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ELKHART, TEXAS

Anderson County, East Texas

State Highway 294 and US 287
11 miles S of Palestine
25 miles N of Crockett
5 miles W of Slocum
Population: 1,399 (2010) 1,215 (2000)

Elkhart, Texas Area Hotels > Palestine Hotels | Crockett Hotels
downtown Elkhart Texas old photos
Downtown Elkhart circa 1900
Photo courtesy Maurice Higginbotham

Elkhart History in a Pecan Shell

The town dates from 1851 and is said to have been named after an Indian who befriended the settlers.

Jay Gould's International - Great Northern Railroad ran through the town for years, providing both passenger service and freight shipping. The railroad phased out its operations as the economy slumped during the Great Depression.

Elkhart suffered a devastating fire in 1912. The town became a minor resort in the late 1800s because of mineral waters.

Professor Janet Mace Valenza mentions Elkhart in her excellent Taking the Waters in Texas: Springs, Spas, and Fountains of Youth (University of Texas Press, 2000)

She states that the springs were about one mile Southeast of Elkhart. "The 1889 First Annual Report of the Geological Survey of Texas reported that a hotel was being built [there] and a health resort started. Some waters tasted strongly of sulphur and others of alum and iron salts. These waters probably were the same as those called Loretto Mineral Wells in 1907 by the USGS."

See
Elkhart High School Class of 1928 >
Elkhart Chronicles >

TX - 1928 Elkhart High School photo
1928 Elkhart High School Photo
Center back tall fellow Soffus Torkelson,
All the way right tall blond fellow is Isaac Davis and to his left Lester Starr.

Click on image to enlarge
Photo courtesy Kathy Torkelson
TX - Elkhart Elks circa 1928
Elkhart Elks circa 1928
Right seated front - Team Captain Soffus Torkelson.
Standing middle with tilted head - Lester Starr.

Photo courtesy Kathy Torkelson
TX - Elkhart Elks circa 1928
Elkhart circa 1928
Left front - Soffus Torkelson
Third from left - Isaac Davis

Photo courtesy Kathy Torkelson

Elkhart Chronicles:

  • Ghost Turkey and Hitchhiking Spirits by Mike Cox

  • Plunder In The Pines by Dana Goolsby

  • East Texas is full of legends, mysteries, and folklore. Just beneath the surface of the Pineywoods, buried treasure is said to be scattered. There may not have been pirates roaming about the region, but over the years plenty of booty was left behind in East Texas.

    One of the many fortunes left behind is believed to be in southern Anderson County. Mexican gold bars, gold coins and jewels have eluded treasure hunters for well over a century, but some still believe there is buried treasure in Elkhart, Texas.

    Today, little remains of the pre-Civil War settlement known as Pilgrim Community just outside the city limits of present day Elkhart. An old church and an even older graveyard bring back dim memories of days gone by. A replica of a Spanish mission has also been erected on the property in recent years. Pilgrim Church was reputed to be the first Protestant church in Texas. ... more
    Elkhart TX - Pilgrim Cemetery
    Pilgrim Cemetery
    Photo by Dana Goolsby, 2011

    Elkhart, Texas schoolhouse ruin
    Old schoolhouse? WPA project?
    Located next to the Myrtle Springs Cemetery in Elkhart

    Photo Courtesy Rhonda Kirkwood, 2016
    Elkhart, Texas schoolhouse ruin
    Photo Courtesy Rhonda Kirkwood, 2016
    Elkhart, Texas schoolhouse ruin
    Photo Courtesy Rhonda Kirkwood, 2016
    Elkhart, Texas schoolhouse ruin
    Old schoolhouse? WPA project?
    Photo Courtesy Rhonda Kirkwood, 2016
    See Texas Schoolhouses

    Elkhart, Texas Area Towns:
    See Anderson County | East Texas
    Palestine | Crockett | Slocum
    Book Hotel Here:
    Palestine Hotels | Crockett Hotels | More Hotels
    Texas Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history and vintage/historic photos, please contact us.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     


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