September 17, 2006

Walking through Timpson

Founded with the arrival of the Houston, East and West Texas Railway in 1885, the town was named for P. B. Timpson, a railroad engineer.

Timpson opened its post office that year and by 1890 the town had 1,200 people with two sawmills, a canning factory and a weekly newspaper.

By 1925 Timpson had become a lignite shipping point. The town population swelled during the 1920s to an estimated population of 2,500, but the boom was short lived due to the onset of the Great Depression. The town declined over the years, reaching 1,050 in 1968 - a figure that it has since become somewhat stable.

(history from

Timpson is about forty minutes northeast of Nacogdoches. There is an old downtown square about a block off of the town as it is today, and the main highway (59) that runs through it, where time seems to be standing still. Most, if not all, of the buildings appear to be abandoned. One gets the sense of being either in a ghost town, or on the back lot of a movie studio set. Many of the buildings appear be from the 1940s (or earlier) and were probably built just as the railroad stopped coming through, and U.S. Route 59 was constructed. I guess if you build a town, there's no guarantee they will come (sort of like this blog).


Lisa said...

I really like the fourth picture down, with the vines all overgrown and the seven narrow windows in a row. What's going on in there?

I also like the Kinky Friedman sign in the window. You can get waxed and sign the Kinky petition! Signs of life in Timpson.

Chris said...

While I was taking the picture of the building with the vines, I realized there was a ceiling fan, rotating inside. The whole time I thought it was abandoned.

I titled the Kinky Friedman sign over at my photoblog and Flickr page "Waxing: You Do Have a Choice." I can't imagine who is getting waxed in Timpson, or even why.

Anonymous said...

I'm assuming you know the old saying about "Tenaha (ten ee haw), Timpson, Bobo, and Blaire." The oldtimers speak of it:

I love your site. I'm from Nac living in Houston now (opposite of you, huh?). The pics and lore make me nostalgic. Keep it up. I link to you quite a bit. Allison

Chris said...

Allison-I noticed Archie McDonald's article about "Tenaha, Timpson, Bobo, and Blair" at Crapshooters would recite that when hoping to roll double fives? I need to visit Tenaha one of these days.

I glad you like the blog. Thanks for your words of encouragement, too! Houston is a great town (except for the rush hours, which are HELL). I lived there for two and a half years. The SFA students from Houston remind us of what it's like to drive there when they come back after the summer and other holidays.