Athens Visitor and Welcome Center
The visitor centre is right opposite the Henderson County Courthouse and there are two ladies there who can help you with any brochures or information of the area. There are plenty of brochures on other areas as well outside of Athens.
Courts Under the Oaks
This historical marker tells about how the early court sessions were conducted in the county before the first courthouse was built. Court sessions were conducted on the square under a large shady oak tree. The first district court term was held in October 1950 and was presided over by Judge Oran M Roberts who later became a Texas Supreme Court Justice and Governor of the State. The cases he heard here were of Gambling, Larceny, Murder, Assault and Battery and defaulting jurors. The Courts Under the Oaks reflected the democratic goals and ideals of the pioneer settlers of Henderson County.
Henderson County Courthouse
This unusually angled courthouse was built in 1913 and was the 3rd courthouse to be built here. Boy Scouts planted the trees surrounding the building. The first courthouse which was built in 1850, cost the small county only fifty dollars. At that time the population of Henderson County was comprised of 1,155 white persons, 81 slaves, and 1 free black person. In 1855 the courthouse was sold and the proceeds were given to W. B. Stirman to build a jail.
The second county courthouse was a wooden weather-board, a two-story, structure which had four brick chimneys. It was finished in 1860 and sat in the center of the square. Unfortunately 1885 it burned down killing the original red oak trees under which the first court met.
The Game Warden Memorial
The Game Wardens Memorial stands just out the front of the centre. The memorial is dedicated to the honour and memory of the brave officers who made the ultimate sacrifice to serve the people of Texas. Names of some of those people are listed on the side.
There is a Angler Hall of Fame or you can try your luck fishing in the casting pond which is loaded with rainbow trout and channel catfish. There is a tram system which can take you onto the hatcheries for a specially-guided tour, or you can go and explore the wetlands walking trail.
Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center
This is quite an amazing place if you have the time to visit. The center is an innovative aquarium and hatchery complex with over 300,000 gallons of aquaria. You can explore the secret habitat of a Hill Country stream or stroll through an underwater world surrounded by lunker largemouth bass, or check out the American alligator in its natural environment.
Open Tuesday-Friday 9am-4pm with a daily dive show at 2.00pm
Palestine Jail House
As far as I can tell, this jail was built in 1856 for the amount of $375.00. The county had been without a jail for nearly 3 years following Athens becoming the permanent seat.
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