Palestine, Texas, the county seat of Anderson County, sits at the intersection of U.S. Highways 79 and 287, at the center of the county, some 108 miles southeast of Dallas and 150 miles north of Houston.
The East Texas city was the early home of Daniel Parker and was named after the Parkers' former home of Palestine, Illinois. It was also the home of American politician John H. Reagan and Texas Governor Thomas M. Campbell. When the Texas legislature established Anderson County in 1846, no community existed at the center of the county, so Palestine waas created. The town originally thrived off the transportation of goods down the Trinity River, then in the 1870's, Palestine saw a significant increase in population and economic growth with the arrival of the railroad industry.
The Union Pacific Railroad maintains a strong presence in town today. Their presence, coupled with other modes of transportation, makes Palestine the ideal location for distribution to Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. It is centered just over two hours from Dallas and Houston, Texas and Shreveport, Louisiana.
In the early 1980's, Walmart saw the advantage of Palestine's central location and built their first distribution center outside of their home state of Arkansas. That distribution center still operates today as one of only seven Fashion Distribution Centers in the U.S. The successful operations of that center led Walmart to build a second distribution center in Palestine in 1994. It is one of only 43 Regional Distribution Centers across the United States and ships and receives $2 billion in merchandise annually. Palestine is also the home to wholesale beverage distributors, aerospace parts distributors, and a wholesale giftware company. Palestine has existing structures available, as well as space to build and develop new facilities.
Not only is Palestine an optimal site for distribution and warehousing, it's also a great place to establish healthcare facilities. The Palestine Regional Medical Center and Palestine Regional Rehabilitation Hospital provide a full range of comprehensive care including the latest in diagnostic, therapeutic and rehabilitative services. Approximately 500 employees and 50 volunteers work closely with the medical staff, which includes over 80 physicians representing 28 different medical specialties.
The city is developing effective strategies to promote growth and development in a dynamic environment. Transportation infrastructure, available low-cost labor force, education and training programs, growing medical industry, lower cost of living and quality of life offerings all make Palestine an effective place to locate your business. The Palestine Economic Development Corporation offers several incentives and can assist your business with relocation.
The city has two colleges that provide education and technical training. Trinity Valley Community College-Palestine offers a variety of academic transfer courses and vocational-technical programs. The UT Tyler-Palestine Campus currently offers courses in Nursing, Business, Education, Health and Kinesiology and History.
The city currently features charmed bed & breakfasts in restored Victorian homes, modern hotels, and restaurants filled with diverse fare for visitors to enjoy. Popular attractions include the Texas State Railroad, The Museum for East Texas Culture, The Texas Theatre and Eilenberger's Bakery. Palestine is home to over 1,800 historic sites; including churches, buildings, monuments, cemeteries, museums and more. View a full list of area attractions and accommodations at www.visitpalestine.com and start planning your visit today!
Palestine is a designated Texas Main Street City and exhibits historic architecture from the early 1800's through the 1950's. Our Main Street District covers 44 blocks and is filled with eclectic boutiques, antique stores, cafes, bakeries, and diverse restaurants. Visit www.facebook.com/palestinemainstreet to keep up with special events, festivals, and downtown Palestine.
Located on Crawford Street two blocks west of the courthouse, the Old Town District offers a relaxed atmosphere. Turn of the century buildings have been restored and inhabited with boutiques, bakeries, restaurants, and live music venues. Once the industrial center of the community, this area now features an outdoor stage used for live concerts, military re-enactments, and other local events throughout the year.
Palestine is the proud home of Davey Dogwood Park. The annual Texas Dogwood Trails Celebration began in 1938. Davey Dogwood Park became the main location of the annual event in 1944, when Mr. M. A. Davey, a local oil man, bought the land and donated it to the county to be used as a park. The park is especially beautiful in the spring with the dazzling white blossoms of the Dogwood trees and many other native area wildflowers. In the fall, the natural beauty shifts to the autumn colors of the native trees and the rich red of the Dogwood trees. Picnic areas are provided at Manley Mountain (near the entrance of the park) and near the center of the park. Visitors may view the scenic beauty along walking trails located near the picnic areas. Seeing the Dogwood blooms in Palestine was #56 in Texas Monthly's article "The Bucket List: 63 Things All Texans Should Do Before They Die". Visit www.facebook.com/dogwoodtrails for full details on the annual Texas Dogwood Trails Celebration.
The historic Texas State Railraod offers both steam and diesel excursions that travel between Palestine and the nearby town of Rusk. Special events throughout the year include The Polar ExpressTM, The Lone Ranger®, and the Dinosaur TrainTM rides.
The City of Palestine offers the best of both worlds for businesses, residents and visitors, providing the comfort of small town living with the benefits of modern conveniences. This family-oriented town provides an elevated quality of life with limitless opportunity for business growth and development.
Whether you're scouting Palestine for your new home, business site or just stopping by for a relaxing weekend visit, we're happy to have you and we're here to help make your experience an enjoyable one. Stop by the Visitors Center (located at 825 Spring Street and open seven days a week), or call one of our Information Specialists at (903)723-3014 to learn about all that Palestine has to offer.