Big Lake, Texas

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This article is about a community in Texas. For other uses, see Big Lake (disambiguation).
Big Lake, Texas
City
Location of Big Lake, Texas
Location of Big Lake, Texas
Reagan County BigLake.svg
Coordinates: 31°11′38″N 101°27′32″W / 31.19389°N 101.45889°W / 31.19389; -101.45889Coordinates: 31°11′38″N 101°27′32″W / 31.19389°N 101.45889°W / 31.19389; -101.45889
Country United States
State Texas
County Reagan
Area
 • Total 1.2 sq mi (3.2 km2)
 • Land 1.2 sq mi (3.2 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 2,690 ft (820 m)
Population (2000)
 • Total 2,885
 • Density 2,327.4/sq mi (898.6/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 76932
Area code 325
FIPS code 48-08212[1]
GNIS feature ID 1352089[2]
Website www.biglaketx.com

Big Lake is a small rural city in Reagan County, Texas, United States. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 2,885. It is the county seat of Reagan County[3].

The city takes its name from a dry lake, a unique dryland plains geographic feature situated atop the divide between the Rio Grande and Colorado River watersheds, located less than two miles south of the city, through which St Hwy 137 passes. The dry lake, with no outlet, is over two sections in size, making it the largest in Texas; it holds water temporarily and only after high runoff rain events, being used for grazing the remainder of the time. Though seasonal and temporal, the 'big playa lake', in wet periods, is significant in a semi-arid, drought-frequented environment and has been utilized regularly as a food and water resource by man and animal, alike, since prehistoric times.

Started as a small ranching community in the late 1880s, Big Lake owes its original existence to the Kansas City, Mexico and Orient Railway, which passed through the area in 1912 as it was extended from Sherwood, west of San Angelo, to Girvin and beyond the Pecos River. The growth from the railroad, coupled with that from the Santa Rita discovery well in 1923, allowed it, in 1925, to take over the position of county seat from Stiles, a pioneer ranching community established in 1894 on Centrailia Draw, approximately 20 miles to the north. The main highway through the area, US 67, was extended through the region in 1934, on the way to a termination in Presidio. The city's current existence is based on agriculture (some farming, but mostly ranching) and oil and gas service and production throughout the area.

Geography[edit]

Big Lake is located at 31°11′38″N 101°27′32″W / 31.19389°N 101.45889°W / 31.19389; -101.45889 (31.193908, -101.458834)[4].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.2 square miles (3.1 km2), all of it land. Big Lake was served by the Kansas City, Mexico and Orient Railway.

Demographics[edit]

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 2,885 people, 932 households, and 751 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,327.4 people per square mile (898.3/km²). There were 1,148 housing units at an average density of 926.1 per square mile (357.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 63.64% White, 3.29% African American, 0.49% Native American, 0.31% Asian, 30.33% from other races, and 1.94% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 51.54% of the population.

There were 932 households out of which 48.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 69.4% were married couples living together, 7.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 19.4% were non-families. 18.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.05 and the average family size was 3.47.

In the city the age distribution of the population shows 34.9% under the age of 18, 7.7% from 18 to 24, 28.3% from 25 to 44, 19.0% from 45 to 64, and 10.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 98.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $33,478, and the median income for a family was $37,104. Males had a median income of $31,056 versus $17,656 for females. The per capita income for the city was $12,829. About 8.8% of families and 11.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.7% of those under age 18 and 23.2% of those age 65 or over.

Climate[edit]

Big Lake experiences a hot semi-arid climate, typical of west Texas and parts of central Texas. Summers are long and hot, and winters are short and relatively mild. In the summer, low humidity helps temper the heat. Due to Big Lake's aridity and elevation, temperatures drop quickly after sunset, especially in the summer. Some precipitation falls in summer months, mostly as fast moving thunderstorms. Winters are dry. Winter temperatures occasionally drop below freezing at night, but sustained, bitter cold, is uncommon. Snowfall is rare, never exceeds a few inches, and usually melts quickly.

Climate data for Big Lake, Texas (Elevation 2,690ft)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 85
(29)
88
(31)
95
(35)
104
(40)
106
(41)
110
(43)
109
(43)
107
(42)
106
(41)
100
(38)
91
(33)
84
(29)
110
(43)
Average high °F (°C) 57.5
(14.2)
61.8
(16.6)
70.3
(21.3)
79.3
(26.3)
86.0
(30)
91.6
(33.1)
94.0
(34.4)
93.4
(34.1)
86.7
(30.4)
77.6
(25.3)
67.2
(19.6)
58.6
(14.8)
77.0
(25)
Average low °F (°C) 29.5
(−1.4)
32.9
(0.5)
41.4
(5.2)
50.4
(10.2)
58.8
(14.9)
65.7
(18.7)
68.1
(20.1)
66.7
(19.3)
60.5
(15.8)
50.3
(10.2)
39.4
(4.1)
30.9
(−0.6)
49.6
(9.8)
Record low °F (°C) 2
(−17)
8
(−13)
5
(−15)
24
(−4)
34
(1)
44
(7)
52
(11)
53
(12)
32
(0)
24
(−4)
11
(−12)
1
(−17)
1
(−17)
Precipitation inches (mm) 0.80
(20.3)
0.91
(23.1)
0.87
(22.1)
1.44
(36.6)
2.12
(53.8)
1.88
(47.8)
1.76
(44.7)
2.05
(52.1)
2.80
(71.1)
1.88
(47.8)
0.91
(23.1)
0.79
(20.1)
18.22
(462.8)
Snowfall inches (cm) 0.7
(1.8)
0.2
(0.5)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0.6
(1.5)
0.2
(0.5)
1.8
(4.6)
Source: The Western Regional Climate Center[5]

Education[edit]

The City of Big Lake is served by the Reagan County Independent School District.

Big Lake in popular culture[edit]

The city of Big Lake was featured in the 2002 movie The Rookie, although the town portrayed in the movie was actually Thorndale, Texas, which is actually a little bit east of Austin.[6]

In the movie, the town lacked a proper baseball field while the high school football stadium was the main focus of athletic attention. The Rookie made Big Lake interested in hosting a minor league baseball team: the West Texas Big Fish of the Texas-Louisiana League in the 2000s. Today, another Big Fish team is a member of the collegiate level Central Texas Collegiate League.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  4. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  5. ^ "Seasonal Temperature and Precipitation Information". Western Regional Climate Center. Retrieved Jul 30, 2013. 
  6. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0265662/locations