The community was
established enough in 1899 to support a 53 pupil (one teacher) school. By the
late 1930s, the three-room school taught 183 primary students and 27 high school
By the 1960s, there were still no population figures or businesses
reported and the houses were scattered. Four businesses were reported in the 1980s
with two churches.
is this “place on a map", (my Street Atlas ones) and also on Google Maps.
However, that is about all there is to this place, a place on a map. It doesn’t
even qualify for a sign. I did investigate this area and came up with three churches
and a road sign and that is about it. Don’t know about any history. However, when
I drove into the Bethlehem Baptist Church I thought I was traveling into nowhere.
In fact I started to turn around and go back and give up. However, the road was
so very, very small and narrow through the east Texas Piney woods it was almost
impossible to do a “turn around.” Even though the road was so very small it was
in very good driveable shape. With my experience in doing this type of thing I
had already learned that roads into backwood churches are kept up very well. Pretty
soon I came to the end of the road and the church.
After I took all the
pictures it came to me - how in the world did they ever find this place in the
back middle of nowhere for a church. But, with looking at the date of origin on
the “cornerstone” of 1867 I realized that there is no telling what this area looked
like 143-years ago. It could have been that all these “woods” weren’t there. That
could be a very interesting story yet, that could be like so much other things
in this day and time - “ Gone With The Wind.” - Gerald
Massey, January 31, 2010
Bethleham Baptist Church cornerstone|
Photo courtesy Gerald