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THREE RIVERS, TEXAS

Live Oak County, South Texas
Hwy 72 and US 281
3 miles W of I-37
Halfway between San Antonio and Corpus Christi
10 miles N of George West
72 miles S of San Antonio
23 miles E of Tilden
32 miles SW of Kenedy
Population: 1,878 (2000)

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Three Rivers Tx Dam
Photo courtesy Sarah Reveley, January 2010
History in a Pecan Shell

Annie T. Hamilton paid the San Antonio, Uvalde and Gulf Railroad to build a depot on her land in 1913. Her money bought her the immortality of having the town named Hamiltonburg. Her immortality was short-lived, however, when mail was frequently sent in error to Hamilton, Texas. The mail-receiving residents of Hamiltonburg wanted a new name - and fast. Charles R. Tips who had sold parcels of land for the townsite, suggested the town be named for its location near the three Rivers of Atascosa, Frio, and Nueces. The new name was in effect on May 1, 1914 and we have been unable to find a record of Annie Hamilton's reaction.

In 1920 natural gas was discovered, piped into town and soon a refinery and a glass factory were built. The glass factory was closed in 1938 but the refinery today now belongs to Valero (formerly Diamond Shamrock) and is the town's major employer. In 1925 the population was estimated at 1,000 and it slowly increased by 1965 to 1,932 and later to 2,177 by 1988.

The building of a dam produced Choke Canyon Lake. The town has been flooded at least once. and only recently (2003) has the theater downtown reopened after being totally restored.

See Three Rivers Historical Marker

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Three Rivers Tx Dam
Another view of the dam
Photo courtesy Sarah Reveley, January 2010
Texas Rivers
Photographer's Note:
One of the three rivers in Three Rivers. I didn't see the alligator sign until I was walking off!! - Sarah Reveley, January 2010
Three Rivers Tx - Warning Alligators
Alligators Warning
Photo courtesy Sarah Reveley, January 2010
Three Rivers Tx Gas Station Video Shack
"A new twist on spiral columns at the gas station" - Sarah Reveley
More Texas Gas Stations
Three Rivers TX Grain Silos
Silos in Three Rivers.
Photo courtesy Will Beauchamp, 2009
More Texas Grain Elevators
Three Rivers TX Dr Pepper Bottle
Bottom of Dr Pepper bottle made at the Three Rivers Glass plant.
Photo courtesy Will Beauchamp, 2009
Photographer's Note:
The Three Rivers Glass Factory made soda bottles for hundreds of bottling companies across Texas and surrounding states. Most found have the mark 3 RIVERS* or 3R* on bottom or on the heel. - Will Beauchamp
Three RIvers TX Glass Factory Historical Marker
Three Rivers Glass Factory Historical Marker
Photo courtesy Will Beauchamp, 2009
Three Rivers Historical Marker
Three Rivers Historical Marker on the town square on US 281
Photo courtesy Will Beauchamp, 2009
Three Rivers Hotels

Three Rivers Historical Marker Text

Founded March 1913 by Charles R. Tips. An investor chartered June 12, 1913, as Hamiltonburg--named for local family. Town lot sale began July 4, 1913. Townsite renamed by U.S. Postal Department May 1, 1914, to mark fork of three rivers--Nueces, Atascosa and Frio. Present interests are ranching, farming, gas, oil and recreation.

Three Rivers Recreation

  • Choke Canyon State Park & Choke Canyon Reservoir
    Camping, fishing, boating, swimming, picnicking, hiking.
  • Tips Park - On Frio River. One mile west off Hwy 72.
    Camping, fishing and picnicking.

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  • Rialto Theatre in Three Rivers, Texas

    The Rialto Theatre

    Only recently (2003) has the theater downtown reopened after being totally restored.


    TE photo, 2001
    More Texas Theatres
    Three Rivers Chronicles
  • The Anatomically Incorrect Cowboy Silhouette by Brewster Hudspeth
    One Bar -Two Dimensions
  • Three Rivers Texas Forum
  • Subject: Three Rivers History
    I am from there and I believe the last flood there was in the 1967 after hurricane Beulah. In the 1980's (I believe it was the 80's...it could have started in the late 70's) a levee was built around the city to keep it from flooding again. Also Diamond Shamrock is now Valero. Just a few things I wanted to point out. All in all I really enjoy this website...great work! Thanks, Stacy Meeks, Austin, December 15, 2005

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  • Three Rivers, Texas
    Area Destinations:

    George West
    San Antonio
    Corpus Christi
    Tilden
    Kenedy
    Where to Stay:
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    San Antonio Hotels
    Corpus Christi Hotels
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