Texas Plains Trail Region

Participant in the Texas Historical Commission's
Texas Heritage Trails Program

Timber Industry

Texas Forestry Museum, Lufkin
Texas Forestry Museum, Lufkin


The lumber industry, once the leading employer in Texas around the turn of the 20th century, continues to contribute significantly to the state economy today. If you live west of the Pecos River, however, you might wonder where we're getting all those trees. East Texas, of course, where the state's forests provide over a billion board feet of lumber each year. Up until the mid-1800s, most of our pine forests remained uncut. Visitors through the region recorded seeing trees 150 feet tall and five feet in diameter. These giants wouldn't survive the "bonanza era," however, the 50 year period between 1880 and the Great Depression that saw a dynamic timber industry rise and thrive in East Texas. Not surprisingly, the supply of logging-worthy pine was significantly reduced during the period, making the reasonable management and conservation of our remaining timber resources necessary. The Texas Forestry Museum, located in Lufkin, is home to the story of our forests, making it the ideal location to learn all about our timber industry legacy alongside current and future forest management plans. Afterwards, you might want to take a nice long walk in the woods.


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Read more about the Texas lumber industry in the Handbook of Texas Online.