U.S. Highway 287 and FM 59
About 5 Miles E of the Trinity River
27 Miles NW of Palestine
32 Miles E of Corsicana
20 Miles S of Athens
137 est. (2010)
in a Pecan Shell
along the Trinity River (before it became unnavigable in the early
1870s) enjoyed a brief period of prosperity. One of these towns was
a place called Wild Cat Bluff. The roughhewn community gave
way to a nearby up-and-coming village which would, in time, become
In 1894 a post office was applied for. The postmaster, perhaps feeling
nostalgic for his hometown in New York, submitted the name Cayuga.
Besides his duties as postmaster, he also operated a steam-powered
barge on the river, shipping cotton
for area farmers.
G. W. Tuggle, (chief justice of Anderson County) and his wife donated
land for the first community school in 1860. It managed to survive
into the 1920s when it was moved to a different location – and then
moved again to its final home off FM 59.
Cayuga sat for many years, content in its relative isolation. The
century turned, the boll
weevil came and the Great Depression arrived. Just as people were
starting to notice how bad things really were, oil was discovered.
From a population barely worth reporting, Cayuga grew to 1,000 people
by 1936 –served by as many as fifteen businesses. Prosperity too didn’t
stay long. WWll
came and the oil business slowed. Soon Cayuga was back to a few hundred
A slow decline set in and by the early 1970s, there were only 52 people
left. Large projects, like the building of prisons and the Richland-Chambers
Creek Reservoir (nearby) helped provide employment. Bolstered by discoveries
of lignite, the population in the region increased to around 700 (late
1980s) but the official count of Cayugans remained officially at 56.
The 2000 census reported 200 residents. By 2010, population was estimated
to be 137.
in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas,
asks that anyone wishing to share their local history and vintage/historic
photos, please contact