Fairfield Lake

By: Laurie E. Jasinski

Type: General Entry

Published: May 19, 2005

Fairfield Lake is on Big Brown Creek about eight miles northeast of Fairfield in northeastern Freestone County. In 1967 Texas Power and Light Company, Texas Electric Service Company, and Dallas Power and Light Company announced the construction of a new power plant and an adjacent cooling lake. Industrial Generating Company, a subsidiary of Texas Utilities Company, acted as operating agent for the project. Land acquisition of 5,876 acres and dam construction began in 1968. The contractor, Spencer Construction Company, built a 4,350-foot earthfill dam with a height of 77 feet and top width of 25 feet. Impoundment of the approximately 2,500-acre lake began in December 1969. Tentatively named Big Brown Creek Reservoir, by 1970 the lake was officially named Fairfield Lake. In addition to its industrial use for Big Brown Steam Electric Plant, the lake provides recreational use for area residents and tourists. Fairfield Lake State Park is located on its southern and southwestern shores. As a cooling reservoir for the power plant, Fairfield Lake maintains a much warmer than average temperature, sometimes as warm as 107 degrees in mid-summer. The heated water facilitates redfish, hybrid stripers, and Florida largemouth bass. Swimmers also take advantage of the water's therapeutic benefits.

C. L. Dowell and R. G. Petty, Engineering Data on Dams and Reservoirs in Texas (Texas Water Development Board Report 126 [3 pts., Austin, 1971–74]). Laurie E. Jasinski, "Land of Great Promise: A History of Fairfield Lake State Park" (unpublished report, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Cultural Resources Program, Austin, 2002).

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Laurie E. Jasinski, “Fairfield Lake,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 23, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/fairfield-lake.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

May 19, 2005