The Anderson County Courthouse

Palestine celebrates the anniversary of its founding as the seat of Anderson County 175 years ago Friday, October 15, through Sunday, October 17. The city will celebrate its rich cultural and architectural heritage which grew significantly after the International-Great Northern Railroad arrived in 1872.

During the railroad’s heyday the city competed with Dallas and Galveston for prominence as a cultural center. Today Palestine ranks second only to Galveston with roughly 1,800 historic landmarks.

The celebration features tours of the Anderson County Courthouse and courthouse square, historic churches, a cemetery, and the historic Howard House. Opening ceremonies are at 9 a.m. Saturday at Reagan Park with a performance by the area’s high school drumlines, a proclamation by the mayor, storytelling, living history demonstrations, and old-fashioned games.

Other events include Dancing Through the Decades in The Redlands Hotel parking lot and a community picnic at Reagan Park on Sunday. Places of interest include the Railroad Heritage Center, Palestine Farmers Market, and the Pilgrim Church, a replica of the state’s oldest Protestant church. For information visit or call (903) 723-3014.

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