Tundra, also known as the Burns Neighborhood, Cool Springs, Pull Tight, and Lone Star, is a rural community on Farm Road 1851 seven miles southwest of Canton in south central Van Zandt County. It was first known as the Burns Neighborhood after a family of early settlers. In August 1874 the community was renamed when a Primitive Baptist minister, Rev. John R. Martin, moved there and organized a church known as Cool Springs near the spring at the headwaters of Alligator Creek; in the 1980s the church stood west of the original site. In 1881, when Reverend Martin built a gin west of the church in the sand bed between two sandy hills, the town came to be known as Pull Tight for the difficulty in entering the gin lot. The local Lone Star school, whose name was also used in reference to the community, was organized in the 1880s. In 1896 Wade Fisher opened a business and sought a post office for the community. The Tundra post office was established there in 1899; its name was reportedly suggested by the postmaster general for the appearance of the undulating strip of prairie on which it was located. Tundra remained the town name after the post office was replaced by rural route delivery in 1905. The Lone Star school reached an enrollment of 131 in 1904. The 1936 county highway map showed two churches, a school, a cemetery, a seasonal industry, several other businesses, and numerous dwellings at the site. The population of the community reached 184 in the 1930s but decreased to forty in 1949. The Lone Star school had been consolidated with the Canton Independent School District by the 1950s, and the Tundra population had dropped to twenty-four by 1964. That year only two churches and a business remained, and by 1987 Tundra was described as a ghost town. In 2000 the population was thirty-four.
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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