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Temple Big Thicket Series

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Temple Big Thicket Series

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Big Thicket Legacy

Edited by Campbell and Lynn Loughmiller

In Big Thicket Legacy, Campbell and Lynn Loughmiller present the stories of people living in the Big Thicket of southeast Texas. Many of the storytellers were close to one hundred years old when interviewed, with some being the great-grandchildren of the first settlers. Here are tales about robbing a bee tree, hunting wild boar, plowing all day and dancing all night, wading five miles to church through a cypress brake, and making soap using hickory ashes. "The book is a storehouse of history, down-to-earth information, good humor, leg-pulling spoofs, tall tales and all kinds of serendipitous gems . . . Readers inclined to fantasy might like to think of two giant Texas folklorists of the past, J. Frank Dobie and Mody Boatright, nodding and winking their approval of Big Thicket Legacy."—Smithsonian

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Big Thicket Plant Ecology

An Introduction, Third Edition

Geraldine Ellis Watson

Originally published in 1979, Geraldine Ellis Watson’s Big Thicket Plant Ecology is now back in print. This updated edition explores the plant biology, ecology, geology, and environmental regions of the Big Thicket National Preserve. After decades of research on the Big Thicket, Watson concluded that the Big Thicket was unique for its biological diversity, due mainly to interactions of geology and climate. A visitor in the Big Thicket could look in four different directions from one spot and view scenes typical of the Appalachians, the Florida Everglades, a southwestern desert, or the pine barrens of the Carolinas. Watson covers the ecological and geological history of the Big Thicket and introduces its plant life, from longleaf pines and tupelo swamps to savannah wetlands and hardwood flats. “This is the work on the plant biology of the Big Thicket.”—Pete A.Y. Gunter, author of The Big Thicket

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Reflections on the Neches

A Naturalist's Odyssey along the Big Thicket's Snow River

Geraldine Ellis Watson

When Geraldine Watson’s father was a teenager around the turn of the last century, he spent a summer floating down the Neches River, called Snow River by the Indians. Watson grew up hearing his tales of the steamboats, log rafts, and the flora and fauna of East Texas. So when she was sixty-three years old, she decided to repeat his odyssey in her own backwater boat. Reflections on the Neches is both the story of her journey retracing her father’s steps and a natural and social history of the Neches region of the Big Thicket. The Neches, one of the last “wild” rivers in Texas, is now being subjected to dams. Watson’s story captures the wildness of the river and imparts a detailed history of its people and wildlife. Profusely illustrated with drawings by the author and including maps of her journey, Reflections on the Neches will appeal to all those interested in the Big Thicket region and those indulging a feeling of wanderlust–and float trips–down the river.

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Saving the Big Thicket

From Exploration to Preservation, 1685-2003

James J. Cozine Jr.

The Big Thicket of East Texas, which at one time covered over two million acres, served as a barrier to civilizations throughout most of historic times. By the late nineteenth century, however, an assault on this wilderness by settlers, railroads, and timber companies began in earnest. By the 1920s, much of the wilderness had been destroyed. Spurred on by the continued destruction of the region, the Big Thicket Association (BTA) organized in 1964 to fight for its preservation. Arguing that the Big Thicket was a unique botanical region, the BTA and their supporters convinced President Gerald Ford to authorize an 84,550-acre Big Thicket National Preserve in 1974. Saving the Big Thicket is a classic account of the regions history and a play-by-play narrative of the prolonged fight for the Big Thicket Preserve. It is a clearly written case study of the conflict between economics and preservation, presenting each side with objectivity and fairness. Originally written by Cozine in 1976, it has been updated with a new afterword by Pete A. Y. Gunter.

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Tales from the Big Thicket

Edited by Francis E. Abernethy

The secretive beauty and mystery of the Big Thicket of East Texas would inevitably inspire tales—and the pioneers who came to terms with this land were an individualistic and legend-creating lot. In Tales from the Big Thicket, Francis E. Abernethy presents a collection of stories about the Big Thicket and its people. He begins with a brief survey history of the region and then presents anecdotes and tales that introduce us to the people of the Big Thicket and to the land. The reader will find herein the history and folklore of the area, including a collection of Alabama-Coushatta tales, a Civil War episode involving a search for hidden Jayhawkers, a travel account from the nineteenth century, and a history of one of the region's legendary families, the Hooks. "An enjoyable escape to the wood-culture of the past, to the thrill of the bear hunt of yesterday, to the quiet, natural retreat in the middle of an increasingly urban world."—Southwestern Historical Quarterly

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