Gaines Ferry

Type: General Entry

Published: 1976

Updated: January 1, 1995

Gaines Ferry, probably originally known as Chabanan Ferry, was on the Old San Antonio Road at the Sabine River crossing in what is now northeastern Sabine County, at or near the place where State Highway 21 crosses Toledo Bend Reservoir. The Old San Antonio Road was an important avenue to Texas, and the ferry was in continuous operation from about 1795 to 1937. The ferry was named for James Gaines, who purchased it in 1819 and operated it until 1843, when he moved to Nacogdoches. In 1837 the town of Pendleton was surveyed and named possibly in honor of Edmund Pendleton Gaines. The community was a port of entry for the collection of customs during the period of the Republic of Texas. The ferry declined in importance during the latter part of the 1800s as the railroads replaced riverboats and as bridges crossed the Sabine in other locations. When the Pendleton-Gaines bridge was built in 1937, the ferry was discontinued.

Robert Cecil McDaniel, Sabine County, Texas (Waco: Texian, 1987). Edna McDaniel White and Blanche Findley Toole, Sabine County Historical Sketches and Genealogical Records (Beaumont, 1972).

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

Anonymous, “Gaines Ferry,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed November 29, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

January 1, 1995