Despite a tight schedule and slower-than-hoped-for fund-raising, the White Rock Lake Museum will open as planned Sept. 18.

The project began about a year ago, when neighborhood resident Kurt Kretsinger decided the history and culture of the lake should be preserved for future generations.

Sign up for our newsletter!

* indicates required

He then rallied the efforts of many in the community to help him realize his goal, now nearing completion.

In on the design and fabrication of the museum are The Sixth Floor Museum’s Johnny Robertson, Museumscapes Inc.’s Druce Reiley, and Toni Herrin, a science teacher at St. John’s School, who helped with the anthropology portion of the museum.

The museum, which will be housed in the Bath House Cultural Center, was “75 percent complete” as of late July, Kretsinger reported, and more than “70 percent of the $75,000 budget” had been raised through donations from community businesses, organizations and residents.

When the museum opens later this month, residents can expect to find both historical and recent photos on the museum’s walls and a looped plasma screen presentation detailing the natural and human history of White Rock.

The grand opening will be on Saturday, Sept. 18, from noon-5 p.m. with a diverse schedule of events. The SMU geology department is scheduled to give a lecture on the lake’s rock formations, and others will discuss their ties to the lake and volunteer opportunities at the museum. A children’s activity table also will be on hand.

“Something will be happening about every 40 minutes,” says opening day coordinator Lollie Tompkins, “Some of it lecture, some show and tell and some of it participation.”

Donations are still needed to complete the museum, Kretsinger says. So far, neighborhood residents have chipped in with more than $10,000 through a flyer and story in the Advocate several months ago, but another $15,000 is needed, he says. Check the museum’s Web site,, for information about how to donate to the fund, and to see a detailed listing of opening day events.