The seat of Upshur County, the city was founded in 1848 and became a trade center for a growing population of farmer-settlers. Cotton farming dominated the economy, joined by a lumber boom at the turn of the century. The East Texas oil boom of the early 1930s came in as cotton began to fade. Lumber, dairying and beef cattle are important today.
More than 50 historical markers are found in the city and around the county, including a 1936 granite marker in Roosevelt Park on the site of an early 19th-century Cherokee village. Markers on the courthouse lawn tell about the Cherokee Trace, traveled by Sam Houston and other Texas Revolution heroes.
Gilmer is a Texas Main Street City and a National Main Street City. Historic Main Street features a downtown square with brick-paved streets, shops and restaurants. 903/843-2552.
Gilmer is part of the Texas Forest Trail Region—the heritage tourism initiative of the Texas Historical Commission. www.thc.state.tx.us.
The East Texas Yamboree in October pays homage to the sweet potato and is one of the oldest annual festivals in Texas.
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