Riverlake Country Club Flood Dallas Texas April 1957
This video was shot during the Dallas Flood in April 1957 in and around Dallas Texas. The film was found in the Estate of RA Dinnwiddie in 2017. It shows Riverlake Country Club in Dallas Tx and the Dallas Area. I find this funny because when I was a kid I played the golf course that some of the footage shows. I can relate to this footage because it was wet than too!
“When Riverlake opened, North Texas had seen hardly any rain since 1950. It got so bad that Dallas had to pipe in nasty Red River water, which tasted terrible and fouled pipes. They drilled a well in one end zone at the Cotton Bowl to irrigate the pitch. Lawns withered. Trees died.
The drought broke to our west in January 1957, a day after President Eisenhower toured San Angelo on a disaster-area inspection tour. The surviving farmers and ranchers rejoiced and considered voting Republican. The rain fell in earnest in North Texas beginning on April 18. Empty reservoirs and dry ground absorbed it, but the rain did not stop. In a few days, when the saturated earth could hold no more, an enormous volume of water ran off into the four forks of the Trinity. And the river rose. Crowds on the Commerce, Westmoreland, and Continental bridges peered into the frightening, swirling, hypnotizing rush of brown and gray water. The levees at Sylvan and Westmoreland held, but just barely.
Of Course, Of Course: A satellite photo taken in 2015 shows the construction of the new Trinity Forest Golf Club, which will open later this year. The former Riverlake Country Club was renamed Forest Oaks, then Sleepy Hollow, before the city condemned the land as part of a flood-control project.
But southern Dallas had no earthen embankments along the Trinity. Southern Dallas had no flood control at all. As the river continued to rise, Riverlake employees and helpful members scurried to roll up the carpets and carry the furniture onto the roof. On April 25, only treetops and the roof of the vast, vaguely X-shaped clubhouse poked above the water. It was the club’s sixth month in business.
“Riverlake Country Club took on the appearance of a luxurious showboat with no place to go,” read the caption below a newspaper photo, “as the nearby Trinity River surged over its banks and onto the golf course, even submerging an outdoor swimming pool.”
The Riverlakers certainly were good sports about it. “Good thing we built our house with concrete walls!” they said. When the water receded, scores of members drove south with mops and buckets. The inundated turf presented a trickier problem. What with the river’s usual silt deposit, cleanup required sweeping, shoveling, and high-pressure hosing to get the muck out of the grass.”
D Magazine March 2016
The Amazing, Tragic Story of Riverlake Country Club
By CURT SAMPSON