PORT CADDO, TX
PORT CADDO, TEXAS. Port Caddo was established when a native of San Augustine, Obediah Hendrick, Jr., was granted 660 acres of land by the Republic of Texas on July 7, 1838. The land, later part of Harrison County, was described as being in "Shelby County on the south of Ferry Lake embracing Taylor's Bluff." Hendrick envisioned a great inland port at Taylor's Bluff and divided the town into more than 1,000 lots with a main street. The town was incorporated, and sales of stock, lots, buildings, and homes started immediately after the survey was finished. By 1839 wagons were arriving at Port Caddo from the east, and boats were bringing people and goods. From its beginning Port Caddo was a typical boisterous frontier town, and as the westward movement gained momentum the community prospered. In the beginning little attention was given to taxes; however, around 1839 a customs service was established at Port Caddo. Violent and bloody conflicts arose over the collection of tariffs on imports and exports. These conflicts culminated on January 29, 1845, when the Congress of the Republic of Texas passed an act establishing a collection district including parts of Red River, Bowie, Nacogdoches, and Rusk counties. All of Harrison County was included, and Port Caddo was named the port of entry. However, there was continued refusal to pay tariffs at Port Caddo because of the progress being made toward annexation with the United States. The problem was finally resolved, and the office was closed on January 31, 1846, after Texas joined the United States. The Port Caddo post office functioned from 1846 to 1866. The community continued to thrive until shortly before the Civil War, when Big Cypress Bayou was opened to Jefferson; then it began a rapid decline. In the 1870s the big raft on the Red River was removed, the water of Caddo Lake fell, and the era of the riverboat to Port Caddo and Jefferson consequently ended. Port Caddo continued to be identified on maps until the early 1900s, when a group purchased the area for the Port Caddo Motor Club. In the 1930s the site of Port Caddo was part of the purchase that became Caddo Lake State Park.
V. H. Hackney, Port Caddo-A Vanished Village and Vignettes of Harrison County (Marshall, Texas: Marshall National Bank, 1966).