<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="65001"%> Local Attractions

Local Attractions

Edom, TX | Tara Vineyard | MunchRanch Exotic Animal Farm | Arboretum and Botanical Society | Fresh Water Fisheries Center
Rusk /Palestine Railroad (and State Park) | Purtis Creek State Park | The Shed | First Monday Trade Days

Edom, TX

Take a short drive through the beautiful country side during your ranch weekend
One of our favorite towns in the great state of Texas. Worth the short drive to take you a million miles from the city.

Edom, at the crossing of Farm roads 279, 314, and 2339, sixteen miles southeast of Canton in southeast Van Zandt County, is the third oldest town in the county. It was first established several miles from its present site in 1849 and organized as a post office called Hamburg in 1852. In 1855 the post office moved one mile south of the present townsite. There it was renamed Edom for the name given to Esau in the book of Genesis. Local saloons filled with lumberjacks, freighters, and traders as the community became a stopover on the Porter's Bluff and Tyler Road. Sometime later the town was moved again to its present location. By 1860 it had a Baptist church, a Methodist church, a hotel, a Masonic lodge, a sawmill, a tanyard, a wagon factory, and a boot, shoe, and saddle shop. The Edom schools, which opened in 1866 with children of former Indian captive Cynthia Parker in attendance, enrolled 130 pupils in 1904. By 1876 a Grange was formed, and local farmers responded to worsening 1880s farm prices by forming a chapter of the Farmers' Alliance at nearby Red Hill on November 20, 1885. By 1914 the town had a cotton gin and four general stores. Railroad service failed to reach Edom, yet its population grew from 150 in the 1890s to between 200 and 300, where it remained from the 1920s to the present. Edom was an independent school district until 1966, when it was consolidated with Van. Artisans in pottery, silver jewelry, glassware, macrame, and leather crafts who settled in the town in the 1960s began Edom's annual arts and crafts fair in 1972. The community was incorporated in 1966 with 300 residents but lost its post office in 1976. In 1988 Edom had three businesses, the frontier Red Hill cemetery at or near the townsite, and an estimated 277 inhabitants. The population was 300 in 1990.

Tara Vineyard & Winery

A slice of Southern Fance right here in Texas
Tara, the oldest winery in Henderson County, is owned and operated by the Pierce family. Upon entering the grounds, you'll notice the stately Murchison home, constructed in the 1880's. Recently relocated, it's now nestled amidst Tara's vineyards and will soon welcome guests as the Tara Inn.

Adjoining the winery is a lovely flagstone patio which overlooks the vineyard and the rolling panoramic hills of East Texas and provides the perfect setting to experience Tara's unique selection of premium wines. Additionally, the patio regularly serves as a venue for a variety of live musical events.

Tara Vineyard & Winery is available for private tastings, group gatherings, meetings, weddings and celebrations and is proud to offer tours, carriage rides, live music, and even customized wine labels to commemorate your special occasion.

Tara Vineyard & Winery is located in East Texas approximately 75 miles southeast of Dallas and 5 miles NW of downtown Athens just 1 & 1/2 miles off HWY 175.

MunchRanch Exotic Animal Farm

One of our favorite members and one of our favorite places
The Ranch is a five acre private collection of various types of exotic and farm animals. The beautifully wooded farm is located in East Texas, 16 miles west of Athens, and 16 miles south of Canton.

Larry Munchrath & Michael Nordin have been breeding an assortment of animals for several decades. MunchRanch is gradually becoming a botanical garden full of wonderful and interesting animals.

Visit them at www.munchranch.com

The East Texas Arboretum and Botanical Society

Athens, TX
The concept of the East Texas Arboretum and Botanical Society is to establish an arboretum to display and interpret the natural environment of the plant communities of East Texas, to add introduced species, to create collections of various plants that can be displayed within the existing site, and to represent the past, present and future of East Texas while combining the informal.

