San Jacinto County Historical Markers

Michael has a BA in History & American Studies and an MSc in American History from the University of Edinburgh. He comes from a proud military family and has spent most of his career as an educator in the Middle East and Asia. His passion is travel, and he seizes any opportunity to share his experiences in the most immersive way possible, whether at sea or on the land.

Part of our in-depth series exploring Texas Forest Trail Region Forts

Map of San Jacinto County

Topics (click on a topic to jump to that section).
The Big Thicket, C.S.A. | Near Site of Coushatta Indian Village | Davis, General James | Site of Raven Hill | San Jacinto County | San Jacinto County Courthouse | San Jacinto County Jail | San Jacinto Old Jail Museum | Wood, Governor George Tyler | Wood, Governor George Tyler
The Big Thicket, C.S.A.

Marker Title: The Big Thicket, C.S.A.
City: Coldspring
County: San Jacinto
Year Marker Erected: 1965
Marker Location: 2 mi. SE of Coldspring on SH 150 in picnic area
Marker Text: In early Texas, a paradise for settlers liking solitude. During the Civil War, became notorious as hunt of army deserters or men avoiding conscript officers and living off the country. The thicket was so hard to penetrate that it was the despair of commanding officers. Soldiers who remained loyal were somewhat demoralized by seeing that men camping in the Big Thicket were safe from punishment for desertion. On at least two occasions, however, the men were discovered, once a fire was set in a circle around them, and smoked them out. A later camp was located by a veteran hunter whose pack of bear dogs brought out the deserters. Before they were hunted out, the deserters found thicket life good. They feasted on game and wild honey. Their wives, living nearby, would visit the men occasionally. Except when conscript officers were in the locality, the wives would visit caches established by the men and remove meat, hides or honey to be marketed for the support of the family. These people felt justified in deserting. Many were foreign-born and had sworn allegiance to the U. S. only 5 to 10 years earlier. Confused by the onset of war, they had fled from their homes.

Near Site of Coushatta Indian Village

Marker Title: Near Site of Coushatta Indian Village
City: Shepherd
County: San Jacinto
Year Marker Erected: 1970
Marker Location: FM 223 about 2 mi. east of Shepherd
Marker Text: Inhabited from about 1835 to 1900 by members of the Coushatta tribe. Most of the Indians had small farms, but also worked for wages after crops were harvested. Burial pits excavated by archeologists (1968) revealed skeletal remains, ironstone dishes, glass beads (obtained in trade with Anglos), ornaments made from silver coins.

General James Davis

Marker Title: General James Davis
City: Coldspring
County: San Jacinto
Year Marker Erected: 1965
Marker Location: in Laurel Hill Cemetery on FM 1514 about .75 mi. north of SH 150, Coldspring.
Marker Text: Born Va., July 17, 1790. As U. S. Army officer in War of 1812, was in Battle of New Orleans, married Anne Eliza Hill, of N. C. Had 7 children. Came to Texas in 1834. Served Republic of Texas on staff of Gen. Sam Houston, 1836; adjutant-general, 1842; member of Congress, 1843-1844; member of Constitutional Convention 1845. Gave site, 1848, for Laurel Hill Baptist Church (now First Baptist Church of Coldspring). D. Feb. 10, 1859.

Picture of General Sam Houston
General Sam Houston
Texas State Library and Archives Commission
Site of Raven Hill

Marker Title: Site of Raven Hill
City: Oakhurst
County: San Jacinto
Marker Location: 3 mi. SE on FM 946, 2 mi. off road
Marker Text: Plantation home of General Sam Houston who was called "The Raven" by the Cherokee Indians. Built in 1844; sold before 1860.

San Jacinto County

Marker Title: San Jacinto County
City: Coldspring
County: San Jacinto
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: SH 150, .5 mi. SE of Coldspring
Marker Text: Eighteenth century Spanish explorers gave to the hyacinth-choked stream the name of Saint Hyacinth. Anglo-Americans settled here after 1820. Formed from portions of Polk, Montgomery,, Liberty and Walker counties. Created January 5, 1869; recreated August 13, 1870; organized December 1, 1870. County seat, Cold Springs, 1870; later, Coldspring.

