Center, Texas

Visit The Shelby County Courthouse

Established in 1836, Center was named after its central location in Shelby County. The city has a deep-rooted history that dates back to its early settlers and its role as a bustling trade center for the region. Today, Center’s rich heritage can be seen in its well-preserved historical sites and buildings, which provide a fascinating glimpse into Texas’ past. Center has a number of historical attractions:

  • Shelby County Courthouse: Center’s crown jewel is its stunning Shelby County Courthouse, built in 1885. This Victorian-style building is one of the oldest functioning courthouses in Texas and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Historic Downtown Center: Wander through the charming streets of downtown Center, where you’ll find beautifully restored buildings, unique shops, and inviting restaurants. The Downtown Square is also home to the annual East Texas Poultry Festival, which celebrates the region’s poultry industry.
  • Shelby County Museum: Housed in a historic railroad depot, the Shelby County Museum offers a fascinating collection of artifacts and exhibits detailing the history of Shelby County and the surrounding area. From Native American relics to early settler memorabilia, this museum provides a captivating journey through time.

Center is also known for its lively community events, which bring residents and visitors together to celebrate the town’s rich culture and heritage. Some annual highlights include:

  • East Texas Poultry Festival: Held every October, this three-day event celebrates the region’s poultry industry with live music, arts and crafts vendors, a carnival, and, of course, plenty of delicious chicken dishes.
  • What-A-Melon Festival: A summer tradition in Center, the What-A-Melon Festival takes place in July and features watermelon-themed activities, live music, a car show, and various family-friendly events.
  • Mardi Gras on the Square: Embrace the festive spirit of Mardi Gras with this lively event held in February. The Downtown Square comes alive with a parade, live music, food vendors, and a festive atmosphere.

If you plan on visiting the area, don’t forget to stop by nearby Toledo Bend Reservoir for fishing, boating, and birdwatching, or head to the Sabine National Forest for hiking, camping, and wildlife viewing. Center, Texas, is a hidden gem that offers visitors a taste of genuine East Texas charm.

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