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County
Cherokee
Region
Pineywoods
Population
2010 Census - Unknown
2000 Census - 250
Nearby
Towns
Maydelle, Texas
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Maydelle Texas History:
The area was first developed in the 1840s. In 1906, the Texas Railroad was extended from Rusk to Palestine. Camp Wright, a branch prison, was established at the Maydelle site to house prisoners assigned to cutting wood for charcoal for the prison foundry at Rusk. In 1910, C.D. Jarrarr and N.A. Slover purchased several hundred acres around the camp and platted the town of Maydelle. They named the town in honor of the daughter of Governor Thomas Campbell who was instrumental in getting the Texas legislature to approve the extension of the line. Businesses and residents from the surrounding communities of Gent, Java, Mount Comfort, and Pine Town had moved to Maydelle to be closer to the railroad. By 1914 the town had two churches, four general stores, a bank, a cotton gin, a drugstore, and approximately 150 residents. The town’s population peaked at 450 in 1929. The population has remained around 250 since the early 1990s. The Texas State Railroad has a depot in Maydelle. Maydelle is located east of the Neches River at the intersection of U.S. 84 and FM 2138, 9.5 miles west of Rusk, 21 miles northwest of Alto and the Caddoan Mounds SHS, 41 miles northeast of Grapeland via Palestine, 21 miles northeast of Palestine, 13 miles east of the I.D. Fairfield Texas State Forest, 23 miles southeast of Frankston and Lake Palestine, approximately 6 miles south of Lake Jacksonville, 12.6 miles south of Jacksonville, and 46 miles southwest of Henderson, Texas.  
 
Historic Maydelle, Texas Historical Marker Text:
“Maydelle In 1906, the Texas State Railroad built to this area for timber to fuel iron manufacturing at the penitentiary in Rusk. The branch prison established at the railhead was called Camp Wright. When Rusk native Thomas Campbell became governor, he persuaded the legislature to extend the line to Palestine, where it met the I&GN railway. The line brought new settlement to the Camp Wright area, and in 1910, residents platted the new town of Maydelle, named for the governor's daughter, who sang at the town site's dedication. The town was an early center for cotton, timber and tomato production, but its population, like in other rural Texas towns, declined by the latter part of the 20th century.” The marker is located on U.S. 84, in front of Texas State Railroad depot.
 
Historic Mewshaw State Sawmill & Maydelle CCC Camp, Texas Historical Marker Text:
“In operation from 1908 to 1912, the Mewshaw State Sawmill at this site produced 35,000 board feet of lumber daily and was staffed by convict laborers form the nearby Rusk State Penitentiary. The village of Maydelle later developed on the rail line that ran between Rusk and Palestine, and in 1933 a forest conservation camp under the auspices of the Federal Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was established here. The camp was closed in 1937, but the benefits of its programs are still evident in the I. D. Fairchild State Forest, now a wildlife sanctuary.” The marker is located at the corner of U.S. 84 and FM 747, 4 miles west of Maydelle.
 
Old Farm House Pottery, Maydelle:
The pottery is located in a 1936 farmhouse which houses a pottery and a show and sales room. The pottery is created by the award winning David Hendley. Call or Email before visiting; they are sometimes away at pottery workshops or sales. (903) 795-3779. 232 CR 1805, Rusk, Texas. Email 
 
Maydelle Country Wines:
They make wines from Texas grapes, blackberries, grapefruits, elderberries and peaches. The winery is located in the old Maydelle Depot. Visitors are welcomed. Children are welcomed with root beer on tap, wooden trains, and friendly cats. (903) 795-3915. Mail: Rt. 4 Box 19102, Rusk, Texas 76785. They are located on CR 2108, east of Maydelle, 9.5 miles west of Rusk and 201 miles northeast of Palestine, Texas. Steven's Email   Cheryl's Email   
 
Bertha’s Café:
The café serves good southern cooking, and all you can eat catfish on weekends. (903) 795-3747. The café is located on U.S. 84 in Maydelle, near Old Farm Pottery. Reviews  
 
Birding - TEXAS PRAIRIES AND PINEYWOODS EAST BIRDING TRAIL:
Texas State Railroad Loop: Jacksonville, Rusk, Palestine
Texas Bird Checklist with Photos
Bird Checklist for Pineywoods of Eastern Texas
Cherokee County Bird Checklist with Photos
Gus Engeling WMA Bird Checklist, Tennessee Colony & Palestine
 
Texas Wildflowers:
Due to budget constraints, TX-DOT no longer maintains a website offering spring wildflower sightings. Information is available at the magazine.
 
