Lake Tyler opened to 1,000 fishermen on June 1, 1950, according to newspaper archives, and the mood seemed to be festive one.
Lake Tyler, constructed in 1949 after voters approved its creation, serves a dual purpose — it's the main water supply for the city, and it's a major recreation center here.
The 2,400-surface-acre lake was constructed in 1949 after Tyler voters approved its creation. It began serving as the city's primary water supply after the water treatment facilities at Lake Bellwood were retired in 1965.
City officials voted to start construction on the lake in 1948 even though there would be a $90,000 deficit in the expected $2.6 million cost.
The lake is on Prairie Creek, a tributary of Mud Creek and lies in the Angelina River watershed with storage capacity of more than 15 billion gallons at spillway elevation. It has an average depth of 17.6 feet.
The ridge, which became a 70-acre island, was named Langley Island, for a family who lived in a home there at its highest point. On this arm of land, 800 feet wide and 4,000 feet long, the city planted 6,000 seedling pines to stop erosion, the 1954 article stated.
“Other trees, shrubs, and flowering plants also were planted. Thus utility bowed to beauty,” the article stated.
Then on May 5, 1950, the city officially designated the island a bird and wildlife sanctuary and the Audubon Society of Tyler was officially designated as the permanent custodian.