Lake Tanglewood Information
Resort Style Living in the Heart of the Panhandle of Texas
There isn´t another community in the Texas Panhandle that offers the opportunities that Lake Tanglewood has... Guaranteed!
Lake Tanglewood is peaceful, quiet, and off the beaten track... yet only 15 miles from Amarillo (theaters, restaurants, shopping and excellent medical facilities).
Located in the upper region of the Palo Duro Canyon, Lake Tanglewood is the perfect setting for resort type living. Whether you are looking for a permanent home or simply a second home on the lake, Lake Tanglewood is the place to live in the panhandle of Texas.
Lake Tanglewood Golf Association was formed in 1977 to promote golf and fellowship among the residents of Lake Tanglewood and to insure proper maintenance of the golf course. To get the course up to par a group of "hardy pioneers" took it upon themselves to meet the maintenance needs. Members adopted greens and spent countless hours mowing, watering and caring for them. Many fund raising projects helped finance needs for the course.
In 1982 a project of publishing a Lake Tanglewood phone book was started and the sale of the books goes to the LT Golf Association treasury. Through all the years it has taken teamwork and dedication from lots of good people to accomplish so much for our course. In 1991 golf cart trails were completed - - again with the cooperation of lots of people and the generosity of citizens at the lake. The course is now maintained by the Lake Tanglewood, Inc. maintenance crew. The golf association sponsors many tournaments, holds quarterly supper meetings, and the ladies have a luncheon once a month. Improvements are constantly being made to the course. There is no playing fee for Lake Tanglewood members. A small fee is required for guest of members. The membership dues for the golf association is $15.00 per person per year.
John Curry Community Center
The "gathering place" for activities, fun and food! Most of our community activities are centered at the clubhouse. There is boat docking, gas pumps (for both vehicles and boats), a community park, community library, mail box center and our own cafe. The clubhouse serves as a meeting place for our clubs and organizations as well as a great party facility. Annual activities include 4th of July celebrations, tailgate and dance party in August, fundraisers for the Lions Club and Emergency Medical Services, the annual community Thanksgiving Dinner (Sunday before Thanksgiving day) and many other functions.
The cafe has a relaxed atmosphere and serves a variety of foods such as salads, hamburgers, and breakfast items. Friday nights offer fried catfish with all the trimmings and Wednesday night is Steak Night -- one of the best steaks around! Convenient, inexpensive and quick! The restaurant is a great enhancement to Lake Tanglewood living.
The park offers covered picnic areas and playground equipment for young children. There is a sand volleyball court, restrooms, and a swimming area. Its the perfect place for large family reuinions or parties of just about any kind.
Arts and Crafts Club
Arts & Crafts was started in 1970. Tea invitations were sent to the Lake Tanglewood women and the first official meeting was on January 18, 1971. The dues are $10.00 per year. In 1976 a series of money-making projects was launched. The various fund raisers have included, cookbooks, quilt making, and bazaars. The money raised goes to various community projects including the volunteer fire department, improvements to the clubroom, donations to the Golf Association, and beautification projects for the park and main gate.
The club is not only interested in learning crafts but in sharing and helping the community. Benevolences include: making splints for the ambulance, toys given to the Church for needy children, hand puppets for local hospitals, lap robes and aprons for nursing homes and money donations made to numerous organizations.
The purposes of the club shall be:
The club meets every Monday from 10:00 a. m. to 11:00 a.m. at the Clubhouse.
The Lake Tanglewood Lions Club was organized in 1984 and on April 19, 1984, a charter was issued by Lions International. The Club was founded to help those individuals that are less fortunate than we are. The Club has furnished leadership and money to the Panhandle Eye Bank, provided funds to send young people to the Lions Camp in Kerrville, sponsored girls from Girls Town USA to shop for shoes and coats, assists in the eye glass program in our local schools, and sponsors a Boy Scout Troup at the Lake. The Club has painted the marina and helped build the restrooms and other projects for the Park at the Lake.
The Club has three fund raising events each year:
- Chili Supper
- Sell Ice Cream at the 4th of July celebration
- Flags to be displayed on holidays
- Flags across the big bridge
The Association was formed at an open meeting at the Clubhouse on October 9, 1986. The purpose of the Association was to improve the fishing in our lake. We have an on-going program with the Department of Fisheries Management at Texas Tech University to assist the Association with balancing the fish population in the lake.
