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Texas Lakes Trail Region

Participant in the Texas Historical Commission's
Texas Heritage Trails Program

Denison


MAIN STREET MORNING AND WATER SKI AFTERNOON

Denison, birthplace of Dwight D. Eisenhower, is also home to Denison Dam, a mammoth thirteen thousand, three hundred and fifty-foot long earth embankment that holds back the waters of the Red River and forms the eighty-nine thousand acre Lake Texoma. Completed in 1944, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project was once the largest rolled earth-fill dam in the world. Downtown, much of Denison’s historic 19th century architecture has undergone extensive renovations, particularly along downtown Main Street where specialty shops, art galleries, antique stores, and restaurants now occupy many of the storefronts, earning this Texas Lakes Trail community a Texas Main Street City status. Denison, a railroad town, arose from a relatively wild frontier community during the 1870’s where “tent cities”, occupied by bars, gambling halls, and brothels, surrounded the more law-abiding selection of businesses along Main Street. Denison’s first train arrived on tracks laid for the Missouri, Kansas, and Texas Railroad, rolling into town on Christmas Eve, 1872. Today, Denison’s lively renaissance as vacation destination is due in large part to its thriving downtown together with its proximity to Lake Texoma, an ideal water recreation spot in the state.


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