.
A.W. Perry Homestead Museum (1509 N. Perry Rd. 75006)
Donated to the city by Mrs. Pearl Perry in 1975, the city excitedly accepted this Carrollton historical landmark as it was one of the first homes of the pioneers who settled in Carrollton. The official dedication took place on America’s bicentennial, complete with a nation-wide synchronization of a ‘ringing of the bells’ ceremony. The home was built in 1857 by the Perry’s and was reconstructed in 1909 by adding a second story from building materials salvaged from the Perry’s first home. The 10 acre park presently there was part of the original 640 acre tract and is home to many native trees that keep the area cooler with their shade. A deep spring-fed well on the property once offered water to many travelers that the hospitable Perry’s welcomed. The home exemplifies the time period and the community driven owner. The wide plank floors, solid wood furnishings, primitive tools and wood stove gives visitors ranging from school children to passer-bys a true sense of life in the 18 and early 1900s. Free tours are available and the grounds may also be reserved for weddings, birthday parties, photography, and other special occasions.
Branch Hollow Park (2050 E. Branch Hollow Rd.)
Named after its location on Branch Hollow Rd., this park was dedicated in 1983, but didn’t open until March of 1990. The park rests within the High Country Neighborhood Association. This park sits on 3.5 acres and includes two lighted tennis courts, picnic facilities, a playground with rubberized safety surface, walking paths and parking facilities.
Carrollton Public Libraries
Josey Ranch Lake (1700 Keller Springs Rd. 75006)
Hebron and Josey(4220 N. Josey Ln. 75010)
An article by Shelby Hager from the Carrollton Chronicle (March 31, 1981) about the dedication ceremonies of the Carrollton Public Library, formerly on Jackson Road states: "...it was through the indulgence of the Rhoton family and the customers at their dry goods emporium --- founded in 1911 on the square right beside the first Rhoton funeral Parlor and ambulance service---that Mrs. Good started the first public library in Carrollton. She used a few books from the county library but had no tax funds. Carrollton Librarian Kenneth Mjaaland, a veteran of 18 years in that role, apologized for not being able to give an exciting recital of the history. Of course, Mjaaland, according to long time residents, has carried on the good work of Mrs. Good and the Rhotons. He was credited as having kept the coals alive over the years, persistently making the case for a special library facility." A book titled "Elm Fork Settlement: Farmers Branch and Carrollton," by Georgia Myers Ogle, published in 1977 states (pp. 251-253): "The present  Carrollton Public Library, 1610 Crosby Road, is the only one Carrollton has ever had; Kenneth Mjaaland has been the only head librarian since the Civic Center and Library were dedicated (by former governor John Connally for Carrollton’s 50th anniversary) Wednesday, June 12, 1963.... For many years Mrs. C. A. Good had managed a very small library provided largely by the county. First it was located on a small balcony at Rhoton's Dry Goods Store; then it moved to the balcony at Good's Drug Store. When that facility was needed in the 1930's as office space for a new doctor, Mrs. Good moved the library to a back room in the drug store. It was a free circulating library with a limited number of books, but with the advantage of drawing on the county resources for desired books --- either best sellers or reference books. In 1936 the county-furnished volumes were housed with the high school library; eventually the county phased out its library program with the stipulation that all books remain in the community for public use. When the City of Carrollton built its first library facilities, those books rightfully were transferred to it. Mrs. Good, under whom Mr. Mjaaland had worked in high school, served as consultant until the public library was well established. Miss Sharon Cooper, daughter of Chief of Police Cooper, was Mjaaland's first assistant. In January, 1965, Mrs. Noma Etier was employed after Miss Cooper resigned her position. With the help of an occasional local high school student in the Vocational Office Education Program, these two people managed all phases of the library work until 1973 when another assistant, Mrs. Doris Strickland, was added to the staff. From the beginning, Mjaaland has had the support of a city-appointed library board." According to library records, the Carrollton Public Library, formerly at 2001 Jackson Road, was dedicated in 1981. The building was approximately 15,000 square feet. The Frankford Village Branch opened in April 1994 in a leased building of 25,000 square feet at 3030 N. Josey Lane. In spring 1999, the city purchased a Food Lion building and land at Hebron & Josey. The building was renovated into a 37,000 square foot library. The materials and staff relocated from the Jackson Road location to Hebron and Josey, which opened July 21, 2001. The lease for the Carrollton Public Library at Frankford Village expired and the staff and materials relocated to the new Carrollton Public Library at Josey Ranch Lake (42,000 square feet), which opened April 3, 2004
*as per Carrollton Public Library site
City Hall (1945 E. Jackson Rd. 75006)
Under Mayor Milburn Gravley, City Hall opened in May of 1987. The official groundbreaking ceremony that started construction took place in December of 1985. Vastly different from its successor, the original Carrollton City Hall was a 24 by 24, two story building located by the Katy Tracks, just one block from the downtown square. This 1933 building housed not only the city officials’ administrative offices, but also the one and only fire truck that Carrollton owned. City Hall was then moved to a neighboring building on Beltline and Broadway, which has since been torn down to make way for landscaping and sidewalks for the remodeled Gravley Center. After their 14 year stay from 1950-1964, they moved to their third building where they remained until their current building on Jackson Rd. was completed.
Cedar Elm Park (3845 Menard Drive)
Completed and dedicated on the same day as Oakwood Springs Park, Cedar Elm Park was named after the local neighborhood as the board felt it was appropriate to have the park represent the neighborhood it most greatly benefitted. The 6 acre park was approved in a 2004 bond election and was dedicated by Mayor Ron Branson in August of 2008.
The park features treed lots, a pavilion, playground with rubberized play surface, grills, picnic tables and a paved walking path.
Clifford E. “Bill” Hall Park (2200 Crater Lake Court)
Completed in 2003, Clifford E. “Bill” Hall Park was dedicated by Mayor Stokes on August 2nd that year. Clifford Hall was the owner of Carrollton’s Hall- Bradford Drug Store, previously located in our historic downtown square. In addition to selling medicines and healthcare supplies, the store served coffee, ice cream shakes and candy to residents young and old. As a member of the city council and President of the Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Hall greatly contributed to the growth, planning and development of the Carrollton we know and love today. Mr. Hall played an integral part in the formation of the Carrollton Chamber of Commerce. He also sponsored the city’s first Little League team. In addition to his direct contributions to the city, he also gave back to the community through his leadership roles in the American Red Cross and Community Chest, now known as United Way.
