Local News
Lake Fannin supporters look to Congressman Fallon for help
By Allen Rich
Sep 14, 2021
Print this page
Email this article

Congressman Fallon addressed a meeting of Fannin County Republican Women on Monday, September 13

Fannin County, Texas -- With Congressman Pat Fallon speaking in Bonham on Monday, September 13, 2021, area residents who are working to return the Lake Fannin complex to local control are hoping to enlist the congressman's support to cut through the bureaucratic red tape and wrest the historic recreational area away from a Forest Service that has no budget for Lake Fannin and has exhibited no interest in keeping Lake Fannin open to the public before more dilapidation occurs. The residents of Fannin County seem to have two choices: find someone with enough clout to convince the Forest Service that this scenic area should be available to taxpayers, or simply watch the historic, restored cabins cave in.

To add insult to injury, as county residents watch historic structures built in the 1930s continue to decay under the watch of the Forest Service, they are also being advised that the Forest Service is continuing to tack on administrative fees that must be paid before this land transfer  is possible.

The total tab requested by the Forest Service -- so far -- is $456,000, which includes the cost of a survey and an appraisal, plus the cost of the land.

Repairs needed on the roof of the Lake Fannin Lodge are estimated to cost $11,440, plus the cost of the wood that will need to be replaced. Fannin County and the Lake Fannin Volunteers are ready to step up and repair the lodge roof, but what should have been a simple land transfer between governmental entities to return Lake Fannin to its rightful owners is bogged down in Forest Service bureaucracy. The Lake Fannin Board of Directors is currently awaiting word from the Forest Service that the federal agency will allow the lodge roof to be repaired.

Lake Fannin Lodge has proved to be a popular wedding venue and two weddings are planned for the near future.

Lake Fannin Lodge

Vegetation on the dam continues to be a top priority of local volunteers who are discussing the possibility of using a controlled burn to train area volunteer fire departments while also eliminating much of the vegetation on the dam.

The sprawling historic campsite includes 197 acres around the lake where the historic stone structures and primitive campsites are located, but the entire 2,025-acre parcel of land boasts undeveloped frontage on Red River that could provide public access to a unique natural resource.

The Lake Fannin Board of Directors is exploring ways to attract more volunteers in hopes of restoring a treasured part of the county's heritage in order to allow young families an opportunity to experience one of the most beautiful places in Fannin County.

The mission of the Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation's forests and grasslands, which seems to indicate that the USDA agency is ill-prepared to deal with aging historic structures built at Lake Fannin between 1936 and 1938 by the Federal Rural Resettlement Administration. Lake Fannin was the largest RRA project of its kind in Texas, due in large part to the support of Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Sam Rayburn.