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Organized October 8, 2005
River Chapter, NSDAR, is named in honor of what is sometimes
called "East Texas' last wild river." The Neches has been
flowing through Texas longer than any of the remnants of
mankind, even the earliest Indians.
Colfax in eastern Van Zandt County, and winding 416 circuitous
miles to the mouth of Sabine Lake on the Gulf Coast, the river
and its basin was the home of the 12,000-year-old Clovis
The river was
supposedly given its current name by Spanish explorer, Alonso
De Leon, who names it for the Neches Indians, one of the
Caddoan tribes he encountered.
efforts of the Spanish to colonize the river basin, white
settlers did not enter the region until the 1820s. When
Mexican official, General de Mier y Teran, was sent to the
region in 1828, he found numerous Anglo American settlers, who
used hand-driven ferries to cross the Neches and open the
region to settlement. General Teran built a fort on a bluff of
the Neches near present-day Rockland, in Tyler County, to
serve as a Mexican outpost in the region. The Mexicans
supposedly operated a lead mine on the bluff until the fort
was abandoned. The exact site of the fort remains unclear.
On his first
trip to Texas, Stephen F. Austin wrote, in 1821, that the
Neches "affords tolerable keel boat navigation." Barges were
used to float cotton and other farm produce to Sabine Bay in
the 1830s and 1840s, and steamboats began to travel up and
down the waterway in the late 1840s. Some of the earliest
steamers included the Angelina, Florida, Frankie, Katy, Laura, Neches Belle, Pearl River, and Star.
and down the length of the river are remnants of history,
including old river ports, logging camps, sawmill ghost towns,
ferries, and Republic of Texas landmarks.
We meet on the second Thursday of the month September through May. Please feel welcome to inquire about DAR
membership. Social time is 6:30 p.m. and meeting time is 7:00 p.m.