The land that Hall Park currently rests on was originally settled on by a pioneer widow named Mary Murf Kennedy in 1845. She came from Alabama with her 2 boys, James and Henry, who were 21 and 18. While Henry later moved to California, James Kennedy remained in Carrollton to partner in the Witt Store and Mill at Trinity Mills. The land was later owned by the Good Family, who farmed the land successfully for many, many years. The Good family sold the land in 1992 to a developer who then deeded it to the city in 1994.
The 6.4 acre park includes paved sidewalks, pedestrian lighting, pavilion, interpretive signage, grills, drinking fountain, park benches and playground with rubberized safety surface.
Crosby Recreation Center (1610 E. Crosby Rd.)
Named for its location on Crosby Road, the original facility was built in 1963. Carrollton’s first city manager, Mr. John Sarris, helped with the opening of Crosby Recreation Center (and the new library). Former governor John Connally attended Carrollton’s 50th anniversary ceremony and officially dedicated the recreation center. A remodel took place in 1976 and the original building was completely torn down. The building was rebuilt in 2012 from a $2.9 million bond project. We have a new, large multi-purpose room with kitchen facilities, upgraded meeting room facilities, updated locker and restroom areas, new fitness center with completely upgraded equipment, enlarged game area, enhanced front counter and office areas.
Del Santer Tract (Eisenhower Drive 75007)
This tract of land, located along Eisenhower Drive, was acquired by the city after 1987. The property runs along the Fairway Vista Community, who donated the property to the city. Over the years, the property was also owned by University Savings and Loans, Pheasant Corporation and Charles Del Santer of Del Santer and Associates, from whom the name of the property stems. The site is 3.2 acres of undeveloped land.
Dimension Tract (1199 Elm Park Drive)
The Dimension Tract is a secluded thirty-eight acre parcel of undeveloped land along the Elm Fork of the Trinity River. The natural parkland features a 14-acre pond, 3.5 acres of wetlands, 9 acres of river bottom timber and a blanket of native vegetation on the remaining 11.5 acres. A land development company donated the parkland to the city in 1986. This property has a canoe and kayak launch on-site on the Trinity River. The launch site was completed in 2003 by a group of about 60 volunteers and city workers.
This city-owned land has suffered through years of nuisance activities including illegal dumping, abandoned cars, and damage from four-wheelers that threatened the property. Now, through the City and regional government support and community involvement, it’s becoming a welcome haven for nature lovers and sports enthusiasts.
Volunteers and the city began by cleaning debris, and once secured, the potential for appropriate outdoor recreational uses emerged. In fall of 2002, the City and North Central TX Council of Governments selected the site for Carrollton’s annual Trash Bash cleanup event. On this day, approximately 150 volunteers collected 13 tons of illegally-dumped debris. Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops, local church volunteers and area residents logged more than 1,000 hours.
In October 2003, the City received a $2,500 grant from REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc.) to benefit the Dimension Tract. REI employees also contributed hours during the REI Coop/Employee Volunteer Day in October 2003 to install steps donated by Keystone Retaining Wall Systems at the river’s edge.
ST Microelectronics, another local business, contributed $3,000 and their employees at the November 2003 Volunteer Day at the tract to cast wildflower seeds and plant trees, and create a bark-chip trail to the river.
In 2004, benches and informational signs were installed along the trail and entryway. On annual volunteer day, we planted additional trees in the entryway, native aquatic plants in the wetland area, picked up trash, and mulched the access trail. ST Microelectronic donated $1,000 toward the event and property projects.
A few project enhancements planned for the future include internal trails, benches and additional drainage work on the canoe launch itself. The Dimension Tract is becoming a point of pride for the Carrollton community, and a valued site for regional recreation and environmental activities.
*as per city website
Downtown Gazebo (1103 W. 3rd-Main St. and Broadway, 75006)
The Square's formation as a central commercial site began prior to 1900. Although the buildings were once only frame structures, many renovations have taken place to make more permanent structures. The Gazebo was built in the middle of the historic downtown square in 1921 where a fresh water spring once stood. The Gazebo had two levels; the first level was over the well where the fire hose cart was kept and the second level was where the city band preformed. In its early days, concerts, political candidates and Saturday dances provided entertainment to people living in Carrollton. These events were especially important for keeping city morale high during the late 1920s and into the 1930s. The Gazebo was dedicated to “Texas” Jim Cooper in October of 1980 at the Carrollton Country Fair. Jim Cooper was known for being a civic leader, community advocate and dedicated citizen. The Square still has early 20th century charm and continues to be a focal point for many community gatherings. This community facility is available for rentals, has parking and is recognized as a historical site.
Elm Fork Nature Preserve (2335 Sandy Lake Rd. 75006)
The Elm Fork Nature Preserve was purchased as a wood right in 1861 by the Bramblitt Family. Wood cut from this 10-acre property, purchased in
1861, was used by the Elkanah Bramblitt family to provide shelter and fuel for cooking and heat. The land was a river bed of the Trinity River’s Elm Fork but a dam across the fork at Sandy Lake Road rerouted the river, leaving behind the forest. The land was never clear-cut and in 1986 the 40 acres were given to the City of Carrollton as a self-contained ecosystem, virtually undisturbed. Trails are open for hikes 365 days a year from dawn to dusk.
East beyond the extension of McInnish Park Sports Complex and east of the existing tree farm in McInnish Park, this 40.28 acre site is divided into two tracts - 18.50 acres which is city owned and 21.78 acres which is leased by the city from Dallas County (Dallas County purchased this portion of the land in 1983). The site has been designated as a nature area. An Interpretive Sign Center was constructed by volunteers to help visitors know exactly where they are on the trails. A Texas Wildscape was developed in 1995 through a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Grant.
Commonly seen animals and tracks at the Preserve are raccoons, fox squirrels, opossums, beavers, nine-banded armadillos, eastern cottontails and striped skunks. Commonly seen birds in the area are great blue herons, snowy egrets, white-throated sparrows, red-tailed hawks, great horned owls, screech owls, woodpeckers, cardinals and much more.
