In the 1840's it was discovered that the seat of Anderson County, a
village called Houston (not the major city of Harris County) was two
miles off center. Taking the legislatures guidelines that county seats should be at
the center of counties, the new town of Palestine was created as county seat and the
former community faded away. More than 1600 historic landmarks are found here with
self-guided walking tour brochures available from the Tourist Information Center.
Davey Dogwood Park-
More than 200 acres in picturesque landscape of rolling hills, clear
flowing streams, forests an meadows; picnic areas and scenic overlooks from paved
roads winding through the park; a featured area during the annual Texas Dogwood Trails
from late March to early April. The park is located just north of Palestine on N.
Link St. For dogwood information call Texas Dogwood Trails, Inc. at 903/729-7275.
or write 400 N. Queen, Palestine, TX 75801.
Eilenberger's Butternut Baking Company-
Famous since 1898 for fruit cakes baked from an Old World recipe.
Also makes pies, cakes, and specialty items. 512 N. John St
Engeling Wildlife Management Area-
11,000-acre wildlife habitat with deer, fox, wolves, squirrels,
rabbits, alligators, coyotes and bountiful birds. Fishing, and day-use campsites.
North of U.S. 287, 20 miles northwest.
Howard House Museum-
This is an excellent example of Greek Revival architecture. It
was built in the mid-1880's, and has been designated a Texas Historical Landmark by the
Texas Historical Commission. It was constructed by Judge Reuben Reeves who sold it
to Col. George Robert Howard in 1850. It remained in the Howard family until it was
sold to the city in 1963. Period furnishings and exhibits. Open Sat. &
Sun, noon - 5pm. Group tours by appointment. At 1011 N. Perry St.
Jacksonville and Palestine Lakes.
Museum for East Texas Culture-
Rooms in the old (1915) schoolhouse display artifacts and special
interest exhibits. One authentic vintage classroom is on display. The Museum
also has railroad memorabilia, including a refurbished caboose. It is a recorded
Texas Landmark and listed on the National Register. Open Tues. - Sat. 10am-5pm, and
Sun 1-4pm. Admission (free Tuesdays). In Reagan Park, 400 Micheaux Ave.
Authentic reconstruction of original 1833 house of worship, it is
said to be the first Protestant church in Texas. Located four miles south of Elkhart
on F.M 861.
Scientific Balloon Base-
Operated by NASA, balloons as large as 300 feet in diameter
periodically launched to make studies of upper atmosphere and outer space. Tours may
be arranged through the public relations officer at the base by calling 903/729-0271.
Texas State Railroad-
Operated by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, these antique steam
engines traverse the 25.5 mile route to Rust through dense East Texas woodlands.
Operates weekends March - May; then daily except Tues. and Wed through the first of
Aug; weekends through Oct. Reservations advisable. In TX call toll-free
800/442-8951 or 903/638-2561. On display is the huge locomotive 610 that was
restored to pull the Bicentennial Freedom Train in Texas in 1976, an 1899 wooden T&P
business car and an old baggage car. Terminal is at the state park four miles east
on U.S. 84. Fee for train ride.
Literature and maps on the city and surrounding area. a
self-guided walking tour of downtown Palestine with informational plaques along the route,
and information on events and accommodation is available at the chamber of commerce open
weekday business hours, in the historic Carnegie Library building at 502 N. Queen at
Crawford St. A photo collection of Palestine in it's early days is also on display.