Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Texas Tidbits: Texas' Oldest Town

Downtown Nac
Snuggled tidily in the massive pine forests of East Texas lies the state's oldest town, Nacogdoches. I heard a tale many years ago of how Nacogdoches got its name. This Indian Chief, whose tribe was settled on the Sabine River on the Texas-Louisiana border, had two sons, one named Natchitoch and the other, Nacogdoche. When they became young men, the Chief sent his sons in opposite directions to create new settlements for the tribe. One son was sent eastward into Louisiana and the other to the west further into Texas. Hence, the settlement in Louisiana was named for Natchitoch (Natchitoches, LA) and the settlement in Texas was named, obviously, Nacogdoches. True or not, it's a nice story. Nacogdoches is one of the most historic cities in Texas. Inhabited by the first Texans as far back as 10,000 years ago, Nacogdoches has a rich history of Indian culture. "Nacogdoches County is located in an area that has been the site of human habitation for several thousand years. Archeological artifacts, which date from the Archaic Period (ca. 5000 B.C.-A.D. 500), have been recovered from the area around Sam Rayburn Reservoir to the south. During historic times the area was occupied by the Hasinai Indians of the Caddo confederacy, an agricultural people with a highly developed culture", says Handbook of Texas Online. Click on the link to the HTO link and they have a very good synopsis of the history of Nacogdoches. Today's Nacogdoches is home to 32,000 people and 12,000+ students at Stephen F. Austin State University. Go Lumberjacks !! Many famous athletes and entertainers have ties to Nacogdoches - Don Henley of the Eagles went to SFASU, All Pro NFL players Larry Centers and Jeremiah Trotter also attended SFA.  US Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and the discoverer of plutonium, Joseph W. Kennedy, also can point to Nacogdoches as, at one time, their home. I have spent time in Nac so I can tell you firsthand that it's cool little place and you don't have to go very far to decimate the local fish population. nearby are Lake Nacogdoches, the Angelina River and Lake Sam Rayburn. Fish.Fear.Me. Trust me on this one, folks. Be sure to check out the info at the links provided in this post. There's a ton of stuff that time and space prevent me from sharing with you. If you're in the Metroplex or somewhere near it, Nac would make a nice place to take a Sunday drive to, have lunch and see the sites. The brick streets of downtown Nacogdoches await you.

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All Original Material © Toby Shoemaker