Category Archives: History
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
By Dana Goolsby
Walker County- Just outside of Huntsville lies a forgotten community tucked away down a winding dirt road under the pines. Little remains of the early East Texas community, with the exception of one of the oldest burial grounds in Walker County and memories passed on from early settlers. Continue reading
By Dana Goolsby
Happy Hollow- Deep within the first county in Texas lies hidden and practically forgotten burial grounds. The earth of Houston County holds many brave settlers who called East Texas home, soldiers who fought historic battles, and the descendants of area residents who left their mark on the Lone Star State. Just about a mile and a half from the caution light in Latexo, on US Hwy 287, Milligan Cemetery, can be found in the curve of a red dirt road (Houston County Road 1825) which loops around three sides of the cemetery, perched on top of a rocky, red clay-covered-hill in the Happy Hollow Community. Continue reading
Tall Tales & White Tails
Grapeland- The Big Buck Contest hosted by Chapman’s Hardware in Grapeland has been a driving force behind a little healthy competition for hunters in Houston County and adjoining counties for many years; for over half a century in fact. Chapman’s Hardware has long since been the gathering place of hunters during deer season. If the walls inside Chapman’s could talk they would tell tall tales about white tails and others outdoor adventures had by East Texans in the last century. Continue reading
Denby’s An American Grill
Palestine- Something amazing has been in the works in Downtown Palestine and now it is time to unveil what East Texas has been waiting for. Denby’s An American Grill, located on Crawford Street next to the Historic Texas Theatre, has been months in the making and will open its doors to the public this Saturday! Book your reservations at Denby’s today and experience what separates East Texas from the rest of the Lone Star State, as the last of the Deep South. Continue reading
Ghosts Of Millard’s Crossing
Nacogdoches- Millard’s Crossing is bringing new meaning to “living history!” On Halloween night in Nacogdoches, the spirits of Millard’s Crossing Historic Village will come alive and hand out candy to all who enter the village gates! Treat your family to a historic Halloween when the ghosts of the people who once lived in the houses tell their stories. Continue reading
A Piece Of Palestine’s History Partially Collapses
Palestine- Just before noon on Tuesday, October 18, Downtown Palestine rumbled and shook as the nearly century-old Ivanhoe No. 15 partially collapsed. It wasn’t long before the Palestine police were getting calls as a cloud of heavy dust started to settle. Some thought there had been an explosion. Others thought a nearby train had derailed. Rather, the tallest building in Downtown had partially collapsed after 98 years. Continue reading
Possums Walked Through the Queen City of the Sand Flats 100 Years Ago
By Dana Goolsby
Grapeland- Almost 100 years ago, thousands of people poured into the little town of Grapeland on morning trains from points along the International and Great Northern and from the surrounding countryside to witness marsupials marching down the street on their way to a BBQ. Approximately 5,000 people came from near and far to see Grapeland’s first Possum Walk. Continue reading