Old River Lake
Liberty County, bisected by the Trinity River, is on U.S. Highway 90 halfway between Beaumont and Houston. This part of Southeast Texas is in the Coastal Prairie. The center point of the county, which comprises 1,174 square miles, is at 30°11' north latitude and 94°50' west longitude, near the Trinity River and the Hardin oilfield. The altitude varies from twenty to 200 feet. The climate is subtropical and humid, the annual rainfall averages 51.15 inches, and the temperature ranges from a minimum of 40° F in January to a maximum of 94° in July. The northern fourth of the county is part of the Big Thicket, a once-impenetrable wilderness wooded with pine, oak, ash, hickory, cypress, and walnut. Today, this area is covered with loblolly, shortleaf, longleaf, and slash pines, hardwoods including oak, hickory, and maple, shrubs, Indian grass, and native legumes. The county's southern section consists of Gulf prairies and marshes vegetated with tall prairie grasses, oak, mesquite, and prickly pear. The soil types include sandy, sandy loam, black sandy, and black waxy. Between 41 and 50 percent of the land is considered prime farmland. Drainage and irrigation systems provide for diversified crops-rice, cotton, grains, potatoes, corn, vegetables, and fruits. Hogs, beef cattle, sheep, goats, and poultry are raised, and honey is produced commercially. Natural resources include deposits of lignite, iron ore, sulfur, brick clay, salt, lime, and glass sand, as well as oil and gas. The county is served by the Union Pacific and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroads.
Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.
Diana J. Kleiner | © Texas State Historical Association
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