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Old 06-14-2008, 04:23 PM
 
Location: DFW
40,952 posts, read 49,155,879 times
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I can make a good guess but does anyone know where or how PK got it's name?

Lakes are usually named after some politician and PK is a true Classic.
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Old 06-14-2008, 06:13 PM
 
10,239 posts, read 19,598,982 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rakin View Post
I can make a good guess but does anyone know where or how PK got it's name?

Lakes are usually named after some politician and PK is a true Classic.
Well, the Morris Sheppard Dam at PK is so named (after a politician)...but good question about how the name of the lake came into being! I am curious too!

*grinning a bit* My first "real job" (that is, not mowing lawns but actually getting paid a salary) was at a "bait house" owned by some family friends. I was 14 -16 at the time, and used to hear some GREAT fishing stories! And Tales!

One of them was that at the base of the dam at PK (which is purty damn deep for a Texas lake), were some HUGE catfish, bigger than a Volkswagan Beetle. That in fact, "once" a private plane had crashed near the site and some divers went down to retrieve the bodies of the victims. Supposedly, as the story went, they surfaced in near total shock!

Gulping down some whiskey, they swore they would NEVER go back down there again. That the catfish were so huge they could have easily swallowed a man, or at least bit his legs off...

This wasn't some story a bunch of fishermen and natives told to a facinated kid like me, some swore by it. Of course, in retrospect, I know that it was never "first hand" information. Rather, they KNEW somebody and/or were kin to someone whose cousin's brother in law got it from the divers themselves!

That different take on the matter came home to rest one afternoon when a feller from Louisiana, who had car trouble, came into the baithouse and called a towtruck. While he waited for it to arrive, he asked about the fishing and all. Somehow, Possum Kingdom came up and I related what I had heard about the man-eating catfish.

He laughed a bit and said something like "Son, them same things scare divers at Lake Charles and Toledo Bend too. And they been around quite a while..."

Later, I figured it all out!
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Old 06-14-2008, 08:04 PM
 
Location: DFW
40,952 posts, read 49,155,879 times
Reputation: 55000
I never did but many a not to bright guy in high school had to prove his manhood jumping off Hell's Gate.
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Old 07-16-2008, 01:52 PM
 
2 posts, read 41,810 times
Reputation: 11
Default how pk lake got its name

Nestled in the foothills of the Palo Pinto mountains less than 75 miles west of Forth Worth, Possum Kingdom is The Great Lake of Texas. More than 18,000 acres of crystal clear water, a Texas oasis surrounded by beautiful cliffs and rolling hillsides. Whether you are visiting for a weekend or staying for a lifetime, Possum Kingdom Lake has the amenities and services to meet your every need, from first-class dining and resorts to some of the finest marinas and golf courses in Texas. (Courtesy of the Possum Kingdom Chamber of Commerce)


Possum Kingdom Lake History

Impoundment of Possum Kingdom Lake began in 1941 with the completion of Morris Shephard Dam, which was accomplished under the depression-era agency, WPA. The dam was built primarily for water conservation and flood control, although it does have two generators. The dam is 2,740 feet long and stands at 190 feet high. The construction is unique with buttressed arched wings with adjoining earth embankment on either side of the nine spillway gates rather than the usual filled concrete.

The dam was named for United States Senator Morris Sheppard of Texas. Construction of the dam started on May 28, 1938 under the authority of the Brazos River Conservation and Reclamation District (now known as the Brazos River Authority). The dam was completed on March 20, 1941 at a cost of $9,000,000 by the Works Progress Administration, a New Deal recovery agency.

The lake was filled within three months, submerging what was left of Pickwick, a small town located within the Possum Kingdom's boundaries. When the lake level dips, a rock chimney from Pickwick can still be seen.

Possum Kingdom Lake has a capacity of 724,700 acre-feet, a surface area of 19,800 acres, and a shoreline of 310 miles. The Morris Sheppard Dam impounds 1,500,000 acre-feet of water annually for municipal, industrial, mining, irrigation, flood-control, recreational and power-generation uses. Area hills and valleys, post oaks, and cedars make a "veritable paradise" for possums around the lake.

