CCC companies were crucial to the early Texas State Park system, but behind them worked a network of architects, draftsmen, and other professionals who developed the designs that the workers would bring to life.
One such professional who was particularly important to parks in the North Texas region was Norfleet Bone, a long-time employee of the National Park Service (NPS). Trained in civil engineering and landscape architecture, Bone worked as a landscape designer and engineer between terms in the United States Army.
After being discharged from the Army in 1932, Bone took a position as a landscape architect for the NPS. In this position, he worked with the CCC and the Texas State Parks Board. He drafted and designed buildings, landscaping, infrastructure, and other facilities across Texas. He also served as acting superintendent of Bastrop State Park in 1936. He was particularly involved in the development of Meridian, Cleburne and Possum Kingdom State Parks.
With America’s entry into World War II in 1941, Bone reenlisted in the Army. After the war, he worked as a landscape architect and division supervisor for the board until his retirement in 1963.
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This rough sketch illustrates Bone’s ideas for landscaping and facilities construction plans for Stephenville State Park, a proposed development in Erath County in North Texas. The CCC completed the park in 1933. Unfortunately, Stephenville closed in 1948 and returned the land to the original landowner.
In this letter, John D. Guthrie advised Bone, a fellow officer in the U.S. Army, to seek a position as landscape architect for the Texas State Parks Board, a job that (Guthrie hoped) would lead to better employment with the National Park Service. Bone secured a position with the NPS almost immediately afterward.
Letter to S.K. McGinnis, landscape architect for Bonham State Park, to Norfleet Bone, 6 April 1934. Norfleet Bone’s files, Civilian Conservation Corps files, Texas State Parks Board records, 2005/041-19.
This correspondence details a list of trees S.K. McGinnis requested for purchase for the landscaping of Bonham State Park in Fannin County, then under construction. The list includes the number and type of trees, diameter of trees and the number of days of work per laborer necessary to finish planting.
The author of this map is unknown, but was likely Bone who was heavily involved in the ongoing development of Cleburne between 1945 and 1946. He drafted designs for the sewer and gas systems, a boathouse, dock, and landscape details.
This graphic tourist map of Possum Kingdom State Park in Palo Pinto County was annotated with notes detailing possible alterations to park facilities. Bone designed the caretaker’s residence for the park.