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This Texas Main Street city and 2010 First Lady’s Texas Treasures Award winner was the site of three failed attempts to establish a republic prior to the 1832 Battle of Nacogdoches, an early conflict in the war for independence. Four signers of Texas’ Declaration of Independence, including Thomas J. Rusk, are buried in the historic Oak Grove Cemetery. The Old Nacogdoches University Building, chartered by the Republic of Texas in 1845 and built in 1859, houses a museum in the only original, still-standing building of a university chartered by the Republic of Texas.
The story of pre-19th century Nacogdoches County is shared through artifacts and exhibits at the Stone Fort Museum, a 1936 replica of the home of Don Antonio Gil Y’Barbo, founder of present-day Nacogdoches. The Sterne-Hoya House Museum and Library, built by Adolphus Sterne around 1830, is a house museum that was restored to reflect the lives of its earliest occupants. The Durst-Taylor Historic House and Gardens relates stories of family and industry in Nacogdoches from 1840–1860. The 1830s wood-frame house is the city’s second-oldest structure located on its original site. At Millard’s Crossing Historic Village, a cluster of relocated 19th-century buildings including a schoolhouse, church, and boardinghouse, conjures up images of a bygone era. The Zion Hill National Register Historic District represents one of the oldest and most intact early-20th-century African American neighborhoods in Texas. The wood-frame, two-room shotgun houses reflect a standard housing type found throughout African American communities across the South. Annual events include the Azalea Trail, Texas Blueberry Festival, Freedom Fest and Nine Flags Festival.