Aside from the scenic beauty around Possum Kingdom Lake, you'll find the Possum Kingdom State Park, public and private boat ramps, gas docks, camping facilities, marinas, lodges and cabins, grocery and package liquor stores, real estate companies, churches, boat dock builders, construction companies, a variety of dining options, and a handful of businesses that support the lake community. Possum Kingdom even has two landing strips for private planes - one located in Sportsman's World and the other serves the east side of the lake.

The lake has many events and activities throughout the year - the most lively include the local Mardi Gras Celebration (March), the Hell's Gate Fireworks Show (July), and Possum Fest (October).


Possum Kingdom Reservoir Facts:
Drainage area above the dam is 22,550 square miles of which 9,240 are non-contributing
The dam is 2,747 feet long and has a maximum height of 189 feet
The spillway is 987 feet above mean sea level
The average output of the dam's power-generating plant is estimated at 73,000,000 KWH.
The lake and reservoir are currently owned and operated by the Brazos River Authority (BRA)
When full, there is enough water in the lake to cover approximately 570,000 acres one-foot deep
The lake is 65 miles long and 3.5 miles wide
The shoreline is 310 miles and consists of sandy beaches, rock cliffs and mountains

The Story of Hell's Gate

According to local legend, Hell's Gate got its name in the early 1800's from an incident involving fur traders traveling down the Brazos, and Comanche Indians camped in the area. After spending several unproductive days trying to trade beads and trinkets for the Comanche's finest pelts, the traders broke out their cheap whiskey to help break the impasse in the negotiations. The tribe overindulged and soon passed out, and the traders loaded up their pack animals with the Indian's furs and stole away into the night.

With the rugged terrain and their pack animals overloaded, the traders had covered only a few miles before the Comanches sobered up and set off in pursuit. With the Indians closing in, the traders found themselves trapped at a point high above the Brazos where the limestone cliff is cut by a tributary creek flowing into the river.

One of the traders, preferring the rocks two hundred feet below to the treatment he would receive from the irate Comanches, swore as he leapt from the cliff that he would rather go through the Gates of Hell than return the stolen furs to the Indians. Every since, that spot on the Brazos has been known as Hell's Gate (shown at right).

Hell's Gate is one of the most striking features on the lake and is a local landmark. The scene of many summertime boating parties, Hell's Gate is a natural break in the cliffs through which Jowell Creek flows into the Brazos River. Impoundment of Possum Kingdom Lake created a beautiful cove "behind the Gate," now very popular for boaters and swimmers.

as far as the name fur traders called the area possum kigdom because of the abundance of fur trading here a the time and it just stuck.
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Old 07-16-2008, 01:54 PM
 
2 posts, read 41,810 times
Reputation: 11
Default how pk got its name

Nestled in the foothills of the Palo Pinto mountains less than 75 miles west of Forth Worth, Possum Kingdom is The Great Lake of Texas. More than 18,000 acres of crystal clear water, a Texas oasis surrounded by beautiful cliffs and rolling hillsides. Whether you are visiting for a weekend or staying for a lifetime, Possum Kingdom Lake has the amenities and services to meet your every need, from first-class dining and resorts to some of the finest marinas and golf courses in Texas. (Courtesy of the Possum Kingdom Chamber of Commerce)


Possum Kingdom Lake History

Impoundment of Possum Kingdom Lake began in 1941 with the completion of Morris Shephard Dam, which was accomplished under the depression-era agency, WPA. The dam was built primarily for water conservation and flood control, although it does have two generators. The dam is 2,740 feet long and stands at 190 feet high. The construction is unique with buttressed arched wings with adjoining earth embankment on either side of the nine spillway gates rather than the usual filled concrete.

The dam was named for United States Senator Morris Sheppard of Texas. Construction of the dam started on May 28, 1938 under the authority of the Brazos River Conservation and Reclamation District (now known as the Brazos River Authority). The dam was completed on March 20, 1941 at a cost of $9,000,000 by the Works Progress Administration, a New Deal recovery agency.

The lake was filled within three months, submerging what was left of Pickwick, a small town located within the Possum Kingdom's boundaries. When the lake level dips, a rock chimney from Pickwick can still be seen.

Possum Kingdom Lake has a capacity of 724,700 acre-feet, a surface area of 19,800 acres, and a shoreline of 310 miles. The Morris Sheppard Dam impounds 1,500,000 acre-feet of water annually for municipal, industrial, mining, irrigation, flood-control, recreational and power-generation uses. Area hills and valleys, post oaks, and cedars make a "veritable paradise" for possums around the lake.