Francis Perry Park (1400 Francis & Ross)
Francis Perry Park is named after a member of the Perry family that settled in Carrollton in 1844. Francis Perry was the wife of DeWitt Perry, who was a child of Sara and A.W. Perry, the original settlers. Francis had a daughter Pearl Gravely who donated their home to the city to use as a museum in 1975 (now the A.W Perry Museum). The land for the park was donated by Francis Perry in 1945 and completion of the park finished in 1950. Francis Perry was awarded “Carrolton’s Most Useful Citizen” award in 1951 and was known throughout the years for her unselfish service to the city. This beautiful 3-acre park has large shade trees, grills and tables for picnicking, one lighted tennis court (added in 1961), and a playground. This site includes an ADA accessible parking space and sidewalk to access playground area.
Gravley Park (1508 N. Perry Road)
Gravley Park is another Carrollton park that was donated to the city by ancestors of the Perry family. This park is adjacent to the A.W Perry museum and the land was donated in 1975 along with the homestead. The park was officially dedicated in 1975 and developed in 1981 by the city to be used as a park which they named after Pearl Perry Gravley, daughter of Francis Perry (who married A.W Perry’s son). Born June 18, 1889, Pearl Perry lived in Carrollton all of her life. When she began school, she walked from Perry Rd. to Josey Lane to her one room school house on what is now Country Club Drive. In bad weather, Mr. Thorp (husband of school teacher Minnie Thorp), hitched up a wagon to his mule and picked up children to take to school. Pearl met William Arthur Gravley of Farmer’s Branch at school. He walked her home every day and they began going on dates to local skating rinks and riding in a wagon on William’s mule that he rode to school from Farmer’s Branch. After a year and a half at Dallas Baptist College, she returned home to marry William on June 26 of 1907. They made a home at 1104 N. Perry Rd. and had 10 children. Ms. Perry has stated that getting 9 children (as one child had passed) ready for church and home again was always an issue. On one such occasion, her son Joe was mistakenly left at church after a Sunday night service. Ms. Perry was an avid traveler and an active member of First United Methodist Church and gave a great deal to the Carrollton Community in addition to her home and the 10 acres of land on which it sat.
The park is a serene 13 acre park, of which 2.50 acres are leased and is located just south of the A. W. Perry Museum. Mrs. Gravley’s desire was to design a park for the elderly citizens of Carrollton where they could enjoy nature, quiet relaxation, conversation and recreation. Visitors can enjoy a free tour of the museum and stroll the passive park setting. Facilities include walking paths, park benches, water fountain, and parking lot. Bikes and skateboards are prohibited.
Greenbelt Park was deeded to Carrollton on November 9, 1975 by Fox and Jacobs to be used as a park, and officially opened May 10, 1980. The master plan of the park was thoroughly discussed in public hearings to obtain citizen input. With the help of citizen’s input, the design and construction was done by Schrickel, Rollins and Associates Inc. The Parks and Recreation Department sought additional funding for the project from the Heritage Conservation and Recreation Service, as well as the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. While the plan was finished in 1977, Schrickel, Rollins and Associates, Inc. worked with the Parks and Recreation Department to obtain a $590,000 grant to develop the site. The 185 acres are divided into 7 distinct areas to better serve community needs. Hiking and biking trails within the park were designed to link all the community park areas into one.
The park includes 2.5 miles of hiking and biking trails, 6 lighted tennis courts, 1 multi-purpose court for basketball and volleyball, parking lots and roadways, picnic facilities, water fountains, sitting areas and park signs for identification purposes throughout the park, slabs for scenic overlook shelters and a nature shelter that has been utilized by surrounding elementary schools over the years.
Harold K. Bessire Park (1117 Dentonshire )
Dedicated in 1985, this park officially opened on May 9, 1998 and is named after a former Carrollton Fire Marshall and Fire Chief; Harold K. Bessire. Chief Bessire started at the fire department in 1961 and rose through the ranks and became chief in 1978. The 5.40 acre park was deeded to the city by Kenny Merchant Custom Homes for a neighborhood park. Construction was completed in the fall of 1997. Park plans were established in May of 1995 under Carrollton’s first Parks and Recreation Director, T.C. Rice, with help from Schrickel, Rollins and Associates Inc. During planning and construction, the park was also referred to as the Cambridge Estates Park Site. The project was one of 3 parks funded in 1996 by the G.O. Bonds and Parks Pro-rata funding
The park now has amenities that include a playground, walking paths, picnic tables, grills, a shelter, and drinking fountain.
Harvest Run Park (4334 Spurwood Dr. 75006)
Opened September 20 of 1997, this park was named after the Harvest Run Subdivision that it is located near. Under Carrollton’s first Parks and Recreation Director T.C. Rice, the plan for the park was drafted with help from Schrickel, Rollins and Associates in May of 1995. During the same time and under the same plan and direction, they began work on Harold K. Bessire Park. The project was one of 3 parks funded in 1996 by the G.O. Bonds and Parks Pro-rata funding
This 6-acre neighborhood park site has been designated to serve single residential development north of Hebron Parkway and east of Josey Lane. Construction of the park was completed in fall of 1997. Amenities include playground, walking paths, picnic tables and grills, a shelter, and drinking fountain.
Holman D. Rhoton Park (2250 Ridgedale Dr.)
Opened on September 15 of 1984, this park was named after civic participant Holman D. Rhoton. Holman Rhoton (1902-1984) was the first licensed embalmer in Carrollton. In 1963, the city awarded him with a Plaque of Appreciation for his contributions to the community. On June 9th, 1977, he was honored by the Texas Funeral Director’s Association for his 50 years of service in the profession. In addition to owning Rhoton Funeral Home and Rhoton-Weiland Funeral Home in Lewisville, he managed his father’s store, Rhoton Dry Goods. When the banks closed during the Great Depression, Rhoton set up a “new bank” in the back of the store where he could collect deposits. He would then take trips to Texas Bank and Trust in Dallas (one of the few banks still open in the area) and deposit customers’ money accordingly. This service was desirable for Carrollton residents as they still trusted the bank system. When the Carrollton bank was forced to close its doors due to the great depression, the stockholders paid the shortages from their own pockets so their customers didn’t lose any of their money.