Mosquito Information:
The months of April through October are the worst months for mosquitoes. Rub yourself with Bounce Fabric Softener sheets, or with Vicks Vapor Rub or pure Mexican Vanilla. Some swear taking a daily vitamin B-1 pill works to repel mosquitoes. Mosquitoes love you when you eat bananas. Mosquitoes are also attracted to some perfumes, including perfumed shampoos. Planting Marigolds in your yard repels mosquitoes. On a picnic table try covering the bottom of a white plate with “lemon fresh” dish wash soap, or use citronella candles. Home Depot sometimes sells the candles in small metal buckets. The ThermaCell Mosquito Repellant is also quite effective in ridding small outdoor areas of mosquitos. Dynatrap Company makes a large standing electric mosquito machine that works like electric bug zappers. It is very successful at making large areas mosquito free. When purchasing mosquito repellent buy those with the ingredient N, N-diethyl-M-toluamide. The fine net clothing available from Cabela’s and other sporting goods stores is highly effective in preventing mosquito bites.
 
Texas State Railroad Park Information:
In the late 1800s, the Texas Prison System established the East Texas Penitentiary in Rusk, Texas. A foundry was constructed on the prison grounds in 1884 to convert the area's rich iron ore to cast iron using prison labor and charcoal made from native timber. By 1886, it became apparent that transporting the timber and iron ore by horse and wagon was impractical so 5 miles of railroad track was built. The line originated at the prison in Rusk. By 1906, it was extended to the Cotton Belt Railroad track in Rusk, and to the International and Great Northern Railroad track in Palestine. In 1921, the railroad ceased operations, the rolling stock was sold, and the line was offered for lease. Between 1921 and 1960, the Texas & New Orleans Railroad operated the line. When the TPWD took over the line from T.S.E. in 1972, the line was in poor condition. Rusk prison labor was used to clear the overgrowth of brush, replace cross ties, and repair the railroad bridges. TPWD employees traveled around the country in search of vintage cars and steam locomotives. Victorian style depots were built in Rusk and Palestine. The park opened to the public in 1976, transporting passengers the 25 miles between the two stations, and becoming East Texas' most popular tourist attraction. By 2006, the annual costs to maintain and operate the railroad were $1,000,000 above the annual revenue generated by the railroad. In 2007, the legislature passed Senate Bill 1659 allowing for the creation of an operating authority with the power to lease the system to a private operator. The railroad was transferred to the Texas State Railroad Authority and leased for operations by American Heritage Railway. Train depots are located in Maydelle, Rusk, and Palestine, Texas.Camping and train ride fees apply. For more information, read the Park Brochure and go to the Texas State Railroad Park Home Page.
 
Maydelle State Railroad Depot:
The Texas State Railroad Corn Maze is located along the railroad tracks near the Maydelle Depot. The 6 acre maze is open from the second week in September through October 31st.  Activities at the maze include a hay bale mountain, a hayride, a corn box, a roller slide and other fun events. The Corn Maze Shuttle departs from the Maydelle Depot. A $19 fare fee is charged for visitors age 3 and over. Group discounts are available. A $25 per person (12 and over) fare is charged for the Haunted Maze the last four days of October. The Maydelle depot is located approximately 9 miles west of Rusk on SH 84 at 124 CR 2131, Maydell, TX 75772. (903) 683-2561. (888) 987-2461. Depot Map & Directions  Maydelle Map; Click to Enlarge  Maydelle Texas Area Map 
 
Caddoan Mounds State Historic Site Information: 
This 93.8 acre park was the most western ceremonial site of the Mound Builders of Caddoan who lived here from approximately 800 A.D. to 1300 A.D. They supported themselves by fishing in the nearby Neches River, and by hunting and farming. Remaining remnants of their culture include two temple mounds (a low temple mound, and a high temple Ceremonial mound), a burial mound, and a large portion of the Mound Builders' village. The mounds are located on the historic El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail. A 0.7 mile self-guided interpretive loop trail meanders through the site; a short branch trail leads to the borrow pit. A 1.5 hour guided tour is available. Group tours are available by appointment. Facilities include a picnic area, and the visitor center and gift shop featuring an interpretive center and restrooms. The Caddoan Mounds Site is wheelchair accessible. Texas Historical Markers are located at the High Temple Ceremonial Mound on SH 21, and on CR 2907 (Weeping Mary Road) at the Zebulon Pike Campsite. This SHS hosts special programs and events, and group tours by appointment. For more information read the Park Brochure, view the Facilities Map, and go to the Caddoan Mounds SHS Home Page. Caddoan Mounds is located 6 miles southwest of Alto, Texas, on SH 21.
 
Neches River: 
The Neches River rises just east of Colfax in eastern Van Zandt County; it flows southeast for 416 miles to its mouth in Sabine Lake on the northern edge of Port Arthur, Texas. Except for a few miles near its head, the Neches serves as a boundary system for its entire length, forming the county lines between a several Texas counties. Reservoirs on the river include Lake Palestine, Lake B.A. Steinhagen near Town Bluff, and the small Rhine Lake located north of Palestine. Major tributaries include the Angelina River, which drains one-third of the basin area, Bayou La Nana, Ayish Bayou, Pine Island Bayou, Village Creek, Kickapoo Creek, and Flat Creek. Towns located along the river include Tyler, Beaumont, Lufkin, Nacogdoches, Groves, Port Neches and Nederland. Maps  Fish Stocking History
 
