Category Archives: History
Killough Massacre Monument
By Dana Goolsby
JACKSONVILLE- After researching the Eden-Madden Massacre near Grapeland, Texas a few years ago, I became interested in other such sites of unfortunate and tragic events in East Texas. I had long since heard tales of the Killough Massacre, which took place on the outskirts of present-day Jacksonville, Texas. There was no shortage of local lore and legends surround the burial ground, which only intrigued my adventurous spirit even more, and the history surrounding the obelisk monument built in remembrance of the worst Indian massacre in East Texas history lured me in. Continue reading
The Haunting of the Downes-Aldrich House
By Dana Goolsby
CROCKETT- The historical Downes-Aldrich house in Crockett, Texas, circa 1891-1893, is considered to be one of the most beautiful homes in Houston County. The Eastlake Victorian style house was home to some of the first settlers in Crockett, who reportedly may not have fully vacated the premises. The majestic house is rich with history, and according to area residents the house is also rich with a persistent presence. No one knows for sure to whom the spirit belongs, but it is believed to most likely be a former inhabitant of the house. Continue reading
The Pour House
Historic Home Finds New Life
By Dana Goolsby
LUFKIN- The Pour House Grill and Garden is situated in a nearly-century-old home in the “old” downtown Lufkin area. Over the years, the house has served as everything from a frat house, antique shop, a chiropractor’s office, a daycare and now as a restaurant and live entertainment venue.
By Dana Goolsby
A few years ago, when my love for East Texas history, ghost stories, and photography began to merge, I started spending a lot of time in old historic final resting places around the Pineywoods. Since I began my journey with MYETX I have visited cemeteries, burial grounds, grave sites, and monuments from Jefferson, Texas to Galveston, Texas. Continue reading
Ghost Town on the Neches
FASTRILL- Ghost towns lie forgotten beneath the pine tree canvas of East Texas, often only marker by a Texas State Historic Marker. Take Fastrill, located near the Neches River, twelve miles south of Rusk and 15 miles west of Alto, in western Cherokee County. Most people would never know that such a thriving little logging community ever existed if it were not for the historical marker on the side of the road and the oral history passed down from generation to generation. Continue reading
Box’s Fort Historical Marker
Historical Stopping Points of Interest
Cherokee County- John M. and Sally Box, along with John’s brother Stephen F. and his wife Keziah Box and their families, came to Texas from Alabama in 1834. John and Sally’s son, Roland W. Box, and his wife Mary Hallmark Box purchased 1/3 of the Stephen Burnham land grant and built a log fort on a hill near its northern boundary. Within the enclosure they built a log house and a dugout, and Box’s Fort became the center of a settlement as the extended Box families made their own homes in and near the fort. John A., Stillwell, Thomas G., and Nelson Box and their cousins Samuel C. and James E. Box fought in the Texas revolution. The home of John A. and Letty T. Box was a post office called Box’s Creek from 1851 to 1866. Over time, several churches and stores operated in the vicinity, but by 1900 Box’s Fort no longer appeared on area maps. (2000) Continue reading
Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. June 19, is recognized as a state holiday or observed in 42 states. Texas is widely considered the first state to begin Juneteenth celebrations with informal observances taking place for over a century. Juneteenth has been an official state holiday since 1890.
Tornado Leaves Providence Gone With The Wind
Providence, Texas- At least six towns in Texas were named Providence. Providence, Texas in east Anderson County isn’t even a ghost town any more; Providence has been forgotten. But those who visit the site, cemetery searchers, and others who take a wrong turn off of FM 323 in Anderson County know the beauty on top of the hill, but few know the quickly fading history of Providence. Continue reading
Hiking Through History at Mission Tejas State Park
WECHES- What Mission Tejas State Park lacks in size and amenities it certainly makes up for in history. Located on the El Camino Real, Texas Highway 21, between Alto and Crockett, the 363-acre park marks the historic location of Mission San Francisco de los Tejas, the first Spanish mission in the province of Texas, established in 1690. Mission Tejas State Park attracts almost 12,000 visitors a year and offers some of the best views of the beautiful Pineywoods for hikers in East Texas. Continue reading
59th Performance of the Diamond Bessie Murder Trial a Success
JEFFERSON- This year marked the 59th year of the performance Diamond Bessie Murder Trial written by Mrs. Lawton Riley. Over the weekend locals performed the trial re-enactment at the Historic Jefferson Playhouse. Every year most of the same citizens of Jefferson perform in the murder trial, with some having performed in the trial for over 20 years.
Living History of Oak Grove Cemetery
NACOGDOCHES- On Saturday, May 4, 2013, the Friends of Historic Nacogdoches, Inc. and the City of Nacogdoches Historic Sites Department will host the 1st annual Living History of Oak Grove Cemetery Tour. Oak Grove Cemetery was first established circa 1837, and it was later designated as a Historic Texas Cemetery by the Texas Historical Commission. Among those buried there are soldiers, four signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence and a number of local citizens, all of whom helped shape East Texas. Continue reading
Historic Dogwood Trails Jars, A Piece of Palestine History for Sale
PALESTINE- Own a piece of Palestine history and support the beautification efforts of the Palestine Main Street Department.