In the 1920’s, Rhoton was an advocate for installing sewage and natural gas in Carrollton. He also greatly contributed to one of Carrollton’s first water systems. He had a deep well dug on his property which he piped to all the neighbors so they, too, could have water. The well was later purchased by the city to use as a water source for more residents.
In addition to his busy entrepreneurial life, he was an active member of the First Methodist Church, a charter member of the Rotary Club, and served on the City Council in 1935 because of a special request from Carrollton citizens.
The 4.5 acres of land for the park was purchased from Centennial Homes, Inc. in 1979 with intention of adding a park to the southeast area of the city that was at the time lacking such a place. With full support and excitement from area homeowners, the City Council conducted a public hearing to gain citizen input for the proposed park development. Schrickel, Rollins and Associates were hired to draft a master plan for the park around the input and final review from the citizens. With a 50-50 matching grant from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the park was constructed in 1984 for a $260,000 cost to Carrollton.
Facilities in the Holman D. Rhoton Park include walking and jogging paths, picnic tables and grills with shelter, drinking fountain, a lighted multipurpose court, and a playground.
Indian Creek Golf Course (1650 Frankford Rd.)
In 1979, the 412-acre plot of land for Indian Creek Golf course was purchased from Bill Donald for $825,000. After construction began, R.A. Duncan, a land owner near the site, claimed that the course intruded on 11 acres of his land and wanted to be adequately compensated for his property. The city was doubtful that Duncan owned as much as 11 acres on the course. Regardless, they offered him $80,000 for the land to settle the dispute, but Duncan claimed his land was well worth over $100,000. Unwillingly to pay the amount, the city took the dispute to the Chicago Title Co. to discover how much land on the course Duncan had really owned.
Indian Creek hit the papers again shortly after its 1984 opening. When former City Manager Clonis Luallen took the job as manager at the golf course, he and a fellow employee were robbed while leaving the building Sunday, September 3 of 1985. $4,000 of the golf course’s money was stolen from him as he left the building with it, ready to make the deposit at the bank. The part time, teenage employee and Mr. Luallen were forced into the trunk of the teenager’s Chevy Citation after the robber took the money. Fortunately, they were able to escape through the backseat just 10 minutes later. Following the incident, Luallen began to consider having the deposits picked up by armored car.
After a while, the need for a clubhouse arose and the official ribbon cutting ceremony for the opening took place in May of 1986, a month after its official opening. In 2002, Indian Creek underwent a complete redesign and renovation by Jeff Brauer. The course is surrounded by lush surroundings and mature trees. Generous fairways, steep faced bunkers and large, undulating greens are showcased on 7,235 yard par 72 beauty that was showcased among the Top 10 Best New Golf Courses in 2004 by Golf Digest. The Lakes Course, which opened for play 2 years later, is a true parkland style layout with several dog legs, ponds and gently rolling greens which were converted to Champion Bermudagrass during the 2005 renovation. Considered more playable to its older sibling, the Lakes Course still measures up at 7,000 yards and at a par of 72, should not be taken lightly. This 415 acre, 36 hole golf course is located along the Elm Fork of the Trinity River. Facilities include a clubhouse complete with pro-shop and snack bar.
Indian Creek Ranch Park (1645 Coyote Ridge)
This 6.626 acre park was developed through a grant from Texas Parks and Wildlife. Built on Indian Creek Ranch where the park got its name, the park is adjacent to the Elm Fork part of the Trinity River. In 1991, Woodbine Development Corporation bought the land to develop it into a mixed use land. As a managing general partner, they rezoned the land to become more marketable as a residential area as contributing in infrastructure development, by restructuring the property’s bond debt. After they significantly increased the property’s value, they sold 1,280 acres to Indian Creek Residential, L.P. in 1993. The park opened July 28th, 2000.
Amenities include walking paths, park benches, barbecue grills, picnic pavilion, playground with rubberized safety surface, fishing pier, picnic tables and parking,
Jimmy Porter Park (1871 Sherwood Lane)
Jimmy Porter Park was dedicated in 1968 and developed in 1975. Mayor Tommy Standridge motioned to name the park site after a local professional baseball player who gave a great deal back to the community. Porter was born September 2, 1900 and played for the St Louis Stars in the Negro leagues in 1926 and 1927, founded the Carrollton Cats, a black, semi-pro team, in the 1950s and 60s. He played against baseball legends like Joe Demaggio, Ty Cobb and Satchel Paige.
Jimmy taught local kids how to play baseball and always enforced good sportsmanship amongst the players. He believed that “everybody gets to play” and founded Carrollton’s first Little League Team. While his career was still booming, he moved back to Carrollton to help out on his family farm. He moved into an abandoned boxcar near Old Denton Rd. where he lived for nearly 40 years and worked at Lyon Lumber Co. When development moved through the area, Porter was forced to move out of his home. The Carrollton community stepped in and was eager to be able to help the man who had affected so many neighborhood children throughout the years. Property owner Kathy Ingle and Real Estate Agent Chip James collected money, materials and time from residents and businesses to help build Jimmy a new $15,000 home at 1308 ½ Rosemon Ave. Ingle said “Not a single person turned us down”. While it was an adjustment for Jimmy to live in a new home with an electric stove, heat, hot water and a roof that didn’t leak, Porter was immensely grateful for the kindness of his neighbors. Even though he didn’t have two nickels to rub together, Porter contributed what he could; his time and knowledge. When the kids he coached did well and gave all they could, Jimmy would invite them into his home for potted meat sandwiches and popsicles. He taught baseball to the children of Carrollton for more than 30 year. Many say that Porter was largely responsible for bridging the racial gap in the area.
The park is 5-acres and contains grills, tables, and a shelter with electricity for picnicking, restrooms, water fountains multipurpose court, 2 lighted sports fields, and a playground.