I.D. Fairfield Texas State Forest Information:
The 2,740 acre Fairfield State Forest was acquired in 1925 from the Texas Prison System. It was named after Senator Fairchild of Lufkin. The small day use area in the main tract has a fishing pond and picnic tables. There are no restrooms. There are eleven miles of trails. Activities in this area include biking, hiking, horseback riding, and birding and picnicking. All horses must have proof of a recent negative Coggins test. This area is located 0.25 miles south of U.S. 84. Special forest attractions include a historical fire tower, and the Red Cockaded Woodpecker (RCW) Management Area. Forest management demonstration areas and sites exist throughout the forest. The forest service hosts group resource education tours by appointment. Visitor resources include the facilities & trails map and trails topography map. The forestis open year round during daylight hours. (903) 729-7738. Information and maps are available at the Palestine District Office at 2203 West Spring Street (U.S. 287), Palestine, Texas. The forest is located13 miles west of Maydelle, Texas on U.S. 84.
 
Lake Palestine Information:
This 25,560 surface acre lake was impounded on the Neches River in 1962. Itis 18 miles long, has 135 miles of shoreline, and has a maximum depth of 58 feet. The Blackburn Crossing Dam was completed in 1962. The dam was enlarged between 1969 and 1972. The lake is owned and operated by the Upper Neches River Authority. Lake towns include Chandler, Coffee City, and Berryville. Bullard, Frankston and Moore City are located nearby. The lake is located 15 miles northwest of Jacksonville, 20 miles slightly northeast of Palestine, 25 miles east of Athens, and 12 miles southwest of Tyler, Texas. The dam is located 4 miles east of Frankston, Texas. For more complete lake information, go to the Lake Palestine Home Page. Current Lake Level TPWD Public Access Facilities Map 
 
Lake Jacksonville Information:
Buckner Dam, which impounds Lake Jacksonville on Gum Creek, was completed in 1957. The 1,320 surface acre lake has 25 miles of shoreline and a maximum depth of 62 feet. Approximately 500 weekend and full time residences are located on the city owned lake; most lots are leased from the city for terms of 10 to 99 years. Very few lots are available for building new residences. The lake is used for public recreation, private residential living, and as a water supply source for the City of Jacksonville. Public amenities include two boat ramps and a park featuring campsites, RV sites, boat gas and a boat ramp. The lake is owned and operated by the City of Jacksonville which operates a campground, three boat ramps and two public swimming areas on the lake. The Lake Jacksonville Association hosts an annual 4th of July fireworks display. The lake is located approximately one mile southwest of Jacksonville off U.S. 79.For more complete lake information, go to the Lake Jacksonville Home Page. Lake Location Map  Current Lake Level   
 
Neches River National Wildlife Refuge:
This new refuge is located along a 38 mile reach of the upper portion of the Neches River, on both sides of the river. This section of the river forms the border between Anderson and Cherokee Counties. Habitat consists of overflow bottomlands and adjacent pine and pine/hardwood forests. Future plans include acquiring up to an additional 25,281 acres. The purpose of this refuge is to protect the bottomland hardwood forests in riparian and wetland areas. This habitat provides nesting, wintering and migratory habitat for migratory birds of the Central Flyway. The refuge is currently closed to the public. Special use permits are required for those conducting research or other activities. The refuge is located 35 miles south of Tyler, and approximately 9 miles south of Jacksonville, Texas in the East Texas Pineywoods Region. It is managed jointly with the Caddo Lake National Wildlife Refuge. To reach the Caddo Lake NWR headquarters from Marshall, go north on SH 43 to Spur 449 at the refuge sign and a post office sign. Drive one mile to the intersection of Spur 449 and FM 134. Look for the Karnack Post Office on the right corner and the Karnack Community Center on the opposite left corner. Go straight through the intersection, cross the train tracks, and enter the Caddo Lake Refuge Headquarters.(903) 679-9144. Email
 
Learn to Camp at Texas Parks & Wildlife State Parks' Outdoor Family Camping Workshops:
Theseworkshops are family camping sessions designed to teach camping skills to those who do not know how to camp; everything is provided from tent to broom. Gear includes a coffee pot, dishes, cooking pots, a camp stove, a battery operated fan and lantern, air mattresses, and a tent. Basic skills taught include pitching a tent, making a campfire, cooking on a propane camp stove, geocaching and using a GPS. Wildlife viewing, fishing and kayaking are available depending on the park and its facilities. After making reservations, families will be sent a packet of information which includes a grocery list. Those interested in this program may sign up for E-Mail Updates on Currently Scheduled Workshops. (512) 389-8903. Calendar
 
Hunt Texas Online Connection:
More than 95% of Texas land is privately owned, making it hard for hunters to find affordable hunting opportunities. The Texas Parks and Wildlife has a huge public hunting program, and has developed a new service to help hunters find hunting places. This new service is provided free by the TPWD. It allows landowners to list available hunting leases or spots that have opened up, and allows hunters to find private hunting leases according to their preferences. 
                      
Hunting, Texas Parks and Wildlife, General Hunting Information
Hunting, Public Hunting on State Lands, TPWD
Hunter Education
Hunting Season by Animal
Texas Parks & Wildlife Department Donations