TexasEscapes.comTexas Escapes Online Magazine: Travel and History
Columns: History, Humor, Topical and Opinion
Over 1800 Texas Towns & Ghost Towns
NEW : : TEXAS TOWNS : : GHOST TOWNS : : TEXAS HOTELS : : FEATURES : : COLUMNS : : ARCHITECTURE : : IMAGES : : SITE MAP : : SEARCH SITE
HOME
SEARCH SITE
ARCHIVES
RESERVATIONS
Texas Hotels
Hotels
Cars
Air
Cruises
Henderson Hotels
Find Hotel Deals in
Henderson
Book Today and Save
 
 Texas : Features : Columns : Bob Bowman's East Texas

A cotton gin gets a new life

by Bob Bowman
Bob Bowman
There was a time in East Texas when almost every farming town had a cotton gin where farmers had their cotton cleansed of field debris and processed into bales that could be sold and converted into money that kept the family prepared for the winter months.

But most of the cotton gins have disappeared as relics of our agricultural past.

Thanks to the Depot Museum at Henderson, a cotton gin has now taken its place among other relics of the past, including a peckerwood sawmill, a dog-trot home, a railroad depot, an oil derrick, a working printing shop, a doctor’s office, a broom factory, a syrup mill, a carousel and an outhouse.

The cotton gin at Henderson was moved from Mount Enterprise, a community about 19 miles south of Henderson. For years, it sat beside U.S. 259, slowing rusting away.

Today, it occupies a prominent place beside the Depot Museum and the town’s library. It is one of the few restored gins in
East Texas.

In their heyday, cotton gins were not only essential to the cotton economy; they became gathering places for townsmen and farmers alike. They came there to look at the year’s cotton crops, to exchange gossip and talk politics.

With their massive machinery, the gins were exciting to watch. Unprocessed cotton, usually straight from the fields, was dumped into one end of the gin and emerged as white bales that went to mills where clothing and other cotton goods were manufactured.

Sue Weaver, director of Henderson’ Depot Museum, said the restoration cost of the Mount Enterprise gin, once owned by Mark Bates, was around $100,000, plus dozens of donated services.

The gin was built on a concrete footprint of the Mount Enterprise gin. “We hope to make it a working gin when we’re finished,” said Weaver. “It’s the biggest project ever undertaken by the Museum.”

“Regrettably, we couldn’t save the original tin building. It had rusted over the years, so we had to build a new tin building,” said Weaver.

If you want to visit the Museum, drive to 514 North High Street in Henderson. You can’t miss the cotton gin beside the street.
Bob Bowman's East Texas
June 14, 2009 Column
(Bob Bowman of Lufkin is the author of more than 40 books about East Texas. He can be reached at bob-bowman.com)


Related Topics:

Texas | East Texas | Texas Towns |
Texas Ghost Towns |
Bob Bowman's "All Things Historical"

The Forgotten Towns of East Texas, Vol. I
By Bob and Doris Bowman
66 stories about forgotten town in 45 counties
Henderson Hotels
Find Hotel Deals in
Henderson
Book Today and Save
 
HOME | TEXAS ESCAPES ONLINE MAGAZINE | TEXAS HOTELS
TEXAS TOWN LIST | TEXAS GHOST TOWNS | TEXAS COUNTIES

Texas Hill Country | East Texas | Central Texas North | Central Texas South | West Texas | Texas Panhandle | South Texas | Texas Gulf Coast
TRIPS | STATES PARKS | RIVERS | LAKES | DRIVES | MAPS

TEXAS FEATURES
Ghosts | People | Historic Trees | Cemeteries | Small Town Sagas | WWII | History | Black History | Rooms with a Past | Music | Animals | Books
COLUMNS : History, Humor, Topical and Opinion

TEXAS ARCHITECTURE | IMAGES
Courthouses | Jails | Churches | Gas Stations | Schoolhouses | Bridges | Theaters | Monuments/Statues | Depots | Water Towers | Post Offices | Grain Elevators | Lodges | Museums | Stores | Banks | Gargoyles | Cornerstones | Pitted Dates | Drive-by Architecture | Old Neon | Murals | Signs | Ghost Signs | Then and Now
Vintage Photos

TRAVEL RESERVATIONS | HOTELS | USA | MEXICO

Privacy Statement | Disclaimer | Recommend Us | Contributors | Staff | Contact TE
Website Content Copyright ©1998-2008. Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC. All Rights Reserved
This page last modified: June 14, 2009