Josey Ranch Lake Park and Sports Complex (1440 Keller Springs)
Josey Ranch is an area that was originally purchased in 1935 by “Colonel” C.W Josey, owner of Rancho Oil Co. He bought 70 acres at first that quickly grew to 1,000 as he bought out the land around him. Their house on the property was built in 1939. During the construction of their home, Josey stayed in the historical Adolphus Hotel in Dallas. In the 40’s and 50’s, The Josey’s hosted an annual free Fourth of July Festival. The festival included an infamous rodeo with 10,000 to 70,000 people in attendance. Visitors came from all over the world to see a real, working Dallas ranch. They awarded thousands of prizes and the event was featured in a July 1949 issue of Life Magazine, among others. The lake in the park is the result of a quarry supplying clay to one of Carrollton’s two brick factories. Besides the festival every year, the land was used to raise Josey’s 150 longhorns and 40 buffalo that were eventually sold for use in the John Wayne movie “The Alamo”.
The original ranch house and foreman quarters were eventually purchased by the city. Joel Roebuck bought part of the land in 1984 and began development in 1987.Town officials, including Mayor Steenson, met in December of 1977 with Col. Josey to purchase a portion of Josey Rancho to be used as a sports complex The park officially opened on April 22, 1989 and now consists of 100 acres. 50 of those acres make up the Josey Ranch Sports Complex. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Grant supported this project with $700,000 of the $3,800,000 project total.
Development of the park includes a 3.50 acre lake with fishing pier, concession/restroom facilities, natural area for observing birds and wildlife, hike & bike trails, picnic facilities, playground, and parking facilities. Fifty acres east of Josey Lane remains undeveloped except for an 18-hole disc golf course.
Keller Springs Park (2146 Kelly Blvd.)
Named after its location a block south of Keller Springs road, this 3 acre park was dedicated in 1975 and opened May of 1978. Keller Springs Park was one of the first city parks added in Carrollton after the inception of the Parks and Recreation Department. This park includes a playground with rubberized safety surface, multi-purpose court, grills and tables for picnicking and a drinking fountain.
Ken Good Park (Broadway and Jackson Road 75006)
This park was dedicated in 1976 as a future site for a park. In 1984 the park was designated to be developed and named after Ken Good, a real estate investor and developer. Good graduated in 1966 from SMU. In 1972, he made efforts to set up MetroPort Center; a major hotel, office and retail center adjacent to DFW airport. While Good had plans of MetroPort Center becoming the third downtown of the booming DFW region, it was never built due to an economic recession in 1974 and 75.
The land for the park was donated to the city when Good bought the property along the railroad tracks nearby. The 20-acre park has a lake and picnic areas.
Martha Pointer Park (2742 Scott Mill Road)
This Carrollton park sits on land that was donated to the city by Gerald M Pointer. He was the owner of the Heritage Building Company which is known for building apartments and shopping complexes. The city asked Pointer to donate 10 acres for a park in the neighborhood he developed and built. He offered to sell his 5 acre plot to the city for $3500 an acre, but the city declined. Once he agreed to donate the land he asked that the park be named after his wife, Martha Pointer. Unfortunately, they divorced the following year.
The original structure for the park was dedicated in 1971 and officially opened in May of 1975. The park had some improvements to the tennis and basketballs courts and was reopened in the fall of 2009.
Mary Heads Carter Park and Kids Corral (2320 Heads Lane)
Opened March 6, 1992, Mary Heads Park is named after a local school teacher who greatly supported the parks system. She believed that every child should have a park where they play. This 12.30-acre park land was purchased in 1979. The kids corral was constructed in 1991 by a grandiose effort from the community. Construction was completed April 20, 1991.
Amenities of the park include a paved parking area, restrooms, a picnic pavilion and of course, the Kids Corral Playground.
McInnish Park and Sports Complex (2340 Sandy Lake Road & 2335 Sandy Lake Road)
The McInnish Park and Sports Complex is named after former Mayor Robert “Heavy” McInnish. He helped the city transition from a country town to a center of commerce and suburban homebuilding. During his time as mayor, he helped the city transfer to a council-manager form of government and also helped the city adopt an official charter. Mayor McInnish also passed bond elections that funded construction on a new city hall, fire stations and recreations centers.
The 186 acre site was purchased in 1969 for $1,500 an acre from the City of Dallas to be used as park land. With help from a 50-50 matching grant from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Department of the Interior in Washington, D.C., the park land cost Carrollton $150,000. The city council hired Hunter Associates to design the master plan in October of 1977. Another 50-50 matching grant for $690,000 was approved by the Heritage Conservation and Recreation Service, as well as the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Development began once the grant monies were approved and construction drawings were completed in August of 1980. The park opened May 6, 1982 and consists of 220-acres; of which 34 acres are leased. Because the land rests on the east side of the Trinity River, it offers residents a unique opportunity for fishing, paddle boating, canoeing and river walks.
Plans for Phase 2 of the development began in 1985. With financial contributions from the high school in exchange for use of the baseball fields as well as another 50-50 matching grant, funding was established to create 4 additional softball fields, a high school baseball field, an 8 acre lake, additional parking, roadways and storage facilities. Mitchell Mayberry field was established during this reconstruction phase. Mayberry was a former Postmaster in Carrollton and a great contributor to our community. He coached little league for 12 years, served on the Parks and Recreation Board from 1975 to 1977 and the Planning Committee for the Indian Creek Golf Course.
A former amenity of McInnish Park was an educational site: Rural America which opened in 1987. The small farm-like site stood to transport school children, clubs and other visitors back to a time before industrialization came to Carrollton and forever changed the way we live. It featured blacksmiths, historical farm equipment, woodworking, butter making, quilting, candle making, a farmer’s market, honey making and doll making. Games like tug of war, pie eating, watermelon seed spitting, trick roping, ring toss, egg carrying, potato sack races and even stick horse rodeos were often played there. Many of these games and activities were featured at the site’s annual “Return to Rural America” event in September.
The house on the site was the original home of the prominent Good family of Carrollton, who were successful farmers throughout many generations. In 1992, the land was sold by the Good family to Pulte Homes. When Pulte built the subdivision on the Good land, they dedicated a small plot of land to the city to build a park on McCoy and Jackson Rd. (now the site of Clifford E. Hall Park). City officials decided to move the Good family home off of that property and move it to Rural America where they could restore it and use it as a “turn of the century replica” farm home in 1995.
