Park History

Opened & Dedicated March 1975

By Charles R. Eatherly

On July 28, 1972, a Preliminary Engineering Feasibility Report was completed by the Game and Fish Department and submitted to the Park’s Board. The findings and conclusions on the sites examined were not promising. The next alternative examined in cooperation with the Game and Fish Department was the potential for a large lake on the Dankworth property two miles south of Roper Lake. The analysis of this site showed that a large lake was not feasible. After the investigation of other sites, the construction of a 100 surface acre lake was determined not to be feasible from an economic or engineering standpoint.

The best alternative appeared to be the management of Roper Lake by State Parks and perhaps the future acquisition of the Dankworth site. Roper Lake is located approximately 6 miles south of Safford and consists of a 32-acre lake. The main part of the Park, located around Roper Lake, was developed in the early 1960’s as a private recreation area. The lake and the property were sold to the Arizona Game and Fish Commission in 1969.

The other unit, Dankworth Pond, has a 15-acre surface lake located about 3 miles south of the main Park. It was operated as a private catfish fishing lake before acquisition by State Parks in 1975.