Camilla Post Office.....Camilla, as a community, is a product of the reconstruction days that followed the Civil War. The Camilla Post Office was established in 1985, housed in a side room of Jim McMurrey's general store until the store burned. A new post office building was built in 1927 and served the community until the 1950's when the postmistress, Miss Bessie Hale, retired and the Coldspring Post Office took over the duties of sorting mail and Camilla became a rural route.
Subsequently, Mrs. Billie Trapp purchased the building and had it moved to Coldspring. She used it as a small art shop for some time.
In 1984 Mrs. Trapp gave the building to the Historical Commission/Heritage Society with the stipulation that the interior walls remain as is, with all Miss Bessie Hale's writings on the walls, etc.
The old Camilla Post Office now serves the county as a postal museum and is located in Old Town.
The schoolhouse was usually the center and focus of rural communities and small towns. Sunday (Sabbath) school classes and church services (meetings) were held in the school house. Elections (vote/poll) and township meetings were held here as well. The school building also served as a grange hall, assembly hall, tax office, place for dances and box suppers, quilting bees and the like.
The Waverly Schoolhouse, that now is a gift and collector's mall for vendors in Old Town Coldspring, is the last vestige of the 'common school' district of Old Waverly which began in the early 1850's. This two room school (grades 1-4 in one room, grades 5-7 in the other) was built in 1921 from the finest pine lumber hauled in from Fostoria, about eighteen miles southeast of Waverly.
During the time of the one room school, often enough, one of the students would graduate, come back in three or four years with a certificate and become the new teacher. After four weeks of training, those who were to become teachers were given a test and certified to teach.
This Waverly Schoolhouse
was donated by Mr. Harold French and moved to historic Old Town Coldspring
The log corn crib from the 1840's was moved here from the Ellisor farm in the 1980's and reassembled piece by piece. Under the roof, is a gasoline powered grist mill. We are looking for someone able to restore this to working condition.
The Urbana Depot was built in 1911 in the community of Urbana, located 4 miles north of Shepherd on Highway 59. S.P. Coughlan, an employee of the Houston East & West Tx Railway gave the town its name of Urbana, name after his hometown in Ohio. The depot was moved to Shepherd in the 1950's where it was used as a weigh station for pulpwood and a watering stop for the Houston East & West Texas Railway. After being in private ownership and used as a storage shed for many years, it was finally purchased by the San Jacinto County Heritage Society in 1996 and moved to the museum complex in Old Town. It now serves the county as a railway museum.
The old Jackson store was moved in the 1980's from the Magnolia community outside of Evergreeen on FM 945. The original building was known as a 'box' structure and was in such bad condition that it could not be restored. In its original location, it was the hub of the area, selling any product needed in a home or on a farm. They also stored and weighed cotton, ground corn and cane, made caskets and housed the local post office. The current building on the grounds, now called the 'New Jackson Store' is a replica, built in 1991.
The general store is perhaps the most interesting development in merchandising institutions. Unique to the developing frontier, very few similar institutions are to be found anywhere else in the world. The old time general store distributed a variety of dry goods hardware, groceries, drugs and even liquors. It would serve as a post office, a shipping depot and as a village center where the local men could meet. An old box stove, a rickety chair or two, a few merchandise barrels and a sawdust split box were the almost universal furnishings for any general store of that day. Here politics and religion were discussed. While it may or may not be a profitable venture, it was still a vital part of any community.