The Good family home was built in 1890 by Frank Jackson. In 1915, it was bought by Sinclair, who made a lifetime rental agreement for the house and the farm land with the Smith family. The house was wired for electricity in 1945, when Mr. Smith’s eldest daughter decided that was the first thing she would do with her paycheck from her first job in Dallas. Rex Good bought the house in 1950 but the Smith’s continued to live there and farm the land for another year or two, when Mr. Smith got a job working at Josey Ranch. The Goods remodeled and moved into the house in 1953.
After the closure of Rural America in 2001, due to a decrease in visitors, the house was once again moved to be used as the Parks’ Department offices. Parks never ended up using the space and it is currently in use by the Southwest Nursery on Sandy Lake Rd.
The park now sits north of Sandy Lake and contains grills and tables for picnicking, a multipurpose sports field for soccer. The sports complex which was constructed on the 186-acre park site south of Sandy Lake Road is open for league play in soccer, softball, and baseball. Facilities now include roadways, parking lots, 3 concession stands, 2 restrooms, 8 lighted softball fields, 1 lighted senior league field, 3 lighted soccer fields, and 1 lighted high school baseball field. Other facilities include picnic tables, walking paths, water activities and playground with rubberized play surface.
Mill Valley Park (2100 Carmel Dr.)
Dedicated in 1981, this 12-acre park was deeded to the city as a neighborhood park for the Mill Valley addition by developer Joel Roebuck. The park opened in May of 1985 and is named after the subdivision that gifted the land. The city made improvements 1989, and will continue to make additional improvements to the site as the funds become available. Facilities include a lighted tennis court and a multi-purpose court for volleyball and basketball.
Nob Hill (Crooked Creek Dr @McCoy Rd. 75006)
The Nob Hill development began in 1980 by the Stiles Corporation. During development, the Stiles Corporation reserved and donated the Nob Hill area for the city to build a park. The owner, Jerry Stiles, was a well known developer throughout Dallas as a builder of large, custom luxury homes in the 70’s and 80’s. Shortly after Nob Hill, he focused less on building and more on land development. The land for the park, was later dedicated in 1988.
This 102 acre park includes small ponds, wildflower areas and multiple walking trails. Included in the many walking trails is the Furneaux Trail. W.C. Furneaux was a local farmer who had lived and cared for his 2,700 acre ranch in Carrollton his entire life. His grandfather had been given the land by a grant from the Peter’s Colony in 1848. His father had come to Carrollton from Devonshire, England when he was 17. It is believed that his father, along with his wife’s family, the Jacksons, brought the tradition of tea drinking to the Peter’s Colony. Furneaux was a resident of Carrollton his entire life, from 1864 to 1962.
Oak Creek Park (2537 Oak Creek Drive)
Oak Creek Park was originally constructed in 1983 and is named after the Oak Creek neighborhood subdivision in Carrollton. In 2004, the voters approved improvements for the park and practice field during the May bond elections. The design and construction of the new improvements were completed by October 2004. More improvements, including a pavilion, picnic and playground area, were added in September of 2007.
The park and practice field are on 40 acres. Other overall improvements and park amenities include: 2,900’ Sidewalk trail, lighting, playgrounds, pavilion, interpretive signage, benches, basketball court, trash containers, etc.
Oak Creek Tennis Center (2531 Oak Creek Drive)
Oak Creek Tennis Center is a public facility located in Carrollton. OCTC opened in March of 2001, and is fully owned and operated by the City of Carrollton. The name comes from the undeveloped land of Oak Creek Park in North Carrollton where the center is built. The center was originally approved for building in 1986 through a bond election but the money was used for other projects. Then, in the mid-1990s another push for a Carrollton tennis center was revived. A master plan for the center was developed in 1998.
Noell Civic Center: The two-story colonial style 4,000sq ft. home was deeded to the city by Linmeade Development Co. in conjunction with a 7.3 acre park site on December 1st 1983. The Noell family are descendants of the Good family who settled here in 1846. The home was converted to civic use in 1986 and was used mainly for storage. The house closed in 2004. Oak Creek Tennis Center now sits in what used to be the driveway to the Noell home.
OCTC features 12 lighted hard courts with shaded spectator and court benches. The pro shop includes racquets, stringing, accessories and concessions. The City of Carrollton prides itself as having one of the premier full-service municipal tennis facilities in North Texas.
Oak Creek Tennis Center has several USPTA certified tennis professionals on staff. They offer a full array of adult and junior programs for all ages and abilities from beginner to advanced levels. OCTC hosts frequent Special events and Tournaments year-round. They are home to numerous men's, women's, mixed and senior teams competing in USTA, TCD and Metro league play and also home to local middle and high school teams.
Oak Hills Park (1210 East Hebron)
Oak Hills is a neighborhood subdivision in Carrollton. The park was completed by Halff and Associates and opened on October 23, 1999. The project was one of 3 parks funded in 1996 by the G.O. Bonds and Parks Pro-rata funding. While Schrickel, Rollins and Associates, Inc. aided in the completion of the other 2 parks, Halff and Associates were selected by the council for this project after careful review. This 4.50-acre site has been designed to serve single family residential development south of Hebron Parkway. Amenities include a picnic pavilion, basketball court, sand volleyball court, playground, concrete walking paths, drinking fountain, picnic table, BBQ grill, parking lot, and irrigation system.
Oakwood Springs Park (1817 Hamilton Rd)
Located on 6 acres of land, Oakwood Springs Park was completed and dedicated in August of 2008. The park name was submitted by the nearby HOA and approved in 2007 by city council. The park was approved by Carrollton voters in a 2004 bond election. The design and construction was completed in just four short months.
The park includes a paved walking trail, playground with rubberized play surface, a pavilion, grills, sand volleyball court and water fountain.
Pioneer Park (Carroll at Main St.)
