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County
Walker
Region
Pineywoods
Population
2010 Census - 38,545
2000 Census - 35,078
Nearby
Towns
Huntsville, Texas
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Huntsville Texas History:
In the mid-1830s, Pleasant and Ephraim Gray established an Indian trading post in the area. They named the settlement that grew up around the post, Huntsville for Huntsville, Alabama. The Huntsville post office was established in 1837. In 1846, Huntsville was named the county seat of the newly formed Walker County. An 1867 yellow fever epidemic killed 10 percent of the population. In 1872, the Houston and Great Northern Railroad bypassed Huntsville to the east, but the eight mile Huntsville Branch line was established, linking Huntsville to the Houston and Great Northern Railroad in Phelps. By 1875, Huntsville was served by four stage routes. Huntsville’s economy remained stable from the Civil War (1861-1865) through the Great Depression. The construction of highways from the late 1920s to the early 1930s enhanced Huntsville’s position as a trading center for a large area of rural East Texas. The population rose from 939 in 1860 to 5,028 in 1931. Its population has grown steadily since that time. Today, lumbering, agriculture, livestock and tourism are major industries. The 1849 construction of the Huntsville State Prison and the growth of Sam Houston University have contributed to the town’s economic base. The 1937 construction of Lake Raven and the opening of Huntsville State Park added tourism to the town’s industries. Historic buildings include Austin Hall, the original building of Austin College, the Steamboat House where Sam Houston died, and the homes of Sam Houston and John W. Thomason, Jr. Sam Houston’s law office has been preserved. Huntsville is home to the James Gillaspie Monument. Captain Gillaspie served as commander of forces from Walker County during the battles for Texas Independence, Indian Wars and the Civil War. Huntsville is located on the northwestern edge of the Sam Houston National Forest at the intersections of U.S. 190, IH-45, SH 30, SH 75 and several farm roads, 43.5 miles northeast of Navasota, 53 miles northeast of College Station, 34 miles northeast of Anderson, 28 miles southeast of Madisonville, 49 miles southeast of Centerville and Fort Boggy State Park, 48 miles slightly southwest of Crockett, 39 miles southwest of Groveton, 20 miles southwest of Trinity, 29 miles southwest of Onalaska, 21 miles southwest of Point Blank, 43 miles west of Livingston, 37 miles northwest of Coldspring, 52 miles northwest of Cleveland, 30.5 miles northwest of Conroe, and 14.4 miles northwest of New Waverly, Texas. 
 
Walker County Courthouse, 1970:
The courthouse was designed by architects Joiner, Coburn & King. The interior of the 1888 courthouse burned in 1968. The 1888 courthouse cornerstone is located on the grounds of the current courthouse. The 2010 Walker County census was 67,836. (936) 436-4910. 1100 University Avenue.   
 
Huntsville Texas Main Street Program & the Courthouse Square:
Huntsville was designated a Texas Main Street City in 2001. The Main Street Program is a 40 state downtown redevelopment program that seeks to revitalize downtown areas; the Texas program is administered by the Texas Historical Commission. The courthouse square features the Courthouse, Haas Murals, and over 30 retail shops and restaurants. Main Street Program: (936) 291-5920. 1203 University Avenue, Huntsville. Email
 
Downtown Huntsville Murals:
“Trompe l’oeil” murals (“Trick of the Eye) are located on the buildings on the downtown square. They were created by world-renowned artist Richard Haas of New York. “Trompe l’oeil” is an art technique involving extremely realistic imagery in order to create the optical illusion that the depicted objects appear in three dimensions. Click on this link to view an 1874 painting by Pere Borrell del Caso in which a boy appears to be jumping out of a picture frame; another painting shows a low vault ceiling painted to make the viewer believe the ceiling is vaulted.
 
Sam Houston Statue & Sam Houston Statue Visitors Center:
This 67 foot statue was designed by David Adickes. It stands on a 10 foot tall granite base. Adickes also designed Freeport’s (Texas) 72 foot statue of Stephen F. Austin. The Huntsville statue is located in a small park on the grounds of the visitor center. The center offers information on walking and driving tours of Huntsville. Tours include a driving tour showcasing over 30 historic buildings, an Oakwood Cemetery walking tour, an art tour, a prison driving tour, the downtown historic walking tour, and scenic route driving tours. The visitor center is open Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm; Sat, 10am-5pm; Sun, 11am-5pm; weekdays May through Sept, open until 6pm. Closed Major holidays. (800) 289-0389. (936) 291-9726. 7600 SH 75 South, Huntsville.