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CAYUGA, TEXAS

Anderson County, East Texas
U.S. Highway 287 and FM 59
About 5 Miles E of the Trinity River
27 Miles NW of Palestine
32 Miles E of Corsicana
20 Miles S of Athens
Population: 137 est. (2010)

Cayuga, Texas Area Hotels > Palestine Hotels

Cayuga TX Road Sign
Entering Cayuga
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, March 2014

History in a Pecan Shell

The communities along the Trinity River (before it became unnavigable in the early 1870s) enjoyed a brief period of prosperity. One of these towns was a place called Wild Cat Bluff. The roughhewn community gave way to a nearby up-and-coming village which would, in time, become Cayuga.

In 1894 a post office was applied for. The postmaster, perhaps feeling nostalgic for his hometown in New York, submitted the name Cayuga. Besides his duties as postmaster, he also operated a steam-powered barge on the river, shipping cotton for area farmers.

G. W. Tuggle, (chief justice of Anderson County) and his wife donated land for the first community school in 1860. It managed to survive into the 1920s when it was moved to a different location – and then moved again to its final home off FM 59.

Cayuga sat for many years, content in its relative isolation. The century turned, the boll weevil came and the Great Depression arrived. Just as people were starting to notice how bad things really were, oil was discovered.

From a population barely worth reporting, Cayuga grew to 1,000 people by 1936 –served by as many as fifteen businesses. Prosperity too didn’t stay long. WWll came and the oil business slowed. Soon Cayuga was back to a few hundred residents.

A slow decline set in and by the early 1970s, there were only 52 people left. Large projects, like the building of prisons and the Richland-Chambers Creek Reservoir (nearby) helped provide employment. Bolstered by discoveries of lignite, the population in the region increased to around 700 (late 1980s) but the official count of Cayugans remained officially at 56. The 2000 census reported 200 residents. By 2010, population was estimated to be 137.
Cayuga Tx - Closed Church Of Christ
Closed Church Of Christ
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, March 2014
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Cayuga TX
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, March 2014

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