San Jacinto County Courthouse

Marker Title: San Jacinto County Courthouse
Address: 1 Byrd Ave.
City: Coldspring
County: San Jacinto
Year Marker Erected: 2000
Marker Location: Byrd Ave. at SH 150
Marker Text: A fire in 1915 destroyed the San Jacinto County courthouse. Landowners donated land at this site and relocated the center of county government to "new town" Coldspring. The county hired builders Price and Williamson to construct the new courthouse based on plans by the Houston firm of Lane and Dabney. It was constructed in 1916-17 of brick fired locally from local clay. Merchants and citizens followed the courthouse to the new location, and by 1925, "old town" Coldspring was deserted. Repairs in 1936 modified its appearance somewhat, but the courthouse retains elements of its original Italian Renaissance design in its arched doors and windows on the east and west elevations. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 2000

San Jacinto County Jail

Marker Title: San Jacinto County Jail
City: Coldspring
County: San Jacinto
Year Marker Erected: 1971
Marker Location: just north of FM 1514 on Slade St. behind high school
Marker Text: Noted for rare but never used hangman's trap. Second jail for San Jacinto County which was organized 1871, this structure was built in 1887 by L. T. Noyes of Houston. Later, the Southern Structural Steel Company of San Antonio installed cells and the unusual execution device. That firm also built annex in 1911. In 1915 San Jacinto County's frame courthouse burned. When a new brick courthouse was built a quarter-mile to the southwest, axis of the town shifted from area of the jail, which still serves its official role.

San Jacinto Old Jail Museum

Museum Name: San Jacinto Old Jail Museum
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 505
City: Coldspring
Zip Code: 77331
Street Address: Slade Street
Area Code: 409
Phone: 653-2009
County: San Jacinto
Types of Exhibits/Collections: Photos, Historical, Local/Pioneer History, Archives

Governor George Tyler Wood

Marker Title: Governor George Tyler Wood
City: Point Blank
County: San Jacinto
Year Marker Erected: 1970
Marker Location: east off SH 156 in Point Blank near entrance to Robinson Cemetery (follow signs to Gov. Wood monument).
Marker Text: (1795-1858) Born in Georgia, where he fought in Indian wars, was a merchant, and member of State Legislature. In 1839, he moved with family to Texas, settling in this area. He was a member of 6th Congress of the Republic of Texas, 1841-1842; a delegate to the 1845 Annexation Convention; a member of first Senate of the state, 1846-1847. He resigned from the Senate to raise a regiment and fight in the Mexican War. While a senator, he introduced a bill to create Tyler County. Woodville, the county seat, was named for him. So was Wood County, created later. Governor of Texas, Dec. 21, 1847 - Dec. 21, 1849, Wood rallied state defenses against recurring Indian depredations, particularly around Corpus Christi, in Navarro County and along the Red River. Boundary disputes arose in Santa Fe County (then in Texas, now in New Mexico). Governor Wood advocated sales of public lands to liquidate the public debt. He also urged establishment of public schools. Texas laws were coded at his request. He established the state library and had state penitentiary built. Wood married in 1837 in Georgia Mrs. Martha Evans Gindrat, a widow with three children. Several other children were born to George and Martha Wood.

Governor George Tyler Wood

Marker Title: Governor George Tyler Wood
City: Coldspring
County: San Jacinto
Year Marker Erected: 1976
Marker Location: Courthouse lawn on SH 150 at FM 1514
Marker Text: (1795-1858) Born in Georgia and married there in 1837 to Martha Evans Gindrat (1809-63), a widow with 3 children, George T. Wood came to Texas with his family in 1839 and settled along the Trinity River near Point Blank. Wood studied law and was elected to the 6th Republic of Texas Congress, 1841-42, and the Annexation Convention of 1845. As a state senator in 1846, he sponsored a bill creating Tyler County. Woodville, the county seat, was named for him, as was Wood County, created in 1850. Wood left the Senate in 1846 to fight in the Mexican War (1846-48). His military heroics helped make him the popular choice for governor in 1847. Under Gov. Wood, the recently-organized state government faced the problems of recurring Indian hostilities and a boundary dispute in Santa Fe County (now part of New Mexico). Gov. Wood urged sale of public lands to pay the large public debt. His administration saw the establishment of a state library and a penitentiary. Mrs. Wood, who raised silkworms and made her own silk cloth, did not accompany her husband to the State Capital at Austin, then a rough frontier town without an official governor's residence. After failing to win a second term in 1849, Gov. Wood returned to his home at Point Blank. He died at age 63 and was buried nearby.

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