Fairfield Lake State Park, 1,460 acres, is northeast of the city of Fairfield in Freestone County. The park was acquired in 1971-1972 by lease from Texas Utilities and was opened to the public in 1976.
The history of the area around Fairfield Lake State Park resembles that of much of rural eastern Texas. Long occupied by Native Americans who hunted and fished its waterways, the land was first plowed in the mid-19th century and planted in cotton and corn by Anglo farmers and, about a third of the time, their African-American slaves. Following the Civil War, the crop-lien system took root. Blacks and whites alike worked in the service of the cotton crop until after World War II, when changes in American agriculture and increased employment opportunities away from the farm brought an end to the era of widespread cotton farming. Since that time, cattle ranching has prevailed throughout the region. The human population of the Brown Creek area, never large, is now widely scattered over the region. In this sparsely populated area, Texas Utilities built its dam, creating Fairfield Lake as a cooling system for its new power plant.