Pioneer Park opened July 4, 1976 (dedicated exactly one year prior) for the bicentennial to memorialize the original pioneers that settled in Carrollton. The park is dedicated to their memory for their courage, stamina, faith, and vision to settle and develop the area and insure the city’s future. The pioneers were attracted to the area in 1844 by advertising about the Peter’s Colony. Pioneer Park opened with the unveiling of the picture marker above. Georgia Myer Ogle and Peggy Perry Oliver, who appear in the picture, represented the Peters Colony Historical Society and were instrumental in the making of the park’s marker. The location of the park is where the first city hall once stood in 1933. The two story building housed administrative offices, the volunteer fire department headquarters and stored the Carrollton Fire Truck. It is the smallest park in the city at one half of an acre and sits near Old Downtown as a designated historical site. Enjoy the changing view of the downtown area from the park bench located on the site of Carrollton’s first City Hall.
R.E. Good Sports Complex (2335 Sandy Lake Rd.)
R.E. Good Sports Complex was named after Rex Edwin Good, a decorated Air force officer from Carrollton. R.E. Good Elementary, as well as the Sports Complex is located on what was once the Good’s family land. Good entered the service in December of 1917 during World War I. He was based out of Love Field and served in the 169th Aero Squadron in France and England. After participating in the St. Michelle offensive in September of 1918, he served in the Meuse-Argonne offensive until that November. Good was honorably discharged in May of 1919 and awarded three medals from France and the Bronze Victory Button.
Rex was a descendent of an early pioneer family who settled in Carrollton in the early 1900’s. Their 640 acre land grant that brought them to Carrollton was east of Marsh Lane, between Valleyview and Beltline. During his time in Carrollton, he was a successful farmer of his family’s land and operated the gin at 35 and W. Third St. in downtown Carrollton. While living in Carrollton, he helped remodel an old house into Carrollton’s first funeral home in 1936. Mr. Good was also responsible for setting up the first electric plant to serve Carrollton; Texas Power and Light later took over.
The park land was purchased in 1986. Plans for the R.E Good Sports complex began in 1989 and the 48 acre tract opened in the spring of 1992 and is an integral part of McInnish Sports Complex with access through McInnish park via McInnish Park Drive. The park includes 5 soccer fields, roadway and parkway areas, picnic facilities, playground, a nature trail, overlook shelter, and drinking fountain.
Rosemeade Park and Recreation Center (1330 E. Rosemeade)
Rosemeade Park and Recreation Center opened on April 18, 1982. The land was originally a ranch with grazing cattle and horses; its name was Rosemeade Ranch and the name for the park and recreation center followed suit. The land was purchased in March of 1979 from George Underwood, Jr, who sold the other part of his several hundred acre ranch to the Myers Development Corp. Because of the residential access and location, it was ideal for those residents that lived farther from the Crosby Recreation Center. Construction Designs and Drawings were done by Hartfield-Halcomb, Inc. architects in Dallas. Construction began in March of 1981. Total cost for the Recreation Center, furnishings, sprinkler system, parking lot, roadway and landscaping was $1.6 million. 28 acres surround the recreation center just east of Old Denton Road. The park has grills, parking and an updated playground made possible by a partnership with The Rotary Club.
Rosemeade Recreation Center offers 44,000 square-feet of sports and fitness activities. Located in the 28-acre Rosemeade Park at 1330 Rosemeade Parkway, just east of Old Denton Road, the Center has 2 gyms, full-sized basketball & volleyball court, weight and fitness room, game room, 4 racquetball courts, restrooms, central office and customer service counters, lockers, refreshment areas, classrooms, mirrors, bars and a dance floor for classes. Within the surrounding property, there is a playground and the Rosemeade Rainforest Aquatic Complex. In addition to drop-in daily activities for Carrollton residents, a variety of classes and programs are offered for all ages.
The Rosemeade Recreation Center is currently undergoing an expansion of 6,088 square feet. The addition is a fitness area for cardio equipment and new locker rooms with showers. We will be moving all the cardio equipment (treadmills, elliptical, bikes, etc.) into the new addition and the existing fitness area will be used for weight machines, free weights and dumbbells. Construction started in February and was completed in October of 2012. The Grand Re-Opening of the expansion was October 20, 2012.
Rosemeade Rainforest Aquatic Complex (1334 E. Rosemeade Parkway 75007)
In April of 1987, the park opened in hopes of serving the community with a pleasant place for family recreation, an effective training facility and a place for local competitions to be held. After a bidding war between 22 contractors, construction finally began in March of 1981. The $2.4 million dollar complex (with help from a $490,000 grant from Texas Parks and Wildlife) was built by Schrickel, Rollins and Associates, Inc. with consultant Lawarence E. Hans and Associates.
In addition to family water recreation, the Parks and Recreation Department also held an “Annual Pool Trout Fish-Out”. The event began in 1988 and one weekend a year, the pools would be cleaned out and filled with about 2,700 pounds of trout. The event was quite popular and gave area residents an opportunity to fish in an urban area and keep up to three fish they caught. Some fish were even tagged and if caught, a person could win a special prize.
Since then, the Rainforest section has been added. The new addition of the Rainforest came in 2007 and is aimed at ages 12 and under and for family activities. The Rosemeade Rainforest Aquatic Complex is located adjacent to the Rosemeade Recreation Center.
The Rainforest section features a zero-depth entry pool, two platform levels with bridge, water cannons, bubblers, spray bars, water slides, a 200 foot lazy river and a 600 gallon dump bucket.
The main pool section consists of a 50 meter Olympic size pool with a 25 meter short course, a training pool, separate diving well and 22 foot structure with two flume slides. The facility also includes a bathhouse, concession area, deck space, picnic tables, lounge chairs, shaded areas and plenty of parking.
San Chester Tract (West of Eisenhower and north of Peters Colony 75007)
This 6 acre tract of land was given to the city when Phase 1 of the development of the Timbercreek Estates began in 1986. The name “San Chester” came from San Chester Realty Co., who was the property owner of that plat of land. San Chester Realty Co. sold an 80 acre plat of land “north of Frankford Rd. and west of Dickerson Parkway”(where Timbercreek Estates now sits).The investment group, the Carrollton 80 Joint Venture, purchased the land that was zoned for office, retail and residential construction. Neitzel-Wildes Investment Co. oversaw the purchase by Burris-Woldt Inc. Michael Burris of Burris-Woldt Inc. signed the documents to finalize the purchase. The tract was allocated in 1987 and was later dedicated in 1992.
