East Texas Ramblings ... Those Places & Names
Random Thoughts as We Travel East Texas
Uncertain, Texas ...near Marshall
We love driving around East Texas, visiting the larger cities, and the smaller communities as well. There are so many towns to check out, and so much geography to explore, and place names to learn!
We have visited Uncertain, Cut and Shoot, Gun Barrel City, Golden, Omen, Arp, Noonday, Point Blank, Winnie, and dozens more communities in East Texas.
Here are a few random thoughts on some interesting place names around East Texas.
What is Where?
Sometimes it is a bit hard to remember what East Texas cities are where, and in what county. Here are some tips to remember!
- The City of Tyler is in Smith County, not Tyler County (which is down south near Woodville and Jasper)
- Henderson is in Rusk County, not Henderson County
- Rusk is in Cherokee County, not Rusk County
- Jefferson is in Marion County in Upper East Texas, not in Jefferson County on the Gulf Coast
- Texarkana is located not only in two counties, but two states: Bowie County in Texas, and Miller County in Arkansas
- The City of Nacogdoches is the county seat of Nacogdoches county ... makes sense! Also, Orange is in Orange, and Newton in Newton
- Van lies in Van Zandt County ... easy to remember!
- Houston County is the home of Crockett and Grapeland, not the City of Houston, which is in Harris County
Europe in East Texas?
We've traveled across Europe, to interesting places like London, Frankfurt and Vienna, but we live in East Texas! As we drive around the area, we think about those places that share the same names in Europe, and Texas.
There's Denmark in Anderson County, Geneva in Sabine County and Naples in Morris County.
Welcome to Athens
Athens is the capital of Greece, also located at the heart of Ancient Greece, a powerful civilization and empire. It is one of the world's oldest cities, dating back 3,400 years.
A newer Athens is located west of Tyler at the intersection of Texas Highway 31 and Texas Highway 19. The City of Athens, in Henderson County, was incorporated in 1902.Today its population is over 12,000 residents. Elevation is 489 feet above sea level.
Athens is known as the "Black-Eyed Pea Capitol of the World", and is a Certified Texas Retirement Community. The headquarters campus of Trinity Valley Community College is located in Athens.
Nearby communities include Murchison, Malakoff, Brownsboro, Chandler, Mabank, Ben Wheeler, and Edom.
Athens is 35 miles west of Tyler, 25 miles south of Canton, and 73 miles southeast of Dallas.
The History of Athens
Founded 1850. Named for Athens, Greece. Supply and military training headquarters during the Civil War. Black-eyed peas capital of the world.
Paris is the most populous city in France, with over 2 million residents. A somewhat smaller Paris is found in Upper East Texas.
The City of Paris, incorporated in 1845, is located in Lamar County and has a rich history beginning as a center for agricultural trade. Today, Paris is a thriving community of economic activity for the Red River Valley. Paris is home of multiple Fortune 500 manufacturing facilities and is a regional hub for medical care.
It is often called the "Second Largest Paris in the World." Following a tradition of American cities named "Paris", a 65-foot replica of the Eiffel Tower was constructed in 1993.
The city is home to Paris Junior College. It serves as center for healthcare for much of Northeast Texas and Southeast Oklahoma. Paris is assigned Zip Codes 75460-75462, and its Area Code is 903. Its population was about 25,000 residents in the Federal Census of 2020.
A well-known landmark in the city of Paris is the replica of the Eiffel Tower in France. It was built in 1993 by members of the local welders’ union and stands at 65 feet in height, less than one tenth the height of the 1,063-foot original in France.
A 3.5 foot shiny red cowboy hat was added to the top of the spindle in 1998. The tower has 27 thirty-watt LED lights for nighttime, and are programmed by color according to season (e.g., red and green at Christmas).
The tower is open to the public and free to visit any time of year, and located on 2025 S Collegiate Drive near the Love Civic Center.
Other Countries Sharing Names with East Texas
We have been to Moscow in Polk County, Manila in Cherokee County, China in Jefferson County, Trinidad in Henderson County, and others, like these ...
Carthage in Texas, Not Tunisia
Texas Country Music Hall of Fame in Carthage, Texas
Carthage was the capital city of the ancient Carthaginian civilization, on the eastern side of the Lake of Tunis in what is now Tunisia. Carthage was one of the most important trading hubs of the Ancient Mediterranean and one of the most affluent cities of the classical world.
Another Carthage is located in Panola County, Texas, near the Louisiana border. It is located at the intersection of U.S. Highways 59 and 79.
The city is known as the "Gas Capital of the United States" and the home of the famous Texas Country Music Hall of Fame and the Tex Ritter Museum. Panola College is also located in Carthage.
Annual events include the Piney Woods Quilt Festival and the Panola County Cattlemen's Pro Rodeo.
The Carthage Zip Code is 75633, and its Area Code is 903. Its population is 6,569 residents according to the 2020 Census.
Palestine ... the one in Texas, not in the Mid-East
Palestine, Texas is a historic East Texas city featuring Victorian homes, bed & breakfasts, a variety of attractions, a lively downtown, the Texas State Railroad, exciting festivals and a wide selection of hotels and restaurants.