Lake Tanglewood Community Church
Lake Tanglewood Community Church started in the summer of 1971. Several families began meeting in lake-front yards to worship together. In bad weather, they moved into the Community Center for services. The church officially formed on May 9, 1972 with 125 charter members. Construction for the present church building was started in 1973 and dedicated on March 23, 1974. The building was paid for and the note burned in a ceremony exactly one year from the dedication. A fellowship hall and two classrooms were completed in November 2002. The church has had five pastors in its 31-year history. The current pastor is Reverend Jon Kohler.
Lake Tanglewood Community Church is an interdenominational church. Some of our special services include Maundy Thursday services, a sunrise service on Easter Sunday held at the 3 crosses, a community wide Thanksgiving dinner held the Sunday before Thanksgiving day, a candle light communion service on Christmas Eve, Christmas caroling and Christmas sharing for those with special needs. Out baptisms are traditionally conducted in the lake. Our graduating seniors and presented with a personalized Bible. The Church also offers Vacation Bible School usually scheduled in June.
Coffee and Fellowship (beginning at 8:30 a.m.) is also a tradition before the Sunday services. Worship Service begins at 9:00 a.m. with the ringing of our bell. Sunday School follows at 10:00 a.m. Youth meetings both junior high and high school are scheduled at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday and Wednesday evenings. September through April our Ladies Bible Study meeting on Tuesday morning at 9:45 and the Adult Bible Study meets September through May on Wednesday evenings at 7:00 p.m. The Lake Tanglewood Community church sits on a knoll, its native stone blending into the earth tones of the canyon bluffs, its bell tower standing sentinel over mesquite and yucca. "For where two or three are gathered together in my names, there am I in the midst of them." Matthew 18:20
Lake Tanglewood has their own Fire Department and Ambulance service that is located on North Shore near the John Currie Community Center. The new Emergency Services building and updated equipment are a welcome addition for the volunteers that give their time and energy to keep this community safe. Our volunteer force is second to none and continue to train and educate in order to provide top notch service to our residents and surrounding area. If you own a Lake Tanglewood Home, you can count on the finest service available from any emergency services.
Mail Boxes and Gas Station
This is also the area for our mail boxes as well as our own self-servicegas station. Need to fill up your boat? Don't worry, you don't even have to take your boat out of the water. Use the On-Water gas pumps and get back to the fun quickly! The mailboxes are located centrally and make it very easy for Lake Tanglewood residents to access.
Marina with Boat Lifts
Now, living off the water has it's privileges. The new marina has made it possible for 28 off water residents to have their boat on the water and ready to go at the touch of a button! The new Lake Tanglewood marina also adds that certain ambiance to the Lake. There are three separate ramps for loading and unloading your boat here at Lake Tanglewood.
History of Lake Tanglewood
The Village of Lake Tanglewood is now well established, a small community on the Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River on the north end of Palo Duro Canyon. It is in the northeast corner of Randall County.
All that nature had to contribute was in place; but all the work of man was soon to come. The Lake was created by damming Palo Duro Creek. The community, a private, residential, year-round resort and home of over 400 families, was created primarily by the vision of one man, and then another, and then---many.
Lake Tanglewood is surrounded by the beautiful Palo Duro Canyon, and the water of the lake offers the best of family living--fishing, boating, swimming and water skiing. Residents also golf, admire the scenery and the abundant wildlife. But in the….well, here’s the way the two men most responsible remember the beginning.
“In the fall of 1956 I was working in the Palisades, just west of (what is now) Lake Tanglewood, and I drive east to the section line between the canyon about half a mile, and I viewed the beauty of the canyon I thought, ‘what a beautiful place to build a lake.’”
“I went back to the job and asked the man I was working for who owned the property just east of the Palisades. I was told the John and Hugh Currie owned the ranch.”
“I drove down to John Currie’s place and found Mr. Currie at home. I introduced myself and told him of my idea to build a lake above his home and east of the Palisades.”
That’s the way S.G. “Roy” Stockton remembered the beginning of Lake Tanglewood, first called Lake Stockton, in an account written later. Here’s another account by one who was present at the beginning, John Currie:
“In 1956 Stockton Construction, Inc., S.G. Stockton, supervisor, was doing construction work on a property adjoining the Currie Ranch. During this time, he made the observation that the beauty of the canyon would provide the setting for a beautiful lake.”
