Northeast Texas is a region in the northeast corner of the U.S. state of Texas. It is geographically centered on two metropolitan areas strung along Interstate 20: Tyler in the west and Longview/Marshall to the east. Mount Pleasant, Sulphur Springs, Paris and Texarkana in the north primarily along Interstate 30, Jacksonville and Palestine to the south are also major cities within the region. Most of Northeast Texas is included in the interstate region of the Ark-La-Tex.
Its climate is warmer and wetter than most of Texas and its geography is more hilly and forested. Its culture is similar to that of Southeast Texas, but does not have as much of a Cajun influence. Many of the largest cities in Northeast Texas still follow a rural Southern way of life, especially in dialect, mannerisms, religion, and cuisine.
The geography is composed mainly of the Piney Woods, a mixed forest of deciduous and conifer flora. The Piney Woods cover 23,500 sq mi (61,000 km2) of gently rolling or hilly forested land. These woods are part of a much larger region of pine-hardwood forest that extends into Louisiana, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. Northeast Texas lies within the Gulf Coastal Plain and receives more rainfall, 35 to 50 in (890 to 1270 mm), than the rest of Texas.
The Sabine River is the major river in Northeast Texas, and flows through Longview and several other cities. The Red River also flows through the region and forms the northern border with Oklahoma and a portion of Arkansas. In Northeast Texas and the rest of South, small rivers and creeks collect into swamps called "bayous" and merge with the surrounding forest. Bald cypress and Spanish moss are the dominant plants in bayous. The most famous of these bayous in Northeast Texas is the Cypress Bayou surrounding the Big, Little, and Black Cypress Rivers around Jefferson. They flow east into Caddo Lake and the adjoining wetlands cover the rim and islands of the lake.
Some of the major lakes in the area include: Jim Chapman Lake, Lake Tawakoni, Lake Fork, Cedar Creek Reservoir, Pat Mayse Lake, Lake Palestine, Caddo Lake, Lake O' the Pines, and Wright Patman Lake.
According to the Northeast Texas Genealogical Society, these 23 counties comprise Northeast Texas:
(36,411 in Texas and 29,919 in Arkansas.)
Culturally, Northeast Texas is more closely akin to Arkansas, Louisiana, and even Mississippi than it is to West Texas. Northeast Texas is in the Bible Belt creating a strong Fundamentalist Christian sentiment. Though 35% of Texas's population is now Hispanic, African-Americans are still the most populous minority in Northeast Texas. During the Civil Rights Movement several communities clashed over integration. In presidential elections since 1950, both Smith County (county seat Tyler) and Gregg County (county seat Longview) have been reliably Republican.
Much of modern Northeast Texas culture has its roots in traditions that go back for generations. First Monday Trade Days is a monthly flea market held in Canton, Texas. The market is actually held on the Thursday through Sunday preceding the first Monday of each month. It purports to be the largest and oldest continually operated flea market in the United States, and is a popular event in the area.
The East Texas Oil Museum, located on the campus of Kilgore College in Kilgore, Texas, houses the authentic recreation of oil discovery and production in the early 1930s from the largest oil field inside U.S. boundaries.
Tyler has a rich culture and has been nicknamed the "Rose Capital of America" because of its large role in the rose-growing industry; about 20% of commercial rose bushes produced in the U.S. are grown in Tyler and Smith Counties and more than half of the rose bushes are packaged and shipped from the area. It boasts the nation's largest municipal rose garden and hosts the Texas Rose Festival each October, which draws more than 100,000 spectators annually.
The Northeast Texas Children's Museum is located in Commerce. The museum provides playful and creative learning experiences for children in the Northeast Texas area. Many school districts from the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex and the Northeast Texas area take field trips to the museum.
Northeast Texas has a number of higher-education institutions, including The University of Texas at Tyler, Texas A&M University at Commerce, Texas A&M University at Texarkana, Stephen F. Austin State University located in Nacogdoches, East Texas Baptist University, LeTourneau University, eight public and two private community colleges, a branch of the Texas State Technical College at Marshall, three historically black colleges, and a number of church-affiliated private institutions. The public colleges and universities of the region also collaboratively provide degree and course opportunities through the Northeast Texas Consortium of Colleges and Universities.
