friend from Henderson
called a few days ago and said she planned to stay in East
Texas for the holidays and wanted some ideas for Christmas day
Considering the state of the world, that made sense. So, for my Henderson
friend and others who plan to stay home this year, here is a list
of places to spend the holidays in East
Bowman's East Texas
- First, there
are three Bethlehems in the East
(Texas, that is). Theyıre in southeast Upshur County, near Gilmer;
in Milam County, near Rockdale;
and in Angelina County, west of Lufkin.
All three usually have Christmas-centered church services.
- In Palestine,
the stains fall mainly on the panes. A few hours spent touring
the churches of downtown Palestine
will reward you with a view of some of the most beautiful stained
glass windows in East
Texas. Many date back to the l850s. For a map, contact the
local chamber of commerce.
- You can light
up your life at Marshall
where the downtown area is ablaze with a a lighting spectacular
that includes 3,000 miles of string lighting, 2.5 million bulbs,
and 8,000 manhours of volunteer work. It is the nationıs largest
concentrated Christmas lighting display.
- Another Christmas
lighting display is in Tyler,
where the Municipal Rose Garden comes alive each December with
a Winter Lights Festival. Visitors can stroll through a series
of larger-than-life illuminated sculptures of holiday figures
and a 14-acre garden of lights.
- If youıre
into fruitcakes, visit Eilenberger's
Bakery, also in Palestine.
When German immigrant F.H. Eilenberger came to town in 1898, he
brought with him an old country fruitcake recipe still used today
by his descendants. Many swear that itıs the best fruitcake in
- To walk off
those holiday pounds, take a walk on the mild side by exploring
the Rusk Footbridge, reportedly the country's longest such bridge
at 546 feet. The original structure was built in the l850s across
a creek dividing a residential area and downtown Rusk.
The bridge was rebuilt in the 1960s.
- If you would
like to confront the ghosts of Christmases past, few graveyards
can match the beauty of Scottsville
Cemetery, a small family cemetery near Marshall.
Founded in the 1840s by Colonel William T. Scott, the cemetery
contains a priceless collection of Italian marble statuary standing
over the graves of six generations of the Scott and Rose families.
- If you're
into road trips, take a drive down East Texas' oldest highway.
Highway (Texas 21) stretches from Toledo
Bend Reservoir near Milam to San
Antonio. It is also one of our most scenic roadways. The route
was used by Indians and traveled by Spanish missionaries in 1791.
It is also known as El Camino Real, the Old Spanish Trail, and
the Old San Antonio Road.
- At Sulphur
Springs, youıll find music for the season -- right out of
the box. The Leo St. Clair Music Box Gallery, located on the second
floor of the City Library, contains one of the largest and most
diverse collections of music boxes in the country, some 300 different
boxes in all.
- And, finally,
donıt overlook the floating Christmas parade of Uncertain.
Each December, usually on the third Sunday, the townıs residents
stage a floating parade on Caddo Lake. The town got its name from
riverboat captains who had difficulty finding the landing.
December 2, 2001 Column
A weekly column syndicated in 109 East Texas newspapers
in Texas | Texas People
| Columns | Texas
Towns | Texas |