Near the epicenter of the 30's oil boom, Gladewater didn't feel the effects of the depression. Although Gregg County has produced more oil than any other county, the slump of the early eighties was felt severely. The downtown section of Gladewater was full of empty buildings with economic prospects dim. This is when Beth Bishop came up with the idea for the Antique Capital of East Texas. Now with approx. 200 dealers in 16 malls, Gladewater has a revitalized downtown with a weekend tranquility even during the week.
The Bumpus House, believed to have been built about the turn of the century. It was about a yard away from the railroad tracks.
The W. E. Nunnelee Bus Lines began passenger service from Tyler to Gladewater and Mt. Pleasant in March 1925. Later they added buses from Tyler to Henderson and Nacogdoches. Twenty-six vehicles were operated over the 205 miles. These included 7-passenger automobiles and 12-, 15-, 16-, and 19-passenger buses. Fare from Tyler to Gladewater was $1 with stops in Winona, Starrville and Friendship. The 30-mile run took an hour, over roads paved in 1919 and 1923. On Aug. 1, 1927, buses were placed under regulation of the Railroad Commission. This line had franchise No. 1; it was one of 247 companies running 865 public passenger vehicles on 20,348 miles of Texas roads. Many of these "buses" were autos built for private use. Others had "stretched" auto chassis seating 10 or more passengers. Several models had doors that opened along the side. Uncomfortable and hard to drive, they constantly needed new tires and repairs to brakes and valves. Breakdowns were frequent. Overhauls (often made by necessity by the roadside) were handled by mechanics lacking suitable tools. Although far different from the air-conditioned, safety-engineered buses of today, early buses showed the way to a new era in convenient transportation.