About 1890, the City of Tyler water supply was a small pond near the courthouse. Seeing a growing need for more water, City fathers decided to take water from a larger grist mill pond about four miles from downtown on Indian Creek. The City purchased land near this pond and in 1894 an earthen dam was constructed to form Lake Bellwood, the City's new source of surface water. Over the years, the dam was raised and the spillway has been renovated twice. The surface area of the lake now covers 170 acres. This dam, built by a special process in 1894, is listed in the National Registry as a historic structure.
The City stopped using the lake as its primary water supply when Lake Tyler was completed and the Golden Road Treatment Plant was placed in service in 1950. The treatment facility at Lake Bellwood was abandoned in 1965 and since then, only a handful of customers have used raw, untreated water from Lake Bellwood for irrigation and/or industrial purposes.
Lake Bellwood is located on Indian Creek and lies in the Neches River watershed. The lake, and 185 acres of marginal lands around the lake that are also owned by the City, are used principally for recreational purposes.