The Main Street Department is extending the sale of their historic Dogwood Trails pint jars until April 15th. Found last year tucked into the back of a local warehouse, the jars were produced in 1985 and feature a spray of dogwood blossoms on one side and “Texas Dogwood Trails, founded 1938, Palestine Texas” on the other. Continue reading
76th Anniversary of the New London School Explosion
NEW LONDON- On March 18, 1937, a day much like any other in the unincorporated districts of London and New London, in Rusk County, a generation of East Texas was lost. For many years New London residents did not speak of the tragedy, but today they are telling their stories of that tragic day in East Texas and how it changed history.
Main Street and Anderson County Historical Commission Honor Christopher Columbus Rogers with Historic Marker
PALESTINE- Palestine Main Street will again join the Anderson County Historical Commission, Saturday, March 2, 2013, at 1:30 p.m. to dedicate a State of Texas Historical Marker on the Visitor Center grounds at 825 W. Spring, which honors Christopher Columbus Rogers.
The official State of Texas Historical Marker for Christopher Columbus Rogers, a former Marshal and colorful Palestine native, will be unveiled on the south side of the historic yellow depot which houses the Visitor Center and Main Street offices. Continue reading
Mary Allen Seminary
CROCKETT- Atop a hill in Crockett, on HWY 19 sits a fading historical treasure. The Mary Allen Seminary, which was once a bustling school for African American girls and later a co-ed junior college, is now a crumbling structure. However, plans are in the works to not only restore the magnificent old building but to transform it into a museum.
Adventure on the Trinity Reveals Fading & Forgotten ETX History
Our team loves adventure, so when we got a call this week to take a trip down to the Trinity River to see some amazing architecture with long-time Anderson County residents Bo and Jodi Harding, we jumped at the opportunity. We grabbed our rubber boots and camera, then headed west of Palestine to Long Lake. Continue reading
ELKHART- Starr Cemetery is located atop Starr Hill just north of Elkhart, in Anderson County. The cemetery is the final resting place of the descendants of John Starr (1797 – 1872), Texas pioneer.
John Starr was born in Rowan County, North Carolina, Aug. 29, 1797. He married Susannah Parker, sister of Pilgrim Church organizer Daniel Parker. Continue reading
BETHANY- “Lick Skillet” is not just something you did when the grub was good, although, it was most certainly something you did when the grub was good if you didn’t have a biscuit to sop it up. It is a name deeply rooted in East Texas culture. For over a century, Lick Skillet is a name that has been attached to roads, creeks, and communities.
Liberty Hill Community
Houston County- Among the earliest settlers in this area of Houston County were George W. Wilson and his family who came here from Kentucky in 1835. Other early pioneers were John W. Bodenhamer, James and William McLean and William W. Davis. Although a town site was never platted and a post office was never established, Liberty Hill developed into a rural community. Continue reading
Historic Concord Baptist Church and Cemetery
Montalba- The rolling hills of Montalba, located approximately 11 miles north of Palestine in Anderson County, is some of the most beautiful countryside in the Pineywoods. If you visit the area you will certainly understand why the brave pioneering family by the name of Fitzgerald was inspired to move into the hilly forests in the 1840s. Continue reading
Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. June 19, is recognized as a state holiday or observed in 42 states. Texas is widely considered the first state to begin Juneteenth celebrations with informal observances taking place for over a century. Juneteenth has been an official state holiday since 1890. Continue reading
How to Clean & Preserve a Tombstone
East Texas- Did you recently visit the grave site of a loved one only recently only to find the head stone was dirty and in need of cleaning or preservation Continue reading
THC Historic Sites Free Day
AUSTIN- The Texas Historical Commission’s (THC) annual Historic Sites Day will offer FREE admission to all 20 state historic sites on Sunday, May 13. THC is the state agency for historic preservation. THC staff consults with citizens and organizations to preserve Texas’ architectural, archaeological and cultural landmarks. The agency is recognized nationally for its preservation programs. Continue reading
Federals Occupy Jefferson- Confederate Forces Rally for May Battle
JEFFERSON- Set amidst the Spring glory of Jefferson’s “65th Annual Pilgrimage Tour of Homes & Spring Festival”, hundreds of Civil War re-enactors will answer an age-old question. Would Union troops have invaded the Port of Jefferson if they hadn’t been stopped short of Shreveport in 1864? Continue reading
Celebrate Texas Independence Day in the Pineywoods
East Texas- Texas Independence Day celebrates the adoption of the state’s independence declaration. It is an annual legal holiday in Texas, in the United States, on March 2. March 2, also marks Texas Flag Day and Sam Houston’s birthday (Sam Houston’s Day), although these are special observances rather than legal holidays. Celebrate Texas Independence Day in East Texas this year in Huntsville, Woodville, or Center! Continue reading