Traces of earlier residents lie under the waters of Cooper Lake. Caddo Indians came here thousands of years ago, and settlers and farmers moved into the area in the 1800s.
Immigrants from Tennessee, Kentucky, the Carolinas and Virginia brought in agriculture and livestock and changed the land. Cotton and dairy became the main industries.
Building a lake . . .
The 19,300-acre Cooper Lake is a young lake. The Cooper Lake Project was authorized in 1955, and construction began in 1986. Construction finished and water collection began in the fall of 1991. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built the lake to help control flooding on the South Sulphur River, to supply water for towns in the area, and for outdoor recreation such as fishing and boating.
Thousands of acres of parks and wildlife management areas surround the lake. The lake has evolved into one of the best fishing lakes in the region.
. . . and a park
Cooper Lake State Park, 3,026 acres, is in northeast Texas. The park has two units: Doctors Creek, 715.5 acres in Delta County, and South Sulphur, 2,310.5 acres in Hopkins County. The state of Texas leased both park units from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in January 1991.
The park opened for boat access in November 1992. The Doctors Creek Unit opened Jan. 3, 1996; the South Sulphur Unit opened April 27, 1996. The park is convenient for surrounding communities, including Paris, Cooper, Greenville, Sulphur Springs and Commerce, as well as the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and Texarkana.