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
are three Bethlehems in the East
(Texas, that is). Theyıre in southeast Upshur
County, near Gilmer;
in Milam County,
and in Angelina
County, west of Lufkin.
All three usually have Christmas-centered church services.
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.
|The former Harrison
County Courthouse lighted for Christmas
Photo courtesy Lori
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.
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 East
To walk off
those holiday pounds, take a walk on the mild side by exploring
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. The King's
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
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.
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.
Bowman's East Texas
2, 2001 Column
A weekly column syndicated in 109 East Texas newspapers