Sour Lake

Sour Lake, also known as Sour Lake Springs, is on State highways 105 and 326 and the Missouri Pacific line, twenty miles east of Hardin and eighteen miles southwest of Kountze in south central Hardin County. It was originally called Sour Lake Springs for the mineral springs that fed the nearby lake. It is the oldest extant town in Hardin County and was first settled around 1835, when Stephen Jackson received 4,428 acres at the site. Long before the advent of White settlers, however, Indians had made use of the mineral waters and of the pitch found around the oil seepages near the lakeshores. By 1850 these resources had made Sour Lake a health resort with good accommodations for healthseekers. Early entrepreneurs bottled the water and sold it; Sam Houston visited in the early 1860s, and an ex-slave named Bazile, who claimed to be an Indian, became known as "Dr. Mud" for his treatments. A Hardin County Sour Lake post office was established in 1866 and discontinued in 1876; a Jefferson County Sour Lake post office was established in 1877 and discontinued in 1880. But it was the Hardin County Sour Lake Spring post office, which operated under that name from 1879 to 1880, that became Sourlake in 1895 and that was still in operation in the early 1990s.

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.

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Place type

Sour Lake is classified as a Town

Associated Names

  • [-Spring]
  • [-Springs]


  • Latitude

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Sour Lake by the Numbers

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Population Counts

Sour Lake
Pop. Year Source
1,773 2020 United States Census Bureau
1,940 2019 Texas Demographic Center
1,813 2010 United States Census Bureau
1,667 2000 United States Census Bureau
1,547 1990 United States Census Bureau