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County
Hardin
Region
Pineywoods
Population
2010 Census - 2,123
2000 Census - 2,056
Nearby
Towns
Kountze, Texas
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Kountze Texas History:
The town of Kountze was established as a station on the Sabine and East Texas Railroad. It was named for the railroad’s financial bakers, Herman and Augustus Kountze. Sawmills and businesses were established within three miles of the station. The Kountze post office was established in 1882. Kountze became the Hardin County seat in 1886. It incorporated in 1902, the same year the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railroad built an east-west line to the town. The town grew from 295 residents in 1890 to approximately 1,000 residents in 1910. Later development was slowed by the decline in the lumber industry and a 1916 fire. The town had 800 residents in the mid-1940s. The nearby discovery of oil in the early 1950s improved the town’s economic fortunes. During the 1960s, Archer Fullingim, through his position as publisher of the Kountze News newspaper, began successfully advocating for the preservation of the Big Thicket Preserve which was established as a National Preserve in 1975.Kountze is located in the Big Thicket National Preserve at the intersections of U.S. 69/U.S. 287, SH 326, SH 418 and FM 1293, 51.5 miles east of Cleveland and the Sam Houston National Forest, 59 miles southeast of Livingston and Lake Livingston, 31 miles slightly southeast of Woodville, 10 miles southeast of Village Mills and Village Creek State Park, 59 miles south of Zavalla and the Sam Rayburn Reservoir, and 59 miles southwest of Jasper, Lake B.A. Steinhagen and Martin Dies Jr. State Park, 40.6 miles southwest of Kirbyville, 25.4 miles southwest of Buna and Masterson State Forest, 53 miles northwest of Bridge City, 50 miles northwest of Orange and Sabine Lake, 45 miles northwest of Port Arthur, 35 miles northwest of Mauriceville, 24.6 miles northwest of Beaumont, 10.5 miles northwest of Lumberton, 9.4 miles northwest of Silsbee, 43.6 miles northeast of Liberty and the Trinity River NWR, and 18 miles northeast of Sour Lake, Texas.  
 
Hardin County Courthouse, 1959:
Hardin County’s brick and stone 1905 Courthouse was designed in colonial style by architect Andrew P. Bryan. It was built of Pecos stone and salmon-colored brick imported from St. Louis. It featured a domed in the traditional style of the U.S. Capitol and the Texas State Capitol. It was demolished in 1960. Its original bell is on display in the 1959 county courthouse. A replica of the 1905 bell tower is located on the northwest corner of the courthouse grounds. The courthouse was designed in modern style by architects Dickson, Dickson & Associates. The 2010 Hardin County census was 54,635.  
           
Kirby-Hill House Museum & Educational Foundation, 1902:
Architect Frank T. Smith built the 2 story colonial revival style home for James L. Kirby, brother of John Henry Kirby, founder of the Kirby Lumbar Company. The home is located on its original 8 city lots. The curved wrap-around front walls of the upper and lower porches are of tongue and groove heart pine and the 48 impressive Victorian Style Columns on both porches are made of cypress. The house has a Texas Historical Marker. The Kirby-House Educational Foundation purchased the property in 1992. Restoration funding comes from grants, donations, admissions, through proceeds derived through including a series of Murder Mystery Dinner Theaters during the spring and fall, proceeds from the B & B room rentals, and small catered events. The Kirby Hill House serves as a B&B seven days a week. Open for tours, Tue-Sat, 1-5pm. 210 Main Street. (409) 246-8000. (866) 244-8442.    
 
Silsbee Texas Ice House Museum & Cultural Center:
The building was built by Gulf States Utilities in 1928 as an ice house. With the invention of refrigeration, ice production decreased from its peak of 30,000 tons a week, to enough to provide for recreational use and events. The ice house closed in 1983. In 1991, it received Silsbee’s only Texas Historical Landmark designation. At this time volunteers began restoring the building for its present day use as a museum featuring a fine arts exhibition hall. Its two galleries feature short and long term exhibitions. It is the favorite venue of local artists wishing to display their work. The museum is also the home of the Hardin County Genealogical Society. Special shows and open houses are scheduled throughout the year. Open Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm. (409) 385-2444. 818 Earnest Avenue, Silsbee, Texas.
 