The idea was presented to John Currie, who enthusiastically agreed with him. Further discussions consummated a 99-year lease contingent upon the raising of certain finances for the first year. In 1959, after the option failed, another 99 year lease of similar nature was given. The year that followed was crucial, but Roy Stockton completed his finances against tremendous odds. The green light for dam construction was on.
Lake Stockton, Inc. included Mable Stockton, wife of Roy, and his two sons Richard and Sherman, all of whom made great contributions and sacrifices for the financing and building of Lake Stockton.
The canyon has furnished shelter for Indians, perhaps for the expedition of Francisco Vasques de Coronado in 1541, and certainly for the cattle of Charles Goodnight and John Adair, who founded JA Ranch that included the canyon.
STOCKTON: “If I had listened to the lawyers and bankers, I would not have ever built the dam and spillway. Of course, I understand the wisdom of bankers, that you should have the money in the bank before you ever start a project. But being a poor boy all my life, I figured out a way to ‘poorboy’ this thing through; and with the Lord’s help, we did it.”
CURRIE: “With the continued efforts of Roy Stockton, the construction moved forward against all odds. The lake has a watershed of ninety-nine sections, and Stockton was advised by engineers that it would take two years to fill the lake.”
STOCKTON: “Freeze and Nichols, Engineers, the ones who designed and built the dam and spillway, said that this spillway was built closer to specifications than any other they had ever designed. John Currie could not have been more cooperative and helpful than he was, in more ways than one.”
“When the first rent payment came due before the dam and spillway were complete, he knew we did not have the money to pay him, so he postponed the starting date for six months or so, and when the starting date came around again, we were still short of money, so he postponed the starting date again.”
“We could not have made it without John’s help in postponing the starting dates and allowing the late payments from time to time. John is the best friend this lake ever had. He could have made it hard on us if he had insisted on following the contract to the letter.”
“The first rent payments were made by giving lots at face value that John Currie graciously accepted. I started raising money by taking a commitment on a lot to be paid when we reached a certain amount.”
Stockton then formed a corporation and let a contract for the dirt work.
Stockton: “The work progressed satisfactorily until June, when we had the most rain on record since they began keeping records in 1880, 9.85 inches.”
Currie: “In June, 1961, the lake filled in three hours after almost ten inches of rain fell on this watershed. Water began flowing over the unfinished dam at 11 a.m. and washed out a large section of the dam at 2 p.m.
Stockton: “We did not have the dam high enough to put water over the spillway. We lacked about 6 inches having it high enough. We had made arrangement for a flood from the beginning of the dirt work, but we were not able to handle the type of flood that came that morning. We thought the dam would hold all the water that would come down the creek, but we were sadly mistaken.”
“The lake filled up in three hours and started to go over the dam about 11 a.m., and 2 p.m. that afternoon, the dam broke and the lake emptied in about an hour and created the biggest flood in the history of Palo Duro Canyon. Luckily, no one was hurt.”
Currie: “The future of Lake Stockton seemed impossible with the loss of financial backing and with criticism from many people. But Roy Stockton never lost faith; he was determined to complete the project. He solicited the help of P. B. Taylor, Stanley Crowe, Boyd Hinton, Gene Harris, L. E. Van Doren and others. Without the help of these men, the future of the lake was in question.”
Stockton: “Several people thought that would be the end of the project, but we never stopped working. We just jumped back in as soon as it dried up enough for us to work and kept going until the dam was completed.”
Currie: “Early in 1962 the dam was completed and the spillway was under construction. Roy Stockton and his family concentrated on supervision of all projects. Roads and bridges were built adjoining surveyed lots. Lot sales progressed even more with the drilling of water wells and the construction of a nine-hole golf course", now a eighteen-hole golf course.
Another milestone was the construction of the Sanddrift Restaurant on the lot farthest east on North Shore Drive early in 1963. A year later, the building was given to Lake Stockton by John Currie and was moved to the present clubhouse location. During this year the lake filled, “and there appeared a most beautiful body of water surrounded by cottonwood trees and cedar-covered bluffs.”
So ended the accounts of Mr. Stockton and Mr. Currie of the beginnings of Lake Tanglewood, but of course the true beginning took place long before, perhaps ninety million years before. The canyon that holds Lake Tanglewood is an upstream section of Palo Duro Canyon formed through “at least four geologic ages” by water erosion of the Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River.
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