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Sabine County
Sabine County


MILAM, TEXAS

Former Sabine County Seat

Sabine County | East Texas

31°27'13"N 93°47'7"W (31.453492, -93.785384)
Highways 21 and 87
6 Miles N of Hemphill, Sabine County Seat
55 Miles East of Lufkin
Population: 1,480 (2010) 1,329 (2000)

Milam Area Hotels - Book Here > Lufkin Hotels | Louisiana Hotels
Entering Milam  Texas from the west on State Highway 21.
Entering Milam from the west on State Highway 21.
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, December, 2007
History in a Pecan Shell

The Spanish called Milam Las Borregas and used it as a watering stop – and so didn’t the Indians before them. It later became a campsite on the Old San Antonio Road and settlement began in the late 1820s.

Called Red Mound at first, it was renamed to honor Ben Milam in 1835. It was designated the seat of government that year for what was then the “Municipality of Sabine.” It remained in that role until 1858.

Milam was a port of entry for the Republic of Texas and had an official collector stationed there. After the Civil War two large race courses were in operation, but by the mid 1880s the population was a mere 130 (estimate).

By the late 1930s it was up to 250 but declined after WWII.

The Handbook of Texas reported the population as 177 for 1990. It has since grown to 1,329.
The El Camino Park in Milam Texas
The El Camino Park in Milam at the intersection of 21 and 87.
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, December, 2007

Milam, Texas Features:

  • The El Camino Park

  • The King's Highway ( Texas 21)
    AKA El Camino Real, Old San Antonio Road, Old Spanish Trail


  • James Gaines’ Ferry
  • The El Camino Park and markers, Milam Texas
    The El Camino Park and markers
    Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, December, 2007
    Milam  Texas historical marker.
    Milam Centennial Marker.
    Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, December, 2007
    See Texas Centennial

    The King's Highway ( Texas 21)

    AKA El Camino Real
    Old San Antonio Road
    Old Spanish Trail
    From "Holiday Day Trips" by Bob Bowman:

    "If you're into road trips, take a drive down East Texas' oldest highway. The King's Highway (Texas 21) stretches from Toledo Bend Reservoir near Milam to San Antonio. It is also one of our most scenic roadways. The route was used by Indians and traveled by Spanish missionaries in 1791. It is also known as El Camino Real, the Old Spanish Trail, and the Old San Antonio Road."
    Marker for the Camino Real (King's Highway), Milam, Texas
    Marker for the Camino Real (King's Highway)
    that passes through Milam.

    Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, December, 2007

    James Gaines’ Ferry
    (From Ferries in East Texas by Bob Bowman)

    Long before modern bridges were built to span rivers in East Texas, ferries were maintained at places where roads crossed streams that were not fordable.

    Many of East Texas’ earliest immigrants entered Texas at James Gaines’ Ferry on the Old San Antonio Road crossing of the Sabine River east of Milam in Sabine County. The ferry was originally known as Chabanan Ferry.

    Gaines’ Ferry is notable in East Texas because it was operated continuously for more than 150 years--from 1785 to 1937. Pendleton Bridge now crosses the river and Toledo Bend Reservoir. more

    Take a road trip

    Milam, Texas Nearby Towns:
    Hemphill | Lufkin
    See Sabine County | East Texas

    Book Hotel Here:
    Lufkin 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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