Pelt Farm Museum and B & B, 1840, 10 Acres:
The B & B is located in an 1840 Dog Trot Cabin brought in from a location near Herman, Missouri. The bedrooms feature distorted handmade glass; the bathrooms have stained glass windows. The Lone Star Room is furnished with antique western furniture; the French Country Room is furnished in country French. Amenities include a large porch, an Antique Rose Garden with other 120 rose bushes and hundreds of Shasta daisies, a butterfly garden, brick lined walkways and flower beds, Spanish-Indian horses, Longhorn cattle, a spotted donkey, and a vegetable garden. The Pelt Farm Museum features early rural East Texas and South Louisiana folk art from such artists as Clementine Hunger, Rhoda Brady Stokes, Emma Lee Moss, wood relief mural paintings by Allen B. Crochet, and other the works of other artists. (409) 287-3300. 12487 Pelt Road, Kountze, Texas. The Museum and B & B is located just off FM 421 at 12487 Pelt Road, between Kountze and Sour Lake. Email
 
Theatre, Silsbee Little Theater, Silsbee, TX:
The theater’s first play, “You Can’t Take It with You,” was produced in 1967. The theatre has acquired an outstanding reputation in Southeast Texas for the plays it produces using local talent. Its annual spring dinner theater production has become a favorite area event. The theater hosts a monthly reading and a summer youth theatre program. Its current home is the Knights of Columbus Hall in downtown Silsbee. (409) 385-5428. 140 North 6th Street.
 
Silsbee Performing & Visual Arts Council:
This council enhances arts education within the Silsbee ISD. They ensure that each student is provided with at least one theatre, music, literary and visual arts program each school year. Outreach programs include sponsoring the kid’s area at Christmas in the Big Thicket, and an annual student’s exhibit at the ice House Museum. (409) 385-5286.
 
Kountze Public Library & Chamber of Commerce:
The library provides traditional library programs, children, youth and adult programs, summer programs, public access computers with internet connections, computer classes, and free Wi-Fi. A meeting room is available for reservation. The Kountze Chamber of Commerce is housed in the library. Open Mon, 9am-6pm; Tue-Fri, 8:30am-5:30pm; Sat, 9:30am-12:30pm; closed Sundays and holidays. (409) 246-2826. 800 S. Redwood Avenue, Kountze
 
Sztraky Farms, U-Pick Blackberries, Silsbee, TX:
They grow and sell blackberries (mid-May-June), plums (May-June) and figs (May-June). Grapefruit and Satsuma oranges are available November through February. They also sell frozen blackberries, blackberry concentrate, homemade blackberry jams and jellies, Mayhaw concentrate, and 100% pure uncut Mayhaw jelly. (409) 385-2835. 2541 FM 92, Silsbee. Email  
 
Kountze (Monthly) Trade Days:
This City of Kountze event is held on the 4th weekend of each month except during December when it is held on the 3rd weekend. It features over 250 food and merchandise vendors. A $2 parking fee applies. The Trade Days Center is located off U.S. 69 at 1025 North Pine Street, adjacent to the Super 8 Motel. (409) 880-5667. Email
 
Annual Hardin County Mudding Music Fest, May:
This event features local, regional and national music artists, a truck MudFest, a BBQ cook-off, the Big Thicket Bike Rally, a washer tournament, an art and photo contest, a parade, food vendors, and a KidzFest. Bring lawn chairs; no coolers allowed. This event is sponsored by the Kountze Chamber of Commerce. (409) 246-3413. It is held at the Hardin County Entertainment Ranch. 231 Old FM 418, Kountze.
 
Annual Old Fashioned Lighted Christmas Parade, Dec:
The parade forms at City Hall at 1025 N. Pine Street. It begins at Trade Days and travels to the historic district where events will be held. (409) 246-3413.  
 
Mi Pueblo Restaurant, Silsbee, TX:
(409) 385-5284. The restaurant is located at 980 SH 327 East. Reviews  
 
The Cottage Restaurant, Silsbee:
This popular restaurant serves catfish, shrimp, steaks, very good burgers, great steak fries, sandwiches, and salads, including a good chef salad. Open Mon-Sat, 8:30am-9pm. (409) 385-9057. 5125 Old Evadale Highway. Reviews