Fort Worth District
Lakes and Recreation Menu
History of Sam Rayburn Reservoir
Authorized by Congress in 1945 for the purposes of flood control, hydroelectric power generation, and conservation of water for municipal, industrial, agricultural, and recreational uses as the second element of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers development plan for the Neches River Basin, construction of the dam was begun in 1956, with deliberate impoundment of water beginning in March, 1965, and conservation pool level, (elevation 164.4ft, mean sea level), being initially reached in 1966. Total construction costs, including those for recreation facilities, were estimated at approximately $66 million dollars.
Dedication ceremonies were held on May 8, 1965, with President Lyndon B. Johnson delivering the principal address by telephone from the White House. This event is commemorated by a dedication plaque mounted on a Texas red granite monument, located at the overlook near the powerhouse, adjacent to Recreation Road 255.