Trails - "The trails wind through old neighborhoods south of
Photo courtesy Sam
Fenstermacher, March 2006
East Texas Sunday Drive Book" by Bob Bowman
A drive with beauty and history
around Tyler is both beautiful and historical, and this Sunday Drive
will give you an opportunity to simultaneously enjoy the two aspects.
Start your trip in downtown Tyler with a visit to the Carnegie
History Center, located at 125 South College. Open Wednesday through
Sunday, the Center offers an excellent overview of the history of
Tyler and Smith County,
starting with the days when Indians roamed the land.
You'll also want to take enough time to drive through a residential
area surrounding Bergfeld Park, located on South Broadway.
This area is known for its stately mansions and historic homes, many
of them dating back to the l930s when oil brought immense wealth to
Tyler. Some of the north-west streets you'll want to explore include
South College, Bois d' Arc, College, Robertson and Chilton.
As you drive, pay close attention to the old brick streets.
They constitute one of the largest collections of brick-surfaced streets
Tyler, settled in the 1840s, owes its name to President John Tyler.
Smith County, of which Tyler has been the only county seat, was created
in 1846 from part of what is now Nacogdoches County. the county was
named for General James Smith, a Texas Revolution leader who was serving
in the Republic of Texas Congress when the county was named for him.
Every visit to Tyler should include a tour of the municipal Rose
Gardens, the largest garden of its type in the country. Boasting
over 38,000 rose bushes with more than 500 varieties, the garden is
located adjacent to the East Texas Fair Grounds on West Front Street.
Nearby is Rose Stadium, home of Tyler Junior College's football
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Attractions in Tyler
Museum of Art, located adjacent to Tyler Junior College on Mahon
Street. The museum offers changing exhibits of 19th and 20th century
art. It is open Tuesday through Sunday.
also on the Tyler Junior College campus. It is the only planetarium
in East Texas and offers seasonal shows on a variety of celestrial
subjects. Call for show times and reservations.
World of Wildlife, located at the Brookshire headquarters on
Loop 323 in South Tyler. The museum contains more than 150 specimens
of animals from across the globe with special emphasis on African
and North American Wildlife. In addition, you can step back to the
1930s at an old-fashioned country store and see how grocery shopping
has changed. The exhibits are open Monday through Friday.
Zoo, located on Martin Luther King Boulevard in North Tyler.
The muncipal zoo offers exhibits with more than 500 animals, making
it the most complete zoo in East
Texas. The zoo is open every day.
Museum, located on North Broadway near the downtown area. This
antebellum home features 19th century artifacts, antiques and period
medical instruments. Days of operation change with the seasons.
The site of
Ford on U.S. 271, just north of Loop 323. The Civil War
prison camp housed up to 6,000 Union soldiers in the l860s.
Colonel John Dewberry's Home
"The $194,000 restoration was completed in 2001 and Colonel
Dewberry’s proud old home is now open for tours, receptions and
other events. The restoration also earned the Bergfelds the prestigious
Terry Preservation Award given annually by the East Texas Historical
Association. Today, Myrtle-Vale is one of the most magnificent pre-Civil
War homes still standing in East
Texas." 15 miles southwest of Tyler.
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|You may want
to time your Sunday Drive with two special events, the world-famous
Tyler Rose Festival, which is held in the middle of each October,
and the Tyler Azalea Trail, which is held in late March and
early April. Held in conjunction with the Azalea Trail is Tyler
Heritage on Tour, which features several historic homes, complete
with carriage rides.
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Building today houses the Tyler Chamber of Commerce
Photo by John Troesser, 5-02
you leave Tyler, continue your Sunday Drive by heading north on Farm
Road 14, which will carry you to Tyler State Park, a jewel
of a recreational area carved from the pine forests. The park offers
facilities for swimming, historical intrepetration, camping and picnicking.
the Tyler State Park, continue north on 14 until the road intersections
with Farm Road 16. Start south on 16 until you reach the community
which was settled in the early l840s and named for Winona Douglas,
the daughter of a prominent businessman.
on 16 to the old town of Starrville,
once an important overnight stop for stagecoaches and freight haulers,
as well as a crucial manufacturing community. In l869, Starrville
had the Texas Fair, said by some sources to have been the first
state fair in Texas.
turn south on Farm Road 757 until you intersect with Farm Road 345
west of Arp. Turn
south on 345 until it turns into 346 and follow the latter into
one-time planters village that was developed as a railroad stop
in the l870s.
Troup, head back
toward Tyler on Texas 110, but between Troup
and Whitehouse, turn east on Farm Road 344 to Bullard.
is the old town of Burning
Bush, a religious colony that existed between 1912 and 1915.
The colony grew truck crops, processed fruits and tried unsuccessfully
to drill for oil.
continue east on 344, which will carry you along the eastern edge
of Lake Palestine. You can continue along the lake shoreline
by picking up Farm Road 266 at its intersection with 344 and Texas
on 2661 until it intersects with Texas 64. Turn to the east here
until you reach the intersection with Farm Road 724. Continue in
a northerly direction on 724 until you reach the Mount Sylvan
community. Here, turn east on Texas 110 until you come to the
intersection with Farm Road 849, which will carry you into Lindale,
which dates back to l875 when it became a stop on the railroad.
Near the town is the old Steen Saline, which employed some
3,000 men during the Civil War to furnish salt for the Confederacy.
pick up U.S. 69 and return to Tyler.
For meals during your drive, we recommend a couple of Tyler eateries.
The Hoffbrau, located on East Fifth Street not far from Tyler Junior
College, serves an excellent pan-fried steak in a rustic atmosphere.
Liang's, located in a shopping center at the intersection of Loop
323 and Texas 110, serves some of the finest Chinese food in East
(For additional information about places found on this Sunday Drive,
contact the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce, 407 North Broadway,
Tyler, TX 75710, telephone 214/592-1661.)
on Historic Tyler, Texas
A Photographic History
|The First Baptist
Church in Tyler
Photo courtesy Lori Martin, 2005
Tyler Azalea Trails
We drove down to Tyler Texas Sunday to see the homes and yards along
the Tyler Azalea Trails. The trails wind through old neighborhoods
south of downtown. The homes and yards are beautiful. They also
had young ladies, dressed in Victorian period attire, greeting passersby.
- Sam Fenstermacher, March 29, 2006
More East Texas Day Trips > East
Texas Sunday Drives
rose garden in Tyler
Postcard courtesy rootsweb.com/
Federal Courthouse in Tyler
TE Photo, 5-02
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