Visit www.easttexasarboretum.org

Texas Fresh Water Fisheries Center

Athens, TX
A 300,00 gallon aquarium, wetlands trail, production hatchery and museum located just down the road in Athens.

visit www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/visitorcenters/tffc/

The Edwin L. Cox, Jr., Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center (TFFC) combines visitation and outdoor education with a production fish hatchery. Its mission is to provide an educational, entertaining visitor experience that promotes freshwater sport fishing and the enhancement, conservation and stewardship of aquatic resources in Texas.

tffc is a facility of the Inland Fisheries Division of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), the state agency charged with the management and conservation of the natural and cultural resources of Texas. tpwd also works to provide hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation opportunities for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. tffc activities carry out every aspect of this mission.

Rusk /Palestine Railroad (and State Park)

Take a trip into the wild west days of Texas
These two parks, Rusk and Palestine are home to the Official Railroad of Texas, the Texas State Railroad. Come on out and ride the steam engine train through the piney woods 50 miles between parks. You may board on either end. The trip is 1 1/2 hours in each direction with a 1 1/2 hour layover at a victorian style depot where you may shop for railroad related memorabilia and picnic in the park.

The Texas State Railroad is not only a "Texas Treasure," it is the official Railroad of Texas.

The Texas state prison system established the railroad in 1881. Inmates built the line, which was used to transport hardwood which was used as fuel for the furnaces at the prison-operated iron smelter at the Rusk Penitentiary. The furnace supplied the State of Texas with iron products, including the columns and dome structure for the capitol building in Austin. The original construction was a narrow gauge line but was later built in standard gauge in order to join into the main line.

In 1906 prison crews extended the rail line to Maydelle and in 1909 reached their final destination of Palestine. Once the train line was completed into Palestine the line was easily accessible to the main lines and commerce in and around the area flourished.

Visit www.texasstaterr.com for more information and schedules.

Purtis Creek State Park

Spend the day with the fish and the night with the boys
For our members that are more serious anglers, Purtis Creek state Park is only minutes away. Be sure to bring your gear and your fishing boat.

This state park lake was designed specifically for fishing. Much of the inundated timber is still standing in the upper half of the lake and in the back of most coves. Native aquatic vegetation (coontail and pondweed) is abundant. Hydrilla is occasionally a problem, but the park staff currently has this invasive plant under control.

Unlike most Texas reservoirs, Purtis Creek shows its highest catch rates for really big largemouth bass in late summer. Bass anglers have very good success using live goldfish from the west fishing pier.

The Shed

Worth the short drive to Edom
Voted #1 cafe in East Texas by:
Texas Monthly
Texas Highway
Ride Texas magazines

The Shed Cafe is legendary, having served home-cooked meals and desserts for 37 years. The front porch waits for the crowd that will come every day and every night. The menu is strictly down-home - chicken fried steak, fried catfish, 10 oz. Rib eye, mashed potatoes, pinto beans, black-eyed peas and cornbread. - pretty much what you would expect. The pies are world-class from the chocolate meringue to the coconut cream. The Shed Cafe is a step back in time you will not want to miss.

Visit www.theshedcafe.com

First Monday Trade Days in Canton, TX

Spend the day finding treasure and head back to the ranch for some R&R
What started more than a century ago as a flea market, has become home to some of the most exciting, cutting-edge home furnishings, antiques and collectibles that can be found anywhere. Over the past 150 years, lots of things have changed in the Original First Monday Park; but, the genuine, down-home human relationship between vendors and shoppers is the reason people keeping coming back. This is a place where you can slow down, visit and ask questions, talk to collectors and antique dealers, and meet the artists and craftsmen who create one-of-a kind items.

The world's largest outdoor trade days takes place Thursday through Sunday before the first Monday of every month in Canton, Texas. Every month, thousands of vendors from across the country turn this friendly East Texas community into a shopper's paradise where you can find the rare antiques and collectibles, furniture, fine home decor, arts and crafts, clothing, jewelry, tools, produce, and much more. Make plans now to come to Canton and enjoy the First Monday shopping experience.

Visit www.firstmondaycanton.com for more info.


Circle J Ranch & Cattle Co.

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Phone: 903-479-4189
Email: infoandreservations@campcirclej.com

Eustace, TX
United States

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