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LAKE SWEETWATER. Lake Sweetwater was constructed near the town of Sweetwater in northeastern Nolan County by damming Bitter Creek in 1929 at a cost of about $450,000. The lake capacity is 4.5 billion gallons. The dam is 350 feet wide at its base and seventy feet high at its highest point, with a twenty-foot roadway across its top. The widest distance across the lake is about 7,000 feet, and when it is full it covers about 760 acres. The lake is owned and operated by the city of Sweetwater. The nearby lookout, clubhouse, and golf course were built by 200 Civilian Conservation Corps workers. Later a paved road was built around the lake. In 1934 the lake area below the dam had an open amphitheater, two fish hatcheries, and a baseball field. Above the dam was a rock clubhouse (which in the 1980s still stood but was vacant), a boat pier, a nine-hole golf course, and a suspension footbridge over the lake. Around the water's edge are a fishing pier, the lookout house, picnic units, camping areas, gravel walkways, and rock bridges. In 1934 city officials reported that the lake could withstand the demands of a five-year drought without replenishment. Time has shown this report to be accurate, though no serious drought has threatened the area since. Flintkote and U. S. Gypsum, two significant industries in Sweetwater, have been built since the construction of the lake on the southeast side of town.


E. L. Yeats and Hooper Shelton, History of Nolan County (Sweetwater, Texas: Shelton, 1975).

Heidi M. Martin

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

Heidi M. Martin, "LAKE SWEETWATER," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed December 01, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.