submerged Texas Ghost TownPolk
Lake Livingston and FM 1988
75 miles N of Houston
30 miles E of Hunstville
Area Hotel Here > Houston
Swartwout, Texas Centennial
Photo courtesy Mildred L. Brown, September 2007
in a Pecan Shell|
Named in honor of New York financier Samuel
Swartwout who bankrolled several early colonists, the town was set up on the east
bank of the Trinity River in 1838.
The unusual spelling of the man's
name caused many people to drop the "w" and simply spell it Swartout. Sam
Houston was an early shareholder in the community whose future looked horizonsless.
The Masons opened a school there in the 1840s, even before the establishment
of Polk County. A ferry landing was established and the town was on a stage line.
River traffic made it a riverport for cotton warehousing and the town had a hotel
With the establishment of Liberty County in 1840, Swartwout
became a subcounty seat of the county's northern division. When Polk County was
established in 1846, Swartwout tried to be the county
seat but failed to win enough votes. Nevertheless, the town throve on its
river trade until the coming of the railroads erased that advantage. The Swartwout
post office was open from 1846 through 1875.
A marker was erected for
the Texas Centennial in 1936
but it was later moved with the establishment of the Lake Livingston Reservoir.
Although there's nothing left of the old town of Swartwout, the name lives on
with a contemporary community that has grown near the old Livingston Dam.
Hill Methodist Church in SwartwoutBefore
Photo courtesy Mildred L. Brown, September 2007|
County TX 1858 Map showing Swartwout SW of Livingston|
"OL" in "POLK")
Courtesy Texas General Land Office
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