Porter's Bluff, TX

By: Christopher Long

Type: General Entry

Published: 1976

Updated: September 1, 1995

Porter's Bluff, also known as Taos, was a ferry crossing and shipping point on the Trinity River during the second half of the nineteenth century. Located sixteen miles northeast of Corsicana just off Farm Road 85 in extreme northeastern Navarro County, it was one of the earliest settlements in the county. It was founded by Col. Robert H. Porter, who received a tract of land on the Trinity River in recognition for his service in the Texas Revolution. Porter conceived of establishing a major shipping center on the river to serve area plantations. In 1848, with the assistance of John H. Reagan, he platted the town and named it Taos. A ferry began operating sometime later, and by the late 1850s Taos was a thriving town with a blacksmith shop, several stores, and a sawmill. The town also served as a port for small steamboats, known as packets, which before the Civil War plied the Trinity, brought supplies, and transported cotton downriver. Taos continued to prosper until the early 1870s, when the Houston and Texas Central Railroad extended its line from Bryan to Corsicana. Competition from the railroad effectively brought an end to the river traffic, and the town began to decline. The ferry continued to operate until the 1880s, when it was replaced by a bridge. A post office under the name Porter's Bluff opened in 1900 but was discontinued in 1904, and by the mid-1930s the community was a ghost town. In 1990 no traces of the town remained. No population estimates were available.

Annie Carpenter Love, History of Navarro County (Dallas: Southwestern, 1933).


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

Christopher Long, “Porter's Bluff, TX,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed September 23, 2021, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/porters-bluff-tx.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

September 1, 1995