In the Highlander’s January 2 issue in 1964. Publisher Bob Bray rhapsodized about the “economic impact of Lyndon B. Johnson becoming president,” as reporters from all over the world came to central Texas. “Surely,” he wrote. “1964 will be the greatest year since the creation of the Highland Lakes. People who have investments in this area can congratulate themselves, for they will continue to increase in value.”
The first “Kingsland” news that made the Llano paper in 1964 was the birth of Gina Renee Sindorf. Her parents owned the River Oaks Lodge on Highway 1431 in Kingsland, and she was the first Llano County baby of 1964. The January 9 issue of The Llano News also reported that Commissioner Euel Moore, who had already been on the job in Precinct #3 for 14 years, had announced his run for re-election in 1964.
That week’s Highlander reported that the Kingsland Volunteer Fire Department had purchased a fire truck in Odessa, and that there would be a big celebration when it was delivered (within 60 days). A photo in the “Kingslander” section showed A.H. Daricek, of Daricek’s Lodges, holding his great-granddaughter, Ann Parker. The caption noted that her father was Henry Parker, “of Pearl Harbor.” Four generations spent their holidays at the lakeside resort.
Col. Art McGibney addressed the Kingsland Lions Club, exhorting members to “put their best foot forward” in welcoming “untold thousands who would visit the Highland Lakes” during the coming summer.
Dun & Bradstreet reported that the number of businesses in Llano County had increased by 52.6% in the previous year, from 116 to 177. Most of that increase was in Kingsland. A small news item noted that there were now 24 homes and “13 permanent folk” living in the Lakewood Forest III subdivision. The 1964 board of the Highland Lakes Tourist Association (pictured on the front page of the January 30 Highlander) included Kingslanders Woody McCasland and Odie Ainsworth.
The Kingsland Bass Club met at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Tex Wright. The only membership requirement was to catch a bass of three pounds or more. The angler who caught the biggest bass was the “Kingfish,” who presided over the meetings until their record was surpassed. That month’s Kingfish was Mrs. Bill Douthit.
The Kingsland Chamber of Commerce sponsored a booth that winter at the Austin Boat and Travel Show, and twelve Kingsland lodges offered a free two-night stay for two in a drawing at the show. The participants were: Newt’s cabins, Daricek’s Lodges, Lewis Lodges, Winsor Cottages, River Oaks Lodge, Foster Lodges, Bill’s Place, Fred Wood’s Camp, Lloyd’s Cabins, Packsaddle Lodge, Lazy H Lodge, and Kingsland Lodges. Eight of the winners were from Austin, and there was one winner each from San Marcos, Thorndale, Georgetown and Dallas.
Aubrey Hesler reported in the February 6 “Kingslander” section that grading was finished on the bank site, and “the bank will be up before we know it.” Mr. and Mrs. B.C. Dyess bought Hamilton Lodge and re-named it Dyess Lodge. Tennie Wingo’s article reported that three new homes were under construction in the Kingsland Estates subdivision.
A February 13 article in The Llano News listed some new business developments in 1964 Kingsland. Construction of a new Church of Christ was expected to begin (across from Barney’s Sweet Shop) in March. A new dentist was moving in. Lee Phillips was opening a new L&D Television Service (next door to Barney’s Sweet Shop, in the building formerly occupied by Webber’s Nursery). The Webbers had moved their nursery to their home “just off Highway 1431 on the River Ranch Road.” And Sanford and Selmar Park were opening a men’s and women’s “ready-to-wear shop” in the Hornsby building that week.
Mr. and Mrs. W.J. Cason moved to the Lakeside Heights subdivision and purchased Lakeside Supply and Cottages. Mrs. J.N. Byler offered bedding plants for sale from the hothouse at her husband’s Kingsland Implement Co., which specialized in Gravely equipment.
The Kingsland Community Church announced a 10-year anniversary celebration for Sunday, February 16. The Kingsland Garden Club announced a plant sale for March 7.
Substantial progress was being made on the new Hwy 1431 bridge across the lake’s Colorado arm, which would replace the “one-way relic” built during World War I. The Kingsland Rifle & Pistol Club held an organizational meeting at Wayman’s Restaurant on February 14. The Highland Lakes Church of Christ held its first service at the American Legion Hall on February 16.
A country club was proposed for an undetermined site on Highway 1431 “between Kingsland and State Highway 29.” Planned facilities would include a clubhouse “complete with restaurant, swimming pool, tennis court and lounge.” Other possibilities included a putting green, a pitch-and-putt area and a driving range. Organizers, including Odie Ainsworth and Woody McCasland, hoped to attract 200 resident members and 100 more “non-resident” members who owned property in the area but did not live here full-time.
The February 27 Highlander showed a photo, taken from across the lake at Packsaddle Lodge, of President Johnson’s lake home and boat docks. The caption said “President Johnson and his family are expected to spend a lot of time this summer on Granite Shoals Lake,” and added “In 1961, LBJ’s boat ran out of gas and was towed to Daricek’s Lodge for refueling by Buck Daricek.”
Plans were announced for a Kingsland Youth Benefit organization to arrange summer recreation events for young people in Kingsland. Woody and Sylvia McCasland were elected Chairman and Secretary. Dr. Roy Barry announced that he would open a temporary dental office next door to Bowen Pharmacy until his permanent office was ready at the new shopping center. Frank Reeder and F.D. Glass advertised their new Royal Oaks Estates subdivision.
The Kingsland American Legion post and the Kingsland Lions Club co-hosted a Leap Year fish fry fundraiser in Longhorn Cavern on February 29, 1964.
A new fire hall was under construction and a new fire truck was on order, but they were too late to save the home of Roy Britton, which burned to the ground early on the morning of March 1. Later that Sunday, a ground-breaking was held for the new Highland Lakes Church of Christ building; the church had been meeting at the American Legion Hall, and averaged about 65 in attendance each week.
A front-page photo in The Llano News on March 5 showed the partially-built bridge across the Colorado River, just to the north of the old one-lane “wagon bridge” which served Kingsland at the time. Rahmberg Mobile Homes moved from near the bridge to “the far end of Kingsland,” on Hwy 1431. The Trading Post advertised an auction, to be held March 7.
A photo in the March 12 Highlander showed a truck pulling one of the huge pre-cast concrete beams for Kingsland’s new bridge. The caption reported that the beams were 65 feet long and weighed 34,000 pounds. A “statement of condition” showed that the Highland Lakes National Bank had surpassed $1.2 million in its first year of business.
The following week, lodge owner Jack Valentine asked for the public’s help in locating a 14-foot fishing boat, white with a blue bottom, which had floated away from the dock and disappeared. Mrs. Raymond Walker moved her “Beauty Walk” business from Llano to Euel Moore Drive in Kingsland. Her husband worked at Stein Lumber.
Volunteers built a new “Tourist Information Center” on Hwy 1431. There were seven houses in the new Warwick Addition (including the home of Stein Lumber’s manager, Bill McGee), and more on the way.
Bids from eight companies were opened April 1 for the construction of a modern shopping center, which would include the Highland Lakes National Bank building, “on Highway 1431 on the way to Llano.”
The Kingsland Chamber participated in the Highland Lakes Tourism Association’s Bluebonnet Trail on the weekend of April 4 and 5. Recent rains had turned Llano County into “a sea of blue in every direction,” and thousands of sightseers crowded the roads. A front-page photo in the Highlander showed a photographer taking pictures from the top of Backbone Mountain. Two hundred feet below her, cars were lined up at the scenic overlook on Hwy 1431.
Members of the Kingsland Community Church discussed plans for a new building at a meeting on April 15.
Developer Max Flinchbaugh announced that “Sherwood Shores III” would be built at the north end of Lake LBJ, near Inks Dam. Billy Joe Fox, who had done an impressive job selling lots at the original Sherwood Shores, would be in charge of the new development. Kingsland’s new fire truck finally arrived from Odessa the first week of May.
A famous painter announced plans to move to Kingsland. Mrs. Glenn Smith, who had recently painted a 110-foot mural for the World’s Fair in New York City, planned to open the Bluebonnet Gift & Ceramics Shop near Snider Plumbing on Hwy 1431.
A group of Austin businessmen opened a new Deerhaven subdivision, near Blue Lake Estates on the south side of the lake.
The new bridge across the Colorado River opened abruptly on May 18, when a large truck caused some cables to break on the old bridge. Workers hastily cleared approaches to the nearly-completed new bridge and diverted traffic a few days before the bridge’s planned opening. The bridge still needed some rails, some concrete work, and some finishing touches on the approaches. A picture in the June 4 paper showed the completed bridge, ready for summer traffic.
A crowd gathered at Kingsland Lodges on May 24 as President Johnson’s new 28-foot Glastron cruiser was launched. The new boat replaced one which was damaged and sank in the LBJ boathouse; the Highlander surmised that the president would be using his new boat on the coming Saturday.
Daricek’s Lodge celebrated its 3rd anniversary on Saturday, June 13. The last span of the old “wagon bridge” was toppled on June 17, marking the end of an era and the final link in a modern highway from Marble Falls to Buchanan Dam. Unfortunately, heavy traffic had already overwhelmed the two-lane highway, and construction to widen Hwy 1431 would follow almost immediately.
The new Sunrise Beach Baptist mission building was dedicated on June 21. It had been less than five months since the February 2 groundbreaking.
Stein Lumber was awarded the contract for construction of the planned Highland Lakes Shopping Center, which was to include the Highland Lakes National Bank, a new post office, community room and space for several stores and offices. Construction was expected to begin in July and be completed by November.