The community colleges of Northeast Texas share a history of emerging from the "junior college" movement of schools focused on providing the first two years of the college degree. Although most added technical programs with associate of applied science degrees following the community college movement of the 1960s, the schools still place a strong emphasis on liberal arts and the academic associate of arts and associate of science degree programs. They often include the full range of college sports, including football, and host dormitories, and are known for their "high kicking" drill teams. Community colleges in the region include Kilgore College, Paris Junior College, Northeast Texas Community College near Mt. Pleasant, Texarkana College, Panola College in Carthage, Tyler Junior College, Trinity Valley Community College in Athens and with campuses in Terrell and Palestine, and Angelina College in Lufkin. Jacksonville hosts the two smaller private two-year colleges of the region, Jacksonville College (Baptist) and Lon Morris College.
The region is unique in that it is the only portion of East Texas that is not within the direct sphere of influence of either Dallas/Fort Worth or Houston. This generally weakens the area's visibility as areas in the far south ally themselves with Houston and areas to the west ally themselves with Dallas. These areas are on the fringe of those cities' spheres of influence, so are not as visible as smaller cities such as Grapevine or Deer Park, which are closer to the respective centers of power.
In the mid-19th century, Marshall and Jefferson constituted a sphere of influence that led the entire state into the Confederacy, and during the Mexican and Republic periods, Nacogdoches and San Augustine were the most developed and influential cities in Northeast Texas. Nacogdoches rebelled against Mexican rule in the Fredonian Rebellion and had one of the first newspapers to run the phrase Remember the Alamo!. While none of these three cities is a major population center, in its own right on the state level any longer, all four are still major cultural centers, with Nacogdoches and Tyler being well-established centers of higher learning.
Today, Tyler and Longview are the largest cities in Northeast Texas. The Tyler MSA has 209,714 people, and the Longview MSA has 206,874 people. Tyler has succeeded in establishing itself as the regional hub due to its expansive medical and higher-education communities. Tyler has a general partnership with Jacksonville, while Longview has leaned more toward cooperation with its traditional rival Marshall. The Texarkana MSA is another large metropolitan area in the region, with 143,486 people. It is in the far northeast corner of Texas and southwest corner of Arkansas straddling the Texas/Arkansas border.
In the last decade of the 20th century and first decade of the 21st century, many of the cities of Northeast Texas began to cooperate by forming organizations dedicated to a single agenda of common interest, such as the North East Texas Tourism Council and Northeast Texas Air Care.
Smith County is a county in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 209,714. Its county seat is Tyler. Smith County is named for James Smith, a general during the Texas Revolution.
Gregg County is a county located in the eastern part of the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 121,730. Its county seat is Longview. The county is named after John Gregg, a Confederate general killed in action during the American Civil War.
Miller County is a county located in the southwestern corner of the U.S. state of Arkansas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 43,462. The county seat is Texarkana.
Texarkana is a city in the U.S. state of Arkansas and the county seat of Miller County. The city is located across the state line from its twin city, Texarkana, Texas. The city was founded at a railroad intersection on December 8, 1873, and was incorporated in Arkansas on August 10, 1880. Texarkana is the principal city of the Texarkana metropolitan area, which is ranked 274th in terms of population in the United States with 150,098 in 2016 according to the United States Census Bureau.
Longview is the forty-fifth largest city in the state of Texas. The city is mostly located in Gregg County, of which it is the county seat; a small part of Longview extends into the western part of neighboring Harrison County. Longview is located in East Texas, where Interstate 20 and U.S. Highways 80 and 259 converge just north of the Sabine River. According to the 2010 U.S. census, the city had a population of 80,455. The estimated population in 2017 was 81,522. Longview is the principal city of the Longview metropolitan statistical area, comprising Gregg, Upshur, and Rusk counties. The population of the metropolitan area as of 2017 census estimates is 217,481.
The Ark-La-Tex is a socio-economic tri-state region where the Southern U.S. states of Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas abut. The region contains portions of Northwest Louisiana, Northeast Texas, and South Arkansas as well as the extreme southeastern tip of Oklahoma, partly centered upon the Red River, which flows along the Texas–Oklahoma state line into Southwestern Arkansas and Northwest Louisiana.
