Kidd Springs Park
James Kidd purchased land in the area in the 1870s which included the spring now bearing his name. The park had its beginnings as a private park in 1895 when the Kidd Springs Fishing & Boating Club began construction of the small spring fed lake.
The story in the newspaper of the time tells the story:
When the work planned by the recently organized Kidd Springs Fishing and Boating Club is completed, there will be one of the prettiest pleasure resorts in the state of Texas, or the southwest, almost within the city limits of Dallas.
This organization, which is arranged on the plan of a stock company, with each shareholder on pleasure bent, has bought nineteen acres of land, including the famous Kidd Springs, which have, for years, poured forth an inexhaustible supply of water, in the suburbs of Oak Cliff, and only a short ride or drive from Dallas.
The stock of the organization is divided into seventy-five shares at the value of $200 per share. To be a member, the person must hold one share, and no one man is allowed more than two shares. This is done in order to regulate the number of members.
Accompanied by a member of the club, a TIMES HERALD reporter paid a visit to the grounds a few days ago. Crossing the mighty Trinity on board an Oak Cliff car, and being whirled through that prosperous suburb with only a glimpse of the points of interest, the end of the line was gained. Turning to a right angle in a northward direction, a ten minute walk brought to view the famous springs, surrounded by a thick grove of pecan trees, interspersed with walnut, persimmon, plum and other trees. Here, a contractor with eighteen teams was at work, making the excavations and building the dam to form a lake. In this work, Nature has assisted greatly, a natural ravine, which, when properly dammed and some excavations made, will form a lake of remarkable size, being about 500 yards long, and about 200 yards wide, with an average depth of 25 feet. At the head of the lake will be a miniature island, which will be graced with a pagoda in the center, gainable by rustic bridges, and complete in other appointments.
Among the pecan trees above the lake will be built a club house, plans of which will hereafter be decided on. On the lake, a number of boats will placed and probably a steam launch for pleasure purposes. Bathing will be arranged for, the adults at a point seemingly designed for the purpose near the dam, and the younger element at the head of the lake, where the water deepens gradually.
The work of excavating and building the dam is rapidly nearing completion. The springs will furnish sufficient water the year around to keep the lake supplied, and an overflow is arranged at one part of the dam where the waste water can escape. It is intended that the arrangements will be complete by next summer, with the exception of the fishing feature, which will take a year or so to develop. As soon as the lake is finished, it will be supplied with all the choice finny tribes.
Every arrangement will look to the pleasure of the members, their families and friends. The rules in this regard will be just strict enough to accord every one equal rights.
- December 10, 1895, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 5, col. 1
The park became part of the Dallas Parks and Recreation system in 1947.
Today the park has that same little lake (or maybe it is a large pond) fed by the spring water. This historic park faces 711 W. Canty Street and has a steady stream of visitors young and old. It offers a Recreation Center, a Butterfly Garden, shaded walking paths, a super playground area along the Cedar Hill Avenue and 5th Street area and even trout fishing.
One of the newest features is the Butterfly Garden on Canty Street. Started in the Fall of 2006, the Garden benefited from the Spring rains of 2007 with a healthy stand of plants and flowers to attract and host a variety of butterflies. The Butterfly Garden is a joint project of Friends of Oak Cliff Park, Kidd Springs Neighbors and many other helping hands.