Texas is a BIG state and in the 1930s it must have seemed even larger when traveling. This was a time when cars traveled slower with no air conditioning or other comforts. Stopping and resting was important for the occupants as well as the vehicle. The State of Texas realized this and began building roadside parks during the depression. Using young labor through the National Youth Administration, over 600 parks were built throughout Texas.
These parks offered shade, shelters with stone tables and many had springs for water. Today approximately 40 parks remain on less traveled roads throughout Texas. We found one such park on SH 37 between Mt. Vernon and Winnsboro.
The park is set above the road with stone steps leading to the tables and shelter. The spring is no longer active although there was water in the “well” – we would not have used it for anything. The park was in disrepair but because of the method of construction it was generally intact.
We could imagine a slower time when families traveled long distances on the two lane roads of rural Texas. Stopping at the park where the adults could relax and children could play and splash in the water, we could almost hear the voices of travelers. The stone table and benches would offer a cooling place for lunch. These parks are a piece of living history and should be restored and maintained for future generations.