Gladewater plans 150th anniversary events

GLEYWATER. Gladwater’s interim city manager says he expects to see a lot more traffic in his city as it celebrates its 150th anniversary this year.

Charlie Smith said one of the goals of the 150th anniversary celebration is to highlight the many things that the city of Gregg County has to offer.

“This community is so involved in our parades, our Fountain Days – they have all the antiques and everything related to it,” he said. “I think that’s one of the things we really want to say is that Gladwater is a people friendly community and it’s nice for people to come see what we have and be part of our celebrations.”

Smith added that the people of Gladwater are proud of their heritage and the history that has made the city what it is today.

Gladwater was founded in 1873 when the Texas Pacific Railroad (now the Union Pacific Railroad) began to expand beyond Longview. It was formed as a stop to meet the water needs of passing trains. Because it was close to the Sabin River and the community of Point Pleasant, it was selected and created from land purchased from Jarred Dean and Anderson White. The city also became part of the East Texas oil boom when Columbus Marion “Papa” Joyner made gold in September 1930.

Smith, who moved to the area 25 years ago, said Gladwater used to be packed with people on the weekends.

“I have seen this decline over the years, but it is actually rising again,” he said. “A lot of people come from out of town, you know, off the highway to see the ancient capital.”

In 1995, the State Legislature declared Gladwater the ancient capital of East Texas.

Smith expects more people to visit the city and return after seeing all it has to offer.

This year, Gladwater has a host of events planned to celebrate its 150th anniversary and will kick off with a Night at the Museum from 6 to 8 pm on January 21st at the Gladwater Museum, 116 W. Pacific Ave.

Lois Reid, president of the Gladwater Chamber of Commerce, said she had several special guests at the event, including Gov. Greg Abbott and U.S. Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, while Mayor Scott Owens would be in attendance to read the proclamation.

“Not only do we have these special guests, but interesting people throughout the museum who will bring you Gladwater’s rich oil history…live,” Reed said.

People dressed in costumes from the past will impersonate historic Gladwater residents and answer guests’ questions, she said. According to her, a birthday cake will also be served at the celebration.

The event is free to the public and parking is limited in the area, Reed said.

For information on other upcoming 150th Anniversary events, visit gladewater150.com.

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