Gladewater, Texas

GLADEWATER, TEXAS is at the intersection of U.S. highways 80 and 271, thirteen miles west of Longview on the boundary between Gregg and Upshur counties. During the earlier years, in the area around Gladewater lumbering was a major activity, although farming was also important; cotton was the major crop. In 1908 the town had ten stores, one bank, two blacksmith shops, two hotels, a gin, a sawmill, and a planing mill. It continued to grow slowly until 1931. Oil production led to a population increase during the 1930s from about 500 persons to around 8,000. Lake Gladewater, constructed in 1954, provides recreation for city residents.

During the 1970s Gladewater moved from an oil-oriented to a more diversified economy, primarily because of depletion of oil resources in the area. The economy in the 1980s depended on the oil industry and related activities and on the manufacture of such products as furniture, clothing, paper products, and boats. Today, the community is known as The Antique Capital of East Texas. Gladewater, Texas is also a Texas Main Street and a National Main Street city.

Important annual festivals include the East Texas Gusher Days in April, the Roundup Rodeo in June and the Arts and Crafts Festival in September. A visit to the Gladewater Museum and the Gladewater Opry is also recommended.

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