East Texas is a distinct cultural, geographic, and ecological area in the U.S. state of Texas.
U.S. Route 271 is a north–south United States highway. Never a long highway, it went from bi-state route to a tri-state route. Its southern terminus is in Tyler, Texas, at an intersection with State Highway 31 and SH 155. The highway's northern terminus is in Fort Smith, Arkansas, at an intersection with Business U.S. Route 71 and Highway 255. It enters Arkansas from Oklahoma as a controlled-access highway, but the highway continues as Interstate 540 when US 271 exits toward downtown after one-half mile (800 m) in Arkansas.
U.S. Route 59 is a north–south United States highway. A latecomer to the U.S. numbered route system, US 59 is now a border-to-border route, part of NAFTA Corridor Highway System. It parallels U.S. Route 75 for nearly its entire route, never much more than 100 miles (160 km) away, until it veers southwest in Houston, Texas. Its number is out of place since US 59 is either concurrent with or entirely west of U.S. Route 71.
U.S. Route 71 or U.S. Highway 71 is a major north–south United States highway that extends for over 1500 miles in the central United States. This original 1926 route has remained largely unchanged by encroaching Interstate highways. Currently, the highway's northern terminus is in International Falls, Minnesota at the Canada–US border, at the southern end of the Fort Frances-International Falls International Bridge to Fort Frances, Ontario. U.S. Route 53 also ends here. On the other side of the bridge, Trans-Canada Highway is an east–west route while Highway 71 is a north–south route. US 71's southern terminus is between Port Barre and Krotz Springs, Louisiana at an intersection with U.S. Route 190. For the entirety south of Kansas City, Missouri, US 71 runs parallel and concurrent with the existing and future Interstate 49. North of Kansas City, US 71 runs halfway between Interstate 29 and Interstate 35, which they split in the city at an interchange with Interstate 70.
U.S. Route 259 is a north–south spur of U.S. Route 59 that runs for 250 miles (400 km) through rural areas of northeast Texas and southeast Oklahoma.
The Texarkana metropolitan statistical area (MSA), as defined by the United States Office of Management and Budget, is a two-county region anchored by the twin cities of Texarkana, Texas, and Texarkana, Arkansas,, and encompassing the surrounding communities in Bowie County, Texas, and Miller County, Arkansas. As of the 2016 census, the MSA had a population of 150,098. Texarkana is a subset of the broader Ark-La-Tex region.
North American area codes 903/430 are state of Texas telephone area codes for numbers in the Northeast Texas area, including Texarkana, Tyler, and Sherman. Area code 903 was created November 4, 1990 as a split from area code 214. Area code 430 was created February 15, 2003, as an overlay for area code 903. The 903/430 overlay region begins just north and east of the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex and extends to the Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana borders.
Interstate 20 in Texas is a major east–west Interstate Highway in the Southern United States, running east from a junction with Interstate 10 east of Kent, Texas, through the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex to the border with Louisiana near Waskom, Texas. The original distance of Interstate 20 was 647 miles (1,041 km) from I-10 to the Louisiana border, reduced to the current distance of 636 miles (1,024 km) with the rerouting of I-20 in the 1980s and 1990s. I-20 is known as the Ronald Reagan Memorial Highway within the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.
U.S. Highway 59 (US 59) in the U.S. state of Texas is named the Lloyd Bentsen Highway, after Lloyd Bentsen, former U.S. senator from Texas. In northern Houston, US 59, co-signed with Interstate 69 (I-69), is the Eastex Freeway. To the south, which is also co-signed with I-69, it is the Southwest Freeway. The stretch of the Southwest Freeway just west of The Loop was formerly one of the busiest freeways in North America, with a peak AADT of 371,000 in 1998.
U.S. Route 67 is a U.S. highway running from Presidio, Texas northeast to Sabula, Iowa. In the U.S. state of Arkansas, the route runs 279.15 miles (449.25 km) from the Texas border in Texarkana northeast to the Missouri border near Corning. The route passes through several cities and towns, including Hope, Benton, Little Rock, Jacksonville, Cabot, Beebe, Walnut Ridge, and Pocahontas.
The East Texas League was a Texas-based minor league baseball league that existed on-and-off from 1916 to 1950. At different times, it was considered a Class C or Class D league.