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By Ron Souza
Gladewater is a small city that is part of two different counties, Gregg County and Upshur County in east Texas. It was built on the border between the two counties by the Texas and Pacific Railroad when the railroad decided that the area was perfect for a mail stop. A community called St. Clair, which was within two miles moved their entire town to the mail stop location and thus the town was started. A short time later, residents from another nearby area called Point Pleasant, also moved to Gladewater, completing the formation of what the city is today.
It is presumed that the city got its name from a stream called Glade Creek that rises in an arid region called the Glades, thus Gladewater. The city was incorporated under that name in 1874. Cotton was the predominant crop for local farmers and the lumber industry played a major role in the early economic development of the area. In 1931 oil was discovered within one mile of the city. The discovery led to a boom in the population and expansion of the city with road building projects, the construction of a commercial airport and the creation of a man made lake called Lake Gladewater.
The city maintains its involvement with the oil industry, but on a lesser basis and the lumber industry remains one of the top employers. But the overall economic make up of the city has changed and the city has developed into a multifaceted community with antique malls that have given rise to a new industry. The State of Texas has bestowed the title of “Antique Capital of East Texas” on Gladewater and the city now houses over 30 antique malls with over 200 dealers and crafters who welcome visitors from all over the world.
to Gladewater to find that one piece of antique furniture that will complete your collection is a great way to spend a day or a week or even several weeks. The area is geared for the antique shopper with unique shops, restaurants, bakeries and galleries all located within easy reach of one another.
As part of your stay at a Good Sam Club RV Park with great
for members, you will find “Decorate Ornate”, an unusual, warehouse size store, packed from floor to ceiling with imported decorative items like castle doors, Greek columns, Italian marble mantles and other very rare and valuable decorative items from abroad. The store is often called upon to supply movie road companies with props for filming on location in and around Gladewater.
Gladewater plays host to several annual festivals and events including the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Rodeo, a very popular Arts and Crafts Festival and the East Texas Gusher Days celebration.
plans to visit Gladewater can be scheduled around one of these entertaining events. Just check with your Gladewater Good Sam Club RV Park for information, dates and times.
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