The county seat, Palestine, is one of the oldest and most historical cities in East Texas. Located among the beautiful pines and dogwood trees, it is filled with a rich heritage.
William Bigelow and J.R. Fulton owned 525 acres where Palestine now stands. These two enterprising merchants, seeing the opportunity to increase their holdings, offered the commissioners 100 acres on which to build the new town and the commissioners court decided in favor to the two men's generous offer.
Railroad buffs and all the young at heart will want to discover the mystique and enjoy a ride on the Texas State Railroad, in one of Texas' oldest Railroad towns. The Palestine Depot reflects the architecture of the early 20th century. Because of the trains historical authenticity, the railroad park and its old steamers frequently are "stars" in movies and TV.
Anderson County is located in what is called the Post Oak Belt of Texas. Elevation in the county ranges from 200 to 700 feet and the area has a yearly normal temperature of 69 degrees.
We are fortunate to have five major highways coming through Palestine. Access to the various regional markets is excellent. Union Pacific operates a major railroad terminal here and Palestine Municipal Airport offers landing, hangar and ground support for private and charter aircraft.
Since the turn of the century, Palestine has been known as a "Health Care Mecca." Today the emphasis remains on progressive and comprehensive medical care within Palestine's growing health care industry.
The Palestine Independent School District is dedicated to providing the vision, leadership and resources necessary to assure that every student has the maximum opportunity for learning through the benefit of parent/community support for educational enterprise, competent staff, relevant curriculum and materials, and the provisions of a safe, conducive learning environment.
The YMCA features programs for all ages that include exercise, weight training, swimming, sports and more. The YMCA is constructing a new facility in 1995.
Palestine Texas takes great pride in its recreational opportunities. If you're an outdoor person, you'll enjoy the Engeling Wildlife Management Area for sport or pleasure. As well, Palestine Community Forest and Lake Palestine offer a variety of activity and recreation. Do it all...fishing, boating, picnicking, nature trails and swimming. Take advantage of this natural paradise, for wildlife abounds here.
Here you'll find a graceful, romantic city where Victorian homes and bed &
breakfasts are neighbors of modern hotels and restaurants. Museums and a host of
historical sites share the city with modern industry and four-lane highways.
Large magnolia trees and white columns welcome you to this gateway of a bygone
era. Over 1,800 historical sites grace Palestine, second only to Galveston.
Spring is unveiled by the most fascinating blooms of the dogwood trees. Palestine is home and heart of the Texas Dogwood Trails. 234-acre Davey Dogwood Park showcases the beauty.
Palestine hosts the Texas Hot Pepper Festival where you are sure to find a pepper of every color and corresponding heat correlation. There are many events included in the festival. Bicyclists enjoy the challenge of its Tour de Pepper. Firefighters compete in the ever-popular bucket brigades. Spikers take to the sands as they battle the net in the annual YMCA volleyball tourney.
The Palestine Civic Center offers 25,000 square feet of entertainment possibilities under one roof. It is ideal for concerts, receptions, banquets, conventions, plays, etc. Seating capacity is 1,374 in the auditorium. The stage is professionally equipped and the multi-purpose room has a complete catering kitchen.
Historically, Palestine's economy has evolved from business generated by being a
port on the Trinity River to agriculture, to railroading, to petroleum, to diversified manufacturing, and more recently to distribution and services. Palestine is experiencing quite an economic boom.
We are a progressive community offering incentives for our local industries to expand and encouraging diversity in the new industries we are recruiting. Agriculture continues to be an important part of Anderson County's economy. The industry grossed $69,202,910 in 1993. The county's top producers are beef cattle, hay and other feed, timber, exotic game birds, commercial truck farming, swine and dairy.