Aside from the scenic beauty around Possum Kingdom Lake, you'll find the Possum Kingdom State Park, public and private boat ramps, gas docks, camping facilities, marinas, lodges and cabins, grocery and package liquor stores, real estate companies, churches, boat dock builders, construction companies, a variety of dining options, and a handful of businesses that support the lake community. Possum Kingdom even has two landing strips for private planes - one located in Sportsman's World and the other serves the east side of the lake.

The lake has many events and activities throughout the year - the most lively include the local Mardi Gras Celebration (March), the Hell's Gate Fireworks Show (July), and Possum Fest (October).


Possum Kingdom Reservoir Facts:
Drainage area above the dam is 22,550 square miles of which 9,240 are non-contributing
The dam is 2,747 feet long and has a maximum height of 189 feet
The spillway is 987 feet above mean sea level
The average output of the dam's power-generating plant is estimated at 73,000,000 KWH.
The lake and reservoir are currently owned and operated by the Brazos River Authority (BRA)
When full, there is enough water in the lake to cover approximately 570,000 acres one-foot deep
The lake is 65 miles long and 3.5 miles wide
The shoreline is 310 miles and consists of sandy beaches, rock cliffs and mountains

The Story of Hell's Gate

According to local legend, Hell's Gate got its name in the early 1800's from an incident involving fur traders traveling down the Brazos, and Comanche Indians camped in the area. After spending several unproductive days trying to trade beads and trinkets for the Comanche's finest pelts, the traders broke out their cheap whiskey to help break the impasse in the negotiations. The tribe overindulged and soon passed out, and the traders loaded up their pack animals with the Indian's furs and stole away into the night.

With the rugged terrain and their pack animals overloaded, the traders had covered only a few miles before the Comanches sobered up and set off in pursuit. With the Indians closing in, the traders found themselves trapped at a point high above the Brazos where the limestone cliff is cut by a tributary creek flowing into the river.

One of the traders, preferring the rocks two hundred feet below to the treatment he would receive from the irate Comanches, swore as he leapt from the cliff that he would rather go through the Gates of Hell than return the stolen furs to the Indians. Every since, that spot on the Brazos has been known as Hell's Gate (shown at right).

Hell's Gate is one of the most striking features on the lake and is a local landmark. The scene of many summertime boating parties, Hell's Gate is a natural break in the cliffs through which Jowell Creek flows into the Brazos River. Impoundment of Possum Kingdom Lake created a beautiful cove "behind the Gate," now very popular for boaters and swimmers.
as for the name: it was because of the abundance of fur trading in the area and it just stuck
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Old 07-16-2008, 04:47 PM
 
Location: DFW
40,952 posts, read 49,155,879 times
Reputation: 55000
It seems like most lakes built in north Tx was by the Corp of Engineers in the 50's for flood control.

PK being built in 1941 makes it one of the 1st large lakes around, I would assume.

thanks for the good info
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Old 07-16-2008, 05:13 PM
 
Location: Texas
3,494 posts, read 14,376,939 times
Reputation: 1413
i used to live in Graham and spent alot of time on PK.........loved it. one of my favorite parts of Texas, and miss it very very much
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Old 04-06-2010, 12:34 PM
 
1 posts, read 17,390 times
Reputation: 13
One story about why the lake is called Possum Kingdom began when a peddler named Ike Sablosky came to Texas in 1906. This salesman had come to Texas from Pennsylvania and Indiana to regain his health. Mineral Wells at the time was famous as a health spa and Ike came to recuperate. While living in Mineral Wells, Ike saw an opportunity to get into the hide and fur business as the Palo Pinto hills were a paradise for raccoon, possum, and fur bearing critters. Mr. Sablosky’s best source of supply for possum hides came from cedar choppers and hunters up in Northwest Palo Pinto County. Ike called his best suppliers “the boys from Possum Kingdom”. The name grew more and more popular and the area became known as Possum Kingdom. Mr. Sablosky moved to Dallas and became a millionaire in the insurance business. He once owned the Dallas baseball team of the old Texas League. After he died at age 82, most of his wealth was given to charities.

Last edited by michaelbbussey; 04-06-2010 at 12:35 PM.. Reason: Left a letter out
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