By Tammy Thomas
I absolutely love my little city. Mornings are peaceful and quiet until the planes start overhead, but even that is a wonderful part of life in Lake Worth.
Back in 1959, moving to Texas at the age of one wasn’t my choice but ultimately my destiny. My mom arrived by bus in downtown Fort Worth on a cold, windy day with three little ones in tow. Just a few miles down Texas Highway 199, we would make our home in the small city of Lake Worth.
Early survey papers indicate that James Hodgkins and William Charbonneau, both founding fathers of Lake Worth Village, owned land where the water reservoir named Lake Worth would be built. Work began in 1911 and was completed in 1914. The impact of that beginning and the years to follow would play a major part in the history of this small community. Lake Worth is the center and heart of our community. Highway 199, called Jacksboro Highway, runs through Lake Worth and was well traveled during a dangerous era for gamblers and gangsters.
Construction for a theme park on the lake began in 1927. With its 400-foot boardwalk and majestic roller coaster, additional rides and a 300-pound caged gorilla, Lake Worth was a popular vacation spot. A casino ballroom was constructed some years later and featured many famous stars and well-known bands. Casino Beach and Palm Beach were popular swimming and picnicking areas for many generations. The Lake Worth Monster/Goat Man remains a legend, and made headlines and news for many years.
A fun fact is the trees on the playground of Effie Morris Early Learning Academy have been dated back to the days of Christopher Columbus. In the oldest part of Lake Worth, Indian Oaks streets are named after Native American tribes that once lived here such as Shawnee, Pueblo, Delaware and many more.
My most cherished memories are of my days growing up in this wonderful little town. A simple time spent wandering its peaceful streets with friends. The Corral Drive Inn was a family favorite and later date night along with roller skating at the local rink. Eating at Vivian Courtney’s, a treasured restaurant, is still missed by everyone.
My husband and I met at Lake Worth High School. We later married in 1974 and raised two daughters who also graduated here. Our seven grandchildren are now third generation Bullfrogs. These days I serve on the school board and help the school district in any way possible.
I love that United States flags still grace the streets in my city, you can still borrow a missing ingredient from a neighbor, and enjoy a cup of coffee and a good listening ear is always available. I love Lake Worth.
Tammy Thomas has lived in Lake Worth for more than six decades. She lives in the northwest Tarrant County city with her husband. Thomas is a Lake Worth ISD school board member.
Total population: 4,710
Female: 55% | Male: 45%
80 and older: 4%
No degree: 17%
High school: 38%
Some college: 23%
Bachelor’s degree: 18%
White: 62% | Hispanic: 44% | Black: 2% | Two or more: 2%
Click on the link to view the schools’ Texas Education Agency ratings: