|At the turn of the 20th century, Hancock Park served as a major Baptist encampment. The First Baptist Church in Lampasas helped in the organization of the Lampasas Baptist Association in 1896 and assisted in the establishment of the Lampasas Baptist Encampment which met annually on the present site of Hancock Park through 1928. As it grew, so did the need for bathing facilities. |
Hancock Park Swimming Pool developed from that need in 1911, according to The Blade, published in Lampasas from 1906-1918. In its early beginnings, the pool was actually a large bath tub, complete with soap, towels and dressing rooms for campers. Baths cost 15 cents each, and men and women had separate bathing opportunities.
Directors of the Baptist encampment leased the pool from the Chamber of Commerce of Lampasas. The pool also served as a baptistery. The last Baptist encampment took place in July 1928, and the property sold in May 1929 to Charles Baker and Mrs. Lewis Little of Lampasas..
By 1933, Hancock Springs Swimming Pool was known as "The Best Bathing Resort in West Texas." Large crowds came to Lampasas to bathe in and drink the healing spring water.
The City of Lampasas purchased the property in February 1936 from Baker and Little Boating and Swimming Club for $15,000, and the property was dedicated to be a public park.
In 1939, the Hostess House was leased for $5 per month, and at that time, the prospect of an Army camp near Killeen was under discussion. In 1942, Camp Hood opened, and military officials became interested in the Hancock Springs Swimming Pool and Hostess House.
The government leased the park from 1942-1946 as a convalescent camp for the Army, naming it Panther Recreation Park. On June 30, 1946, the government canceled its lease, and the city of Lampasas restored the name Hancock Springs Park.
|In 1948, the city built a nine-hole golf course, a playground and other facilities for $165,000. A rededication ceremony was held June 28, 1948 with the reading of a formal proclamation by Mayor W.M. Brook.|
In 1949, it was reported that nearly 10,000 people used the Hancock Park Swimming Pool. Since that time, the Hancock Springs-fed pool has been used by Lampasans continuously except for a period of time when the Hostess House future and that of the pool was in question.
After fund-raising efforts by the Oran Milo Roberts Chapter Daughters of the Republic of Texas to rehabilitate the Hostess House began in 1991, a $250,000 gift from the Ulrich sisters in honor of their parents bolstered the efforts and allowed completion of renovations. The Ulrich sisters were Ora and Mary Ulrich and Louise Stapp. Their parents were Lampasas pioneers Louis Madison and Mary Leannah Casbeer Ulrich.
In November 1994, the DRT and Lampasas City Council agreed on a long-term agreement that had the DRT lease the Hostess House from the city. The DRT took over management of the Hostess House and rented space for reunions, meetings, receptions and other events. Today, the beautiful renovated historic Hostess House is available for weddings, receptions, rehearsals and class reunion gatherings.
|Read more history about Lampasas from the Texas State Historical Association.|
|Thank you for your interest in the beautiful Historic Hostess House at Hancock Springs!|