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BIG CYPRESS CREEK (FRANKLIN COUNTY)

BIG CYPRESS CREEK (Franklin County). Big Cypress Creek rises near the Hopkins county line in southeastern Franklin County (at 33°03' N, 95°21' W) and flows southeast for sixty miles to its mouth on Big Cypress Bayou, three miles west of Jefferson in southern Marion County (at 32°45' N, 94°30' W). The stream forms the boundary lines between Camp and Titus, Camp and Morris, and Morris and Upshur counties. Big Cypress Creek is intermittent in its upper reaches. It runs through flat to rolling terrain surfaced by sandy and clay loams that support water-tolerant hardwoods, conifers, and grasses. The fact that Big Cypress Creek formed the last link in a chain of navigable waters contributed to Jefferson's rise as a commercial center in the days before the railroads. Between 1842 and 1872 the town was the principal riverport in Texas, serving as a distribution point for much of North and East Texas. Boats brought goods from New Orleans and St. Louis and returned laden with cotton and other agricultural products. With the coming of the railroads in the early 1870s, river traffic declined. Since World War II Big Cypress Creek has been dammed in two locations: on the border of Camp and Titus counties to form a series of lakes including Lake Cypress Springs, Lake Bob Sandlin, and Monticello Reservoir; and in Marion County to form Lake O' the Pines. Once the conduit of early settlement, the creek's waters now serve as an important source of recreation and tourist dollars.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 
Fred Tarpley, Jefferson: Riverport to the Southwest (Austin: Eakin Press, 1983).

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Handbook of Texas Online, "Big Cypress Creek (Franklin County)," accessed June 30, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/rbbch.

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.