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PRAIRIE CREEK (Camp County). Prairie Creek rises in southern Camp County (at 32°57' N, 94°59' W) three miles south of Pittsburg. Before the formation of Lake O' the Pines in the late 1950s, the stream ran southeast for fourteen miles to its mouth on Big Cypress Creek. Two creeks, Prairie and Greasy, were dominant waterways that drained into Big Cypress. In 1928 or 1929 A. W. (Bud) Smith decided he could harness the two creeks by digging a canal 1½ miles long to join them. The connection enabled him to float logs to his own mill and to one at Jefferson. By the 1980s, the lake had subsumed the lower reaches of the creek. Before the beginning of Anglo settlement, the area around the lower and middle reaches of the creek was heavily wooded. In fact, the community of Holly Springs, located along the middle reaches of the creek, was named for the holly trees that flourished in the area when the community began to develop in the 1850s. Around the lower reaches, where pines predominated, settlers in the community of County Line were attracted to the area during the second half of the 1800s by the profits that could be earned producing pine shingles. The area around the lower reaches gradually became open fields as settlers depleted the forests. In 1988, though the banks of the creek remained heavily wooded, large parts of the area surrounding the creek had been cleared and were in use as grazing land or for the production of staple crops.


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

"PRAIRIE CREEK (CAMP COUNTY)," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed October 04, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.