In the years before Lake Ray Hubbard was built, in the river bottom known to the locals as “the bottom” locals would head to the “bottom” to do some camping, fishing or “noodling” (hand fishing). The north end of the river was home to an old moonshiner’s cabin, Interestingly, today some of the old river levees can still be spotted in some areas around the lake.
Then, in 1957, White Rock Lake in Dallas dried up for a time. Suddenly, the push was on to develop another lake in the county, and Dallas Mayor R.L. Thornton and Dallas Park Board member Ray Hubbard had their eyes on Rockwall County. This was not a popular idea with the cotton farmers who lived in the Rockwall area. Nevertheless, in 1959, the state of Texas granted the permits for a lake to be developed in Rockwall.
Dallas annexed 22,745 acres for water coverage and then purchased additional lakefront parcels. The largest purchased land was 6000 acres from EBS ranch, which covers the southwest area of the lake up to approximately Robertson Park.
By 1967, work on the dam was complete. Engineers expected it would take 3-5 years for the lake to completely fill with water, but it hit capacity in 1968.
Since the lake was built to serve as an emergency water supply for the City of Dallas, engineers originally wanted to remove all the trees from the lake bed — one tree can take up many gallons of water storage space. Happily for all the fisherman who hit the lake every weekend, the timber was never cleared and Lake Ray Hubbard remains a popular destination for local fishermen and boaters.
Source: US Department of Homeland Security