Introduction to Nacogdoches, Texas
The city of Nacogdoches is the county seat of Nacogdoches County, which lies in the eastern part of the state of Texas. Incorporated in 1837, Nacogdoches claims the distinction of being the oldest town in the state. The city has actually been under more flags than the state of Texas. In addition to Texas' Six Flags (Spanish, French, Mexican, The Lone Star, The Confederate, and The United States), Nacogdoches has also served under the flags of The Long Republic, The Magee-Gutierrez Republic, and The Fredonia Republic. The city is located approximately 130 miles southeast of Dallas, 140 miles northeast of Houston, and 90 miles southwest of Shreveport, Louisiana.
Nacogdoches was the site of Texas' first producing oil well, which was drilled in 1861. In later years, the advent of the railroad established Nacogdoches as a viable commercial center. The 20th century saw a shift in the city's industrial base from cotton and tobacco to banking, poultry, tools, medical services, and education. The most significant economic development in the city's recent history was the enlargement of the Stephen F. Austin State University in the 1960s, which triggered a rapid boost to the city's growth.
Nacogdoches was also the site of a notable 1912 Marx Brothers performance which convinced the brothers to switch from singing to comedy. Audience reaction to their singing prompted Groucho to ad-lib some insults about the town, and the ensuing laughter started the act on its new and successful course. A historic plaque commemorating the event is posted in downtown Nacogdoches.
Things to do in Nacogdoches
The oldest town in Texas is also one of the most charming. In addition to the numerous locally owned specialty and antique shops, there are many historic and cultural sites to explore. Following are some of the more interesting local activities and attractions:
- Lanana Creek Trail: A 2.5-mile trail beginning at Liberty Hall in historic downtown.
- Millard's Crossing Historic Village: A reconstructed historic village depicting East Texas life as it existed in the 19th century.
- Oak Grove Cemetery: Famed as the final resting place for a number of legendary Texans.
- Sterne-Hoya House Museum: Baptismal spot of Sam Houston.
- Mast Arboretum
- Stephen F. Austin State University
- Lake Nacogdoches
- Stone Fort Museum
Sports fans who like to make day-trips can take the ride to Houston or Dallas (approximately 3 hours to each city) and watch some exciting pro sports action. The following teams are located in Houston:
- Baseball: Houston Astros
- Football: Houston Texans
- Basketball: Houston Rockets (NBA) and Houston Comets (WNBA)
- Hockey (American Hockey League): Houston Aeros
- Soccer: Houston Dynamo
The Dallas area is home to the following teams:
- Baseball: Texas Rangers (located in Arlington)
- Football: Dallas Cowboys
- Basketball: Dallas Mavericks
- Hockey (NHL): Dallas Stars
- Soccer: FC Dallas
- American Association Minor-League Baseball: Fort Worth Cats (independent)