Growing up in Young County, Texas, this road was one of my dad’s favorites for a Sunday afternoon drive around Lake Possum Kingdom, or PK as we knew it. On my recent trip to Texas, I discovered this guard wall around the edge of Kimberlin Mountain–so named for a nearby ranch–was constructed by the WPA. I had run across a document from the Texas Highway Department about bridges, and when I read the section about a retaining wall constructed along the road below the dam, I had a good idea it was this road. This section of the lake area is in Palo Pinto County.
Back in 2012, I had discovered the bridge over the Brazos River below the dam was a WPA construction, and recalled I had photographed the bridge many years earlier without knowing the significance. The bridge, guard wall, 21 limestone culverts, and 27.75 miles of highway were also constructed after the Morris Sheppard Dam was completed. Knowing the only retaining wall/guard wall I was aware of would have been this charming little overlook, I took a drive out my final week in Texas.
Dad would pull over and park in the pull-out to the edge, and we would talk about the beautiful valley below and the little ranch. Sometimes he would make up stories about how it must have looked in the early years of settlement, and prior, when it was home or hunting grounds to Comanche and Kiowa.
The rock was quarried from atop Kimberlin Mountain, and the guard wall is two feet tall with crenellations spaced every four feet the 1800 feet of the length of the wall. There were originally 129 crenellations, and 88 of them remain in original condition, unaltered or undamaged. Of the 21 stone culverts constructed along the route, 16 are still in original condition. WPA also constructed ‘haul roads’ to transport supplies during the construction of the dam. The 8.4 mile segment of the State Highway 16 corridor runs north-to-south, connecting SH 16 at SH 254 near Graford along the east side of Possum Kingdom to Brackeen Drive near Brad.