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.
Legend has it, the name came to be after a group of newcomers arrived late to a community dinner only to find that all of the food had been eaten, which lead someone to suggest they “lick the skillet.”
Bethany, Texas, which is situated on the Texas-Lousiana border, once went by the name Lick Skillet and there is still a store there that boasts the name “Lick Skillet Old Time Store.”If you know your way around the Pineywoods, you’ll find a few roads named Lick Skillet and maybe a creek or two that once went by that name.
Although Bethany abandoned the name Lick Skillet, many of the town’s features retain the name such as the Lick Skillet Plantation, a thoroughbred breeding farm, and the Lick Skillet Old Time Store. There is also a Lick Skillet Arts and Crafts Festival which includes live bands, food vendors, and exhibits by local artists and craftsman.
Other East Texas towns have gone by the name Lick Skillet as well. Before Crosby in Harrison County officially took its name, it went by Lick Skillet. Fayetteville also went by Lick Skillet and still has a festival known as “Old Lick Skillet Days.” The community of Good Springs was also once known as Lick Skillet. Before Pilot Grove was settled it also was known as Lick Skillet.
Beyond East Texas, Lick Skillets could and can be found in Arkansas, Mississippi, Indiana, Virginia, California, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, and Tennessee. A few bands, bakeries, cafes, liquor stores and other businesses have also adopted the name Lick Skillet.