Catering to Railroad Travelers in Early Texarkana by ProQuest


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									   Catering to Railroad Travelers in
          Early Texarkana
                       BEVERLY J. ROWE AND DAVID JEANE

THE GATEWAY PROJECT IS, IN PART, an historical archaeology study in-
tended to gather information about Texarkana between 1873 and 1900.
Texarkana, straddling the Texas-Arkansas border, began as a railroad
town in the winter of 1873-1874 with the sale of town lots on the Arkan-
sas side by the Cairo & Fulton Railroad and on the Texas side by the
Texas & Pacific Railway. At the juncture of nine railroads stretching
across Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas, Texarkana was born at a time
when America’s frontier was being pushed farther west, and the area
abounded with virgin pine forests.1 Very few pictures, maps, drawings,
published books, or folklore survive from its early era, though.
    In 2004, the Gateway Project, with volunteers from the Texas Ar-
cheological Society, the Arkansas Archeological Society, and Texar-
kana College in a four-year study of Texarkana’s earliest hotels. In 2004,
we excavated the site of the Huckins House Hotel, and in 2006 we ex-
cavated the East Side Hotel. These two hotels span the spectrum of ac-
commodations available in Texarkana to railroad travelers. The Huckins

      Sources for the Texarkana area include Gus J. Ghio, Souvenir of Texarkana, Arkan-
sas and Texas (Texarkana: F. L. McConnell, 1904); Jane Forehand Bruner and Katy F.
Caver, Miller County, Arkansas: Her Land and People, 1820-1900 (Texarkana: Texarkana
Historical Society and Museum, 1984); Barbara Overton Chandler and J. Ed. Howe, His-
tory of Texarkana and Bowie and Miller Counties, Texas-Arkansas (Shreveport: Howe
Publishing, 1939); Nancy Moores Watts Jennings, comp., Texarkana Pioneer Family His-
tories (Texarkana: Roarck Publishing Company, 1961); William D. Leet, Texarkana: A
Pictorial History (Norfolk, VA: Donning Company, 1982); William McCartney scrap-
books, 1875, 1880, Texarkana Museums System.

Beverly J. Rowe is professor of anthropology, history, and sociology at Texarkana College. David
Jeane is survey research assistant at the Arkansas A
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