Senior Center (1720 Keller Springs Rd. 75006)
Built at the same time as the Carrollton Library at Josey Ranch Library, the Senior Center was completed in December of 2003, just 5 months before its neighbor. Before their current location, they had their first building at the shopping complex at Trinity Mills and Old Denton Rd. from 1999 to 2003. Previously, they shared space with Crosby Recreation Center where they offered various classes and services. Carrollton Seniors, a citizen’s group, really helped put the importance of a senior center on the city’s agenda. Planning on a place for seniors started in 1994 when the City Council approved a plan to lease an area within a shopping center or office building for use as an activity center for the seniors. Before the senior center/areas in Carrollton, seniors would go to Farmer’s Branch for programs and activities.
On July 14 of 2001, the “well curb” was placed at the new location, between the senior center building and the library. A long time fixture of the Carrollton Community, the well curb was donated to the city by the Blanton family. The well curb is protected under the recommendations of the Historic Preservation Advisory Committee, the Library Board the Senior Advisory Council and the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee. Terry Simmons, local businessman and councilmember, decided the Senior Center and Library would be the best location to house the large artifact. Mr. Simmons was also generous enough to donate the equipment and labor to move the concrete structure. Originally, the well was purchased from a traveling salesman by the Glidewell family to be used on their farm (currently the location of the Daimler/Chrysler Building). The traveling salesman poured the curbs (there were once 2; one by the barn and the other by the house) who had one mold and poured multiple curbs all across the country.
The Carrollton Senior Center is located at 1720 Keller Springs Road, just west of Josey Lane. This 17,300 square-foot facility consists of a large ballroom with a wood dance floor, meeting, exercise and fitness rooms, boardwalk piers on the lake, a hiking/biking trail, picture windows overlooking the lake and wetlands, full-service kitchen, and administrative offices.
The Center offers a variety of weekly leisure activities and monthly programs for senior adults ages 50+, including senior athletic opportunities, educational classes and seminars, and monthly luncheons. Most activities and programs are free or have a minimal charge.
Standridge Memorial Park (1715 Rosemeade Circle)
This park is a 2.5 acre site that was donated to the city as a passive area by George Underwood Jr in honor of the late Mayor “Tall” Tommy Standridge who died in 1975. Standridge served on Carrollton’s City Council for 12 years, from 1965 to 1972 and was in his second term as Mayor when he passed. During his tenure, he served on the American Bicentennial Commission and helped plan numerous events for America’s centennial, including the dedication of Pioneer Park. He was known for his calm and steady demeanor, never raising his voice and keeping his priorities intact.
While the park land was purchased in 1977,plans for the park began in 1980 and the master plan was completed in the Spring of 1986. The park opened in the summer of 1986 with amenities that include walking paths, lighting, landscaping, seating, and an underground sprinkler system. No playground is provided on this site.
Timbercreek Park (1717 W. Rosemeade Parkway)
The park area was dedicated in 1986 but officially funded and opened in 2001.Named after the neighborhood that it’s located beside, this seven acre park houses water fountain, grills, playgrounds, walking/jogging paths, basketball court and picnic pavilion.
Ward Steenson Park (2050 E. Jackson Road)
Ward Steenson Park is on 15-acres of land just east of City Hall. The park is named after a prominent civic leader who served as a councilman and mayor. With his 23 years of service, he was considered to be “on the construction crew of service to the City of Carrollton…for his goodwill and integrity”. He was elected to the City Council in 1955 after being in Carrollton for just 3 short years. He served the council until 1976. He served as Mayor pro-tem in 1974 and 1975 before he held office as the Mayor from 1976 to 1980. In 1980, he was elected as Man of the Year by the Chamber of Commerce for his tenacity on numerous projects, in addition to his dedication and loyalty to Carrollton.
The land was purchased by the city and was used as an area for City Hall and the Justice Center in 1977. The actual construction of the park happened later and was ultimately completed in 2003. The dedication ceremony for the park took place on August 2, 2003. The park has concrete sidewalks, pedestrian lighting, playground, pavilion, basketball court, interpretive signage, grills, drinking fountain, park benches, trash receptacles, and a 6-foot wide, 1/4 mile long walking trail.
W.J. Thomas Park and Sports Field (1955 N. Perry Road )
The W.J Thomas Park and Sports Field sits on a 25-acre piece of land. The park was named after a long time Carrollton resident, mayor and councilman, William James Thomas. Thomas lived in Carrollton for 48 years and was the founder and owner of Highline Construction since 1945. He was elected in 1975 to fill the seat of Mayor Tommy Standridge, who had died before the end of his term. Before his time as mayor, he served as a council member in Carrollton for 16 years. He retired in 1977 as the president of W.J. Thomas Co., Inc. He greatly contributed to the city not only through his appointed service, but also as a member of the Carrollton First United Methodist Church, the American Legion and a board of directors member for the First Bank and Trust of Carrollton.
He and his wife Julie led an organization to raise funds for a community pool which opened in 1960 and was run by the Thomas’ for two years before the city purchased it at the request of the Youth Community Center for $28,731. The entire town contributed what they could for the pool and Thomas’ company donated the labor. The purchase of the pool by the city allowed everyone to get their money back. The park was planned in 1957 and annexed in 1960. In 1966 two additional baseball fields were added to Thomas Park. In 1968, the additional 15 acres were added.
In 1975, the Thomas Family presented the deed to their home at 1620 Denton Dr. to the city as a gift to be used as a Recreation Center, library or park for 25 years, and thereafter as the city desires.
The original structure at W.J. Thomas park had lighted sport facilities, an Olympic sized pool, playground, tennis courts and picnic areas. Since that time, the park’s original structure has been redone and reopened into a new foot splashpad. The park reopened on September 17, 2011 and now includes 12 primary water elements and deck jets.
Woodlake Tennis Courts (Scott Mill Rd. 75006)
Development for the Woodlake Tennis Courts began in 1979 as part of the Greenbelt land that was donated by Fox and Jacobs. The Greenbelt has a few areas and the Woodlake Tennis courts were originally called and referred to as “Area 1”. The Greenbelt was developed in the Woodlake area and near Woodlake Elementary (now the June R Thompson Elementary School). The courts opened in 1980 when the city established a greater need for additional courts.