East Texas History

East Texas History is a free mobile app and web platform that places the past at your fingertips. Designed by the History Department at Sam Houston State University, the project seeks to highlight the distinctive people, places, and events that have shaped East Texas. Viewers may learn about the region through our interactive, map-based interface that includes historical stories, photographs, and oral interviews. Follow our progress on Twitter or connect with us on Facebook to learn more about the project or to become a participating author.

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German immigrant Baldwin Boettcher established a sawmill at Westfield, north of Houston, in 1898, along the International and Great Northern rail line. Boettcher and his mill workers produced 15,000 board feet of yellow pine, gum and cypress lumber…

The Houston Chronicle was founded in 1901 by former Houston Post reporter and editor Marcellus E. Foster (1870-1942), an 1890 graduate of Sam Houston Normal Institute. The Chronicle was bankrolled in part by the return on Foster's investment in the…

A casual observer today might never know that a now-empty field near the Huntsville ("Walls") Unit once hosted "The Wildest Show Behind Bars"--the Texas Prison Rodeo. The rodeo was launched in 1931 during the Great Depression, and…

Bath Cemetery, near Union Hill Church, was established in the 1870s. The earliest recorded burila is that of William Arnold in 1877. The burial ground has served the Bath Community, locally called Possum Walk, since that time, and area residents and…

St. Stephen's Church, located at 5019 Sam Houston Avenue, is the sixth oldest church in the Episcopal Diocese of Texas. In 1854, the Rev. Charles Gillette reported that St. Stephen's had ten communicants. The church's early…

The United States Post Office in Rusk, Texas, features a Bernard Baruch Zakheim mural titled "Agriculture and Industry at Rusk." Completed in 1939, Zakheim's powerful mural illustrates Rusk's rough agrarian and industrial history…