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OLD WAVERLY, TEXAS

Texas Ghost Town
On the Walker / San Jacinto County Line, East Texas
Just N of Hwy 150
8 Miles E of New Waverly
14 Miles W of Coldspring
21 Miles SE of Huntsville
25 Miles NE of Conroe

Population: Unkown


Old Waverly Area Hotels > Huntsville Hotels
Waverly Cemetery TX tombstone with weeping family
See Ghosts of Old Waverly and the Old Waverly Cemetery

History in a Pecan Shell

The town had originally been in Walker County. When San Jacinto County was formed in 1870, the community was split east and west by the new county line. James W. Winters, former Alabaman, settled in the area just a year before Texas Independence in 1835. Other families moved into the area and by 1852, the community had promising population of 300 people.

Just before the Civil War Waverly was platted and incorporated. The town ( like Ivanhoe in North Texas) is said to be named after the writings of Sir Walter Scott. A male and female academy opened in 1856 and the town had a post office in operation from 1855 through 1872.

Storekeeper Meyer Levy, a Polish Jew and Civil War Veteran, suggested to others in the community that bringing new settlers from Poland would benefit all concerned. The Waverly Emigration Society was formed, but while the plan was to recruit about 150 workers; the numbers fell dramatically short of the goal. As the Houston and Great Northern Railroad extended it's tracks north through the region, fearful townspeople refused to grant a right-of-way to the railroad. This misguided refusal spawned the town of "New" Waverly 10 miles west and spelled the end to Waverly - which was thereafter referred to as Old Waverly.

In 1896 Old Waverly still maintained a population of nearly 400, by by 1925 it was down to 100. Today, all that's left of Waverly is the cemetery and Presbyterian church (both on the west side of the county line). The cemetery is at the west end of the street while the church is on the far right end. A "subdivision" on the south side of 150 has appropriated the name of Old Waverly, but the former town now consists only of the Presbyterian church, the handsome cemetery and two historical markers.
Presbyterian church, Old Waverly, Texas
Presbyterian church in Old Waverly.
TE photo, 2006
Waverly Cemetery historical marker, TX
Waverly Cemetery historical marker
TE photo
See Ghosts of Old Waverly and the Old Waverly Cemetery
Historical Marker (14 miles W. of Coldspring, just N of Hwy 150):

Old Waverly

Early center of culture for this part of Texas. Settled 1835-1850s, mainly by people from Alabama. Community was named for the Waverley novels of Sir Walter Scott, then very popular. To provide education equal to any, Waverly Institute was founded in 1854, with separate departments for boys and girls. Plantation system prevailed until 1860s. During Civil War, Federal troops camped in heart of Waverly, on Soldier's Hill. Of three early churches, only the Presbyterian (organized in 1860) still exists; its present building was erected in 1904.
1969

Ghosts of Old Waverly and the Old Waverly Cemetery
An East Texas Tale of Two Hills

Old Waverly’s fade into oblivion may be short of tragic elements, but two separate stories were enough to have it included in the late Ed Sayer’s Ghosts of Texas. When one considers the cottage industry that spooks and spirits have become in recent years, it’s an accomplishment to be included as one of the fifty-odd stories in what is considered to be the first volume written on Texas Ghosts.

The sites of the stories are several miles apart in what remains today of the dense forest that was laboriously pushed back by slave labor to plant cotton.

Click here for the stories>
Walker County TX 1907 Postal Map
Walker County 1907 Postal Map showing Waverly & New Waverly
(Below "KER" in "WALKER". S of Huntsville)
Courtesy Texas General Land Office

Old Waverly is included in T. Lindsay Baker's book More Ghost Towns of Texas, U of Oklahoma Press, 2003.

Area Destinations:
New Waverly, Texas
Coldspring
Huntsville
Conroe
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