WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE
Lake Corpus Christi, considered one of the largest artificial impoundments in Texas, began in a much humbler state of affairs. In 1929, Lake Lovenskiold (repeat three times as fast as you can) formed along the Nueces River Valley after damming the Nueces just southwest of Mathis. La Fruita Dam held the Nueces waters back for less than a year before a flood washed the entire effort into the gulf. Thanks to FDR and his New Deal, federal funds were available in 1935 to rebuild the dam and Company 886 of the Civilian Conservation Corp was on hand to develop a 365-acre state park around the lake, renamed Lake Corpus Christi (another smart move). The CCC boys built a number of facilities in the park, including the only surviving structure, an open-air, Mediterranean-style refectory constructed of cast blocks made from local caliche. The lake, designed to provide a source of fresh water for Corpus Christi, also provided recreational opportunities for area residents. However, by the 1940s, heavy silting reduced the reservoir's holding capacity and a new dam, along with a sizable increase in lake dimensions, created the 21,000-acre lake Texans enjoy today.