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SEBASTOPOL, TX

SEBASTOPOL, TEXAS. Sebastopol, a farming community also known as Bartholomew, on Farm roads 355 and 356, fourteen miles southwest of Groveton in southwestern Trinity County, was an important Trinity River port in the late antebellum Texas period. The town was first settled in the 1840s or early 1850s and was originally known as Bartholomew. In the mid-1850s Russian merchants settled in the community, which they renamed Sebastopol for the Russian Black Sea port. The Russians bought cotton from local plantations and shipped it to Russia, first by barge down the Trinity and then by ship from the coast. A post office was established in 1860 and operated, with several brief interruptions, until 1872. In the period just before the Civil War, the population of Sebastopol is said to have reached 500, and the town had a turpentine distillery in addition to the docks, the warehouses, and several stores. An outbreak of yellow fever killed many residents, but Sebastopol continued to prosper until the late 1860s, when competition from the newly built railroads caused the river traffic to decline. Most of the residents moved away during the late 1860s and the 1870s, and by the early 1880s only a store and few houses remained. In 1936, when a historical marker was placed at the site, a fisherman's shack and the keel of the Memphis Belle, the last vessel to make the trip up the river, were all that remained of the town. In 1990 Sebastopol was a dispersed rural community with a reported population of thirty-one. The population grew to 120 in 2000.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Patricia B. and Joseph W. Hensley, eds., Trinity County Beginnings (Groveton, Texas: Trinity County Book Committee, 1986).

Christopher Long

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Christopher Long, "SEBASTOPOL, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hns27), accessed September 19, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.