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. Read more About Us

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Random Stories

Searching for authentic folk music, John A. Lomax made multiple trips to the Sugar Land area in the 1930s. First in 1933 and 1934, he and his son Alan visited the Central State correctional facility to document work songs of African American inmates.…

On May 12, 1865, two small outfits of soldiers would engage in what is now considered the final battle of the Civil War. Though the war had officially ended with General Robert E. Lee's surrender at Appomattox more than a month before, Union forces…

Located west of Highway 271 just eight miles north of Paris, Texas, Camp Maxey began as a World War II training camp. Today, Camp Maxey is a Texas Army National Guard training facility. The camp sits on the banks of the Pat Mayse Lake. The U.S. Army…

From August to November of 1867, the yellow fever epidemic ravaged the little town of La Grange, decreasing the town’s population by nearly a fifth. As the bodies began to pile up, the people of La Grange had to make use of mass graves to stay on top…

The Paris Public Library hosts four murals painted by Texas Jerry Bywaters as part of the New Deal’s Public Works of Art Project (PWAP) in 1934. Two of the panels tell the story of the Great Paris Fire of 1916 and the town's subsequent…

Shortly after the town of Huntsville was incorporated, founder Pleasant Gray donated five acres of land for the creation of a school. The new institution began operations as early as 1845 and received a charter on April 11, 1846. Originally, the…