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East Texas History & Cane River Ride Route Plan
April 2008

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East Texas History & Natchitoches, La. Cane River Ride

The Ride: A ride of 1024 miles through the beautiful East Texas countryside and along the Cane River in Natchitoches, Louisiana. The route covered scenic wildflower loops around Henderson and the remote forests of Deep East Texas, including East Texas roads FM 323, 782, 1798, 87, 149, 21 (Camino Real), LA 6, and the Cane River Road in Natchitoches, Louisiana. The routes included visits to the Peanut Butter Emporium in Overton, the historic Daisy Bradford # 3 Discovery Oil Well near Joinerville, the Lazy M Biker Cafe in Laneville, the C.E. Rogers General Store in Stewart Community; and, the London Museum and Cenotaph, the historic and moving site honoring the 311 children & teachers who died in the 1937 London, Texas school explosion. The museum includes an eerie display of a 1937 letter of condolence from German Chancellor Adolph Hitler. The ride included a visit to Center, Texas (my hometown) to see the Shelby County Courthouse, the only remaining Irish Castle Style Courthouse in the United States, and visits to Carthage, Shelbyville, San Augustine, Geneva and Milam, including a visit to McMahan's Chapel, the oldest Methodist Church in Texas. Other stops included C.A. Nethery's General Store in Milam and a leisurely ride along the Cane River in Natchitoches, Louisiana, with a visit to the historic Melrose Plantation. A special stop included a visit to the Shelbyville Cemetery to see the historic gravesites of Moses Fisk Roberts, my great, great, great, great grandfather, and his daughter Lecy Persia Roberts (Miller), my great, great, great grandmother. Moses was the father-in-law of Frederick Hardin Miller, my great, great, great grandfather. Moses served as a Lieutenant in the Republic of Texas Army and as a Congressman in the Republic of Texas. Note Of Interest: Moses F. Roberts and a small company of Tennessee volunteers arrived in Texas on the 19th of February, 1836, with plans to join up with Davy Crockett in San Augustine, but was too late. Crockett and his men were already at the Alamo. They joined the Jasper Volunteers instead. Roberts was elected 2nd Lieutenant on March 23, 1836.

Day 1: From Austin to Palestine, Davey Dogwood Park, Tyler, Henderson; 261 mi., 7 – 7 ½ hrs
Hwy 79 to Palestine
POI: Davey Dogwood Park
FM 315 North to Chandler (Dogwood Trail)
Right on 31 to Tyler
Hwy 64 to Henderson
POI: Rusk County Courthouse
POI: Depot Museum, 512 North High St.
POI: Downtown Historic District
Lodging: Holiday Inn Express

Day 2:East Texas Countryside Loops From Henderson
Loop # 1: Henderson Southwest Loop; 64 mi. 2 ½  - 3 hrs
From the Downtown Star, take 840, 2867 to Pine Hill
Right on 1798 to Minden
Left on 95 to Concord
Right on CR 3198
Left on 84
Right on 259 north
Left on 1798 to Laneville (Great Road)
POI: Lazy M Biker Cafe, Laneville
Right on 225 North
Better Scenic Option: From Laneville, continue 1798 West to Hwy 79
To Henderson

Henderson Northwest Loop; 46 mi., 2 - 2 ½ hrs
From the Star, take Hwy 64 BR to 323 toward New London
Left on CR 4136
POI: Daisy Bradford # 3 Discovery Well
Left on CR 4105
Right on Hwy 64
POI: Roughneck Monument
POI: Pleasant Hill Baptist Church
POI: Pleasant Hill Cemetery (171 markers with same DOD)
Right on 42
New London
POI: London Cenotaph
POI: London Museum
Continue on 42
Left on 850
POI: Peanut Butter Emporium
Continue on 135 NE toward Pitner Junction
Right on 259 to Henderson

Henderson Northeast Loop;  49 mi., 2 – 2 ½ hrs
From the Star, Hwy 64 West to 782
Right on 782
POI: C.E. Rogers and Son General Store
Right on 1797
Right on 43
Left on 1251
Left on 2658
Right on 3231 to County Line Road
Right on 1251
Left on 43 to Henderson
POI: Side Trip; Kilgore East Texas Oil Museum
From Henderson to Center for Lodging

Day 3:
Center; Shelby County Courthouse & Historic Cemeteries; Hwy 87; Milam; Geneva; McMahan’s Chapel; Cane River, Natchitoches, La; Melrose Plantation; 228 mi., 7 – 8 hrs.
From Center
POI: Shelby County Courthouse
Take Hwy 87 SE to Shelbyville
POI: Shelbyville Historic Cemetery
POI: Gravesite of Moses Fisk Roberts, Easyglide's GGGG Grandfather
Continue 87
Bear Right on 147 to San Augustine
Right on 21 East
Detour if 147 road work still in progress
From 147, go right on 1279 to Hwy 96; left to San Augustine
San Augustine
Left on 21 East
Right on 35 Spur (McMahan’s Chapel Rd)
POI: McMahan’s Chapel
Backtrack to 21; take right
POI: C.A. Nethery's Store
Continue on 21 to Many
POI: Pendleton Bridge, Toledo Bend Reservoir
Hwy 21 becomes LA 6 at state line
POI: Fort Jesup
Continue to Natchitoches
POI: Pioneer Pub
POI: Cain River; Historic District
Get on LA 494 (Cain River Rd) Southeast
Left on 484
Left on 493/119 to Melrose Plantation
POI: Melrose Plantation
Backtrack to 493
Continue on 493 to LA 1; take right to Natchitoches
Left on LA 6 to TX 21 West
Right on 87 to Center
Day 4 :
Center to Austin; 272 mi., 7 – 7 ½ hrs
Hwy 7 West to Nacogdoches
Hwy 21 (Camino Real) to Austin
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