East Texas City
One of East Texas' Oldest Festivals
Home Of The Yamboree
Red-brick streets and old-fashioned shops invite a leisurely stroll around the square of Gilmer, located on the site of a former Cherokee Indian village. Enjoy a wide-ranging collection of county memorabilia in the Historic Upshur Museum, which occupies the former 1925 post office. Exhibits include a 20th-century photographic record of the area and a history of the region’s industries and agriculture. Farmers lost their market for yams, an important cash crop, when sweet potato weevils invaded in 1930, and officials imposed a five-year shipping quarantine. When the quarantine lifted in 1935, a celebration called the East Texas Yamboree was held at harvest time. Now about 100,000 people gather each October to attend the Yamboree, one of Texas’ oldest continuous festivals.
Take Texas 155 north, 6 miles to Barnwell Mountain roadside park and overlook. Most roads in the area offer a mixture of pine and hardwood forests, along with pastures, rich in fall color and spring wildflowers.