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Possum Kingdom Lake, Graford

4.4
#88 of 149 in Nature in Texas
Possum Kingdom Lake, is a reservoir on the Brazos River located primarily in Palo Pinto County Texas. It was the first water supply reservoir constructed in the Brazos River basin. The lake has an area of approximately with 310mi of shoreline. It holds of water with available for water supply.The Lake was originally created from the Morris Sheppard Dam which was a project of the Brazos River Authority and the Works Progress Administration. Construction was begun in 1936 and completed in 1941. The dam is 2700ft long and 190ft high. The construction is unique with buttressed arched wings on either side of the nine spillway gates rather than the usual filled concrete. It has two 11,250 kilowatt generators which were used during peak demand periods that are no longer in use. Morris Sheppard was in 1938 one of Texas’ United States Senators. The dam was named for him in honor of his efforts in obtaining funding for the project.The lake is located where the Brazos River cuts through the Palo Pinto Hills. The canyon thus formed provided a favorable site for impoundment of the reservoir and accounts for the unusual depth of the lake and the resulting clarity of the water.There are several stories about the origin of the name Possum Kingdom for this part of the Brazos River valley. The most accepted version attributes the name to Ike Sablosky who settled in the region in the early twentieth century. Sablosky was a businessman, a Russian Jewish immigrant who came to America at the age of 13. He arrived in Mineral Wells, Texas from Indianapolis in 1905. Sablosky was suffering from stomach trouble and believed he was dying. Mineral Wells was then nationally famous as a health spa and Sablosky offered an employee of one of the spa hotels ten cents a day for ten days to be allowed to drink all of the mineral water he wanted. The employee accepted and Sablosky claimed that within ten days his stomach problems were cured.
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  • Possum Kingdom Lake was created by damming up the Brazos River in Palo Pinto county. The lake snakes around a lot. Aerial drawings of the lake look like a Chinese dragon. There are over 300 miles of s...  more »
  • We needed the photos for an assignment. It's very unusual because of the rock bluffs that encase the lake. Very photogenic, but you need to rent a boat, which we did. Any view of Hell's Gate is from p...  more »
  • We spent the 4th of July there and absolutely enjoyed ourselves. The lake was great for boating, skiing, fishing, swimming and watching the sun set and rise. We will be back again.  more »

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