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RATCLIFF, TEXAS

Texas Ghost Town
Houston County, East Texas

FM 227 and Highway 7
3.5 miles E of Kennard
18 miles E of Crockett
36 miles SW of Nacogdoches
Population 106 est. (2010)

Ratcliff, Texas Area Hotels >
Crockett Hotels
History in a Pecan Shell

The town came into being with the arrival of a wagon train from Georgia in 1875. Jesse H. Ratcliff, built a sawmill here in the mid 1880s. The post office opened in 1889 and named in Ratcliff's honor. Ratcliff sold his mill in 1901 to the Central Coal and Coke Company. This new operation evolved into a huge lumber operation known by the four Cs in it's name - The Four C Mill.

The population swelled to 5,000 people and Ratcliff was spared the fate of many East Texas towns because of the size of the milling operations. But as the forests were cut, the writing was on the wall for Ratcliff. By 1920 almost all of the trees had been cut. The town declined until a reforestation project was launched in the 1930s. Davy Crockett National Forest was established and the Ratcliff Recreation Area opened.

Ratcliff has two Texas historical markers: one for the town and another for the Four C Mill.

Historical Marker:

RATCLIFF

About 1875, a 32-wagon train of settlers came here from Georgia. Jess H. Ratcliff (1844-1920) built a sawmill about 1855, drawing more people. Post office opened 1889, with Ratcliff as postmaster, and town soon had several stores. Professional men included Drs. H.L. McCall and Jake Jackson. Sold 1901 to Louisiana and Texas Lumber Co., then to Central Coal and Coke Co., sawmill became a vast complex, running until 1917, when it closed. Turning to logging or other enterprises, the community survived, although many residents moved away. The Ratcliff schools consolidated (1955) with Kennard.
1972

Dog trot houses by Bob Bowman

"...Few of the old-time dog trot homes are left in East Texas... [A] well-preserved dog trot house near Ratcliff in Houston County. It was a beauty to behold, framed by crepe myrtles and cedar trees..."

Texas - Houston County 1907 postal map
1907 postal map showing Ratcliff in eastern corner of Houston County
Courtesy Texas General Land Office

Ratcliff, Texas Area Towns:
See Houston County | Nacogdoches County | Angelina County | East Texas
Crockett | Groveton | Nacogdoches
Book Hotels:
Crockett Hotels | Nacogdoches 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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