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    CARPENTER'S BLUFF

    Grayson County, North Central Texas
    On the Red River and FM 120
    East of Denison
    12 miles NE of Sherman
    Population: 100

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    History in a Pecan Shell

    Carpenter's Bluff is said to be named after a Red River ferry operator by that name. The town dates from about 1860.

    After the Civil War, the town was briefly known as Thiefneck after the unsavory characters that congregated there. Rather than apply for a post office under that name, the townspeople decided to clean house.

    The Kansas, Oklahoma and Gulf Railway constructed the bridge, and later it became property of the Texas and Pacific Railroad. The bridge became joint property of Grayson County, Texas and Bryan County, Oklahoma in 1966.

    Carpenter's Bluff Bridge:

    Carpenter's Bluff Bridge

    Carpenter's Bluff Bridge
    Texas side
    Photo Courtesy Robin Jett, 2003
    Carpenter's Bluff Bridge
    Carpenter's Bluff Bridge
    Oklahoma side
    Photo Courtesy Robin Jett, 2003
    Carpenter's Bluff (pop ca. 100) is located east of Denison on FM 120. The bridge can be found just north of the road as you enter the settlement.

    This impressively high bridge spans the Red River and links Grayson County to Bryan county, Oklahoma. Built in 1910, it was designed to allow trains, wagons, pedestrians, and horses to cross for a toll. In the 1960's, the bridge was deeded to Grayson County, which renovated it for automobile use. It's now a one-lane bridge with the old wooden walkway hugging it on one side.
    © Robin Jett 1-15-04
    TX - Carpenter's Bluff Bridge, early 1970s
    Carpenter's Bluff Bridge in the early 1970s
    Photo courtesy Karen McGee
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    Carpenter's Bluff, Texas Forum

  • Subject: Carpenter's Bluff Bridge
    Here is a photo taken of the bridge during the early 1970s. My grandfather owned a farm several miles east of the bridge, right on the road across from the Red River. Oklahoma was a "dry" state for liquor until late in the 1950s. In the 1950s, my grandfather sold beer to the Okies who crossed the bridge and traveled to his farm. - Karen McGee, May 26, 2013

  • Subject: Carpenter's Bluff Bridge
    My mother-in-law and father-in-law (Clyde and Ruby Ramsey) were married on June 4, 1932 on the bridge. Clyde had bought their marriage license in Oklahoma not realizing they would have to marry in Oklahoma for it to be valid. So they walked out onto the bridge with the minister to say their vows. At the time there was a dance floor on the banks of Red River close to the bridge. A lot of people had gathered to dance and when they realized a wedding was taking place walked out on the bridge to witness the wedding. Every time we drive across the bridge we remember their story and wonder how many more stories the old bridge could tell. - Jimmie and Calvin Ramsey, 1-21-2013


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