Henderson – A National Main Street City
Founded in 1843, Henderson continues to be a hub of activity in Rusk County. Henderson’s restored antique buildings and downtown charm have allowed it to be recognized as a National Main Street City. Be sure to visit the antique shops, boutiques and more in Henderson’s beautiful downtown square.
Henderson – The Heritage Syrup Festival
The Heritage Syrup Festival is held on the 2nd Saturday in November each year in two locations, Downtown Henderson and on the grounds of the Depot Museum. With over 5 acres of activities including: syrup making using a mule-powered antique syrup mill, Bluegrass and Country music, folk artists, antique tractors, blacksmiths, broom making and much more. Over 300 shopping and food vendors, antique and classic cars, Melodrama, CASI Chili Cook-Off, children’s activities and much more! Approximately 30,000 people attend the festival each year.
Phone 903 657-4303
Henderson – The Howard-Dickinson House
The Howard-Dickinson House was built in 1855 by brothers Dave and Logan Howard, settlers from Virginia whose skills in carpentry and brickmaking were put into use in many of Henderson’s earliest structures. Located at 501 South Main St. just south of the downtown square, the two-story home is an outstanding example of early Texas architecture. As a cousin to Mrs. Dave Howard, Sam Houston was a frequent visitor to the house and his campaign trunk is exhibited in a bedroom.
In 1905 the home was purchased by the Dickinson family, and a two-story wooden addition was added onto the back of the home. During part of the 20th century, the home served as a boarding house. After being vacant for a number of years the home was restored in 1967 by the Rusk County Heritage Association and opened for tours and special events. In 1968 the home was awarded a Texas Historical Medallion and recorded as a Texas Historic Landmark.
Phone 903 657-5528
Henderson – Rusk County Depot Museum & Children’s Discovery Center
The Depot Museum Complex continues to grow each year, with structures and exhibits that showcase the richness of Rusk County’s history. Clustered on five acres are 12 restored buildings from Rusk County’s past. One of the latest additions to the museum is the last Continental cotton gin in Rusk County from Mount Enterprise with all the equipment in place.
Other structures include the Beall-Ross house, an example of dog-trot style architecture and was the home of the Beall family, founders of Bealls Department Stores. The T.J. Walling log cabin built in 1841 on land Walling received for fighting for the Texas Republic is also on the property. It is one of the oldest and best documented log structures in the state and has earned a Texas Historical Medallion.
The largest building on the grounds is the restored 1901 Missouri-Pacific depot. Along with a red MOPAC caboose, an oil derrick and much more. The office area has many railroad items on display. The warehouse has a newly remodeled Children’s Discovery Center. These hands-on centers are an innovative learning environment especially designed for children.
514 North High St.
Phone 903 657-4303
Martin Creek Lake State Park
Martin Creek Lake State Park offers a wide choice for outdoor fun and recreation in a beautiful East Texas setting. Avid fisherman flock to the park’s 5,000-acre lake, filled with black bass, white bass, perch, croppie and catfish. Campers and hikers can relax at one of the multi-use campsites, cabins or screened shelters and enjoy six miles of biking trails.
A scenic wooded island, accessible only by a footbridge or boat, is the perfect place for a picnic or overnight stay. Wildlife includes white tailed deer, rabbits, squirrels, raccoons and armadillos. During the months of November-February, bald eagles are spotted.
Martin Creek State Park is located 15 miles northeast of Henderson. Park office hours are Mon.-Thurs. 8 am-4 pm and Fri.–Sun. 8 am-5:30 pm. Summer hours are longer.
Phone 903 836-4336
Martin Creek Lake State Park website