East Texas City
Caddo Indians, Spanish Explorers, & Pioneer Settlers
Visit The Shelby County Courthouse
Center won an 1866 dispute over the location of the Shelby County seat, but Shelbyville, the acting seat, would not concede. So, in the dead of night, some Center folks stole the county records. In 1885, the county built the distinctive Shelby County Courthouse, reflecting the heritage of its architect, J.J.E. Gibson, an Irish immigrant descended from builders of cathedrals and castles. An interesting touch in this courthouse, which is now a visitors center, is a trap door behind the bench so the judge could make a hasty retreat if necessary. Visitors can learn more about the county at the Shelby County Museum, where a timeline and period rooms interpret history from the days of Caddo Indians, Spanish explorers, and pioneer settlers. Fast fact: Center is named for its location in Shelby County.
Many Forest Service roads in the Sabine National Forest offer exceptional scenery. One excellent route is via Texas 87 S., then take F.M. 417 or F.M. 2694 (not shown on most maps) to Boles Field east of Shelbyville.
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Texas Forest Trail Partners
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