Over 1,800 historical sites are located in Palestine, the county seat of Anderson County. Settled in 1846, it experienced growth during the coming of the railroad era in the 1870s.
The city is located at the center of Anderson County, at the intersection of U.S. highways 79 and 287, and Texas highways 155 and 19.
It is about 47 miles southwest of Tyler, and 150 miles north of Houston. Athens lies to the north, Jacksonville to the northeast, Crockett to the south, and Buffalo to the southwest.
City Names: Across the USA
There's Boston, that big city in New England, but also Boston and New Boston in Upper East Texas.
And despite what some might think, Onalaska is in Texas, not in Alaska. It is located in Polk County Texas on U.S. Highway 190 and the shores of Lake Livingston and east of Huntsville, northwest of Livingston, north of Coldspring and south of Groveton. Not far away is Nome, like that other town in Alaska!
There's Cincinnati and Newport in Walker County, Detroit in Red River County and Omaha in Morris County. Plus there is Tennessee Colony, in Anderson County, not in Tennessee! Many of us have been to Savannah, Georgia, and also to Savannah in Marion County Texas. Buffalo lies in Upstate New York, and also in Henderson County Texas.
New York Texas ZipLine Adventures
Most people know of the White House in Washington, D.C., but there is also Whitehouse in East Texas. Home not to a president, but to Patrick Mahomes who led the NFL Kansas City Chiefs to a Super Bowl LIV victory in 2020.
New York, Texas ... and its ZipLine
A popular East Texas outdoor attraction is the New York Texas ZipLine Adventure, located near the community of LaRue, Texas, about 15-20 minutes east of Athens.
Each ZipLine Tour lasts approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Choose between a 6 ZipLine Tour or the newest 9 ZipLine Challenge Tour with a 1500 ft. line with 2 cable sky bridges leading to a 40 foot zip tower.
Jacksonville in Texas ... Not the One in Florida
Jacksonville is a large city located on the upper Atlantic coast of Florida, the most populous city in the state, and the largest city by area in the contiguous United States. It is the seat of Duval County, and resides along the St. Johns River.
In East Texas, there is another Jacksonville, located on U.S. Highway 69 in Cherokee County, at an elevation of 522 feet.
Jacksonville is a major hub for regional highways, including U.S. 69, U.S. 79, and U.S. 175, and a major facility for the Union Pacific Railroad. According to the 2020 Federal Census, Jacksonville had a population of nearly 14,000 residents.
It is known as the "Tomato Capital of the World" from a time when the area was a huge producer and shipper of tomatoes. The Tomato Bowl, a WPA project, is the home of the Jacksonville High School "Fight'n Indians" football and soccer teams.
Antique Shops, specialty boutiques, historical landmarks, local cuisine, beautiful golf course, a popular zipline course, a fun drive-thru Safari Park and the Tomato Bowl all combined to make Jacksonville a unique destination.
Annual Jacksonville events include the "Tomato Fest" celebration, and the "Tops in Texas Rodeo" in July.
Pittsburg is a huge city in western Pennsylvania. We have visited there, and enjoyed seeing the confluence of the Three Rivers, and the Tower of Learning. Among its points of interest are the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, the Carnegie Museum of Art and the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. Nearby is the small hamlet of Manor, Pennsylvania.
Another Pittsburg is one that we frequently visit, in Camp County. The City of Pittsburg is located between Gilmer and Mount Pleasant on U.S. 271, and between Winnsboro and Daingerfield on Texas Highway 11.
Quiet moment at the lake at Daingerfield State Park near Pittsburg, Texas
It is best known as the home of the giant poultry producer Pilgrim's Pride, and the home of racing legend Carroll Shelby. Pittsburg is also the birthplace of Cavenders Boot City.
Daingerfield State Park has the Rustling Leaves Nature Trail, camping, fishing, hiking and more, all nestled in colorful groups of maples, gums and oaks.
One of the many attractions in this area is the Los Pinos Ranch Vineyards, lovely any time of the year, spectacular in the fall.
Atlanta is a huge metropolis, the capital city of Georgia, and is home to over 6,000,000 residents in the metro area. Centennial Olympic Park in downtown was built for the 1996 Olympics, and encompasses the massive Georgia Aquarium. Nearby is Stone Mountain Park, named for the vast monolith at its center.
Another, smaller Atlanta is located in the Piney Woods of Northeast Texas in Cass County on US Highway 59, and was established in 1871.
It is situated along the Wildflower Trail, and near the borders of Louisiana and Arkansas. It is 25 miles southwest of Texarkana.
In the heart of town, green space and public parks abound, including a downtown plaza on main street, pocket parks, and a veterans' memorial.
The Atlanta Chamber of Commerce is active in the community, and is located at 101 N. East Street. Phone 903.796.3296.
The Chamber of Commerce in Atlanta ... the one in Texas!
More East Texas Names and Places
There are literally dozens of communities all across East Texas. Among the more well-known cities, towns and unincorporated communities in the East Texas area are the following:
New Chapel Hill