Cities, Towns and Communities
Orange County 1858. This county is at the head of Sabine Lake, and is separated from Louisiana by the Sabine river : it is a well-timbered county, having very little prairie. All of the coast towns in Texas receive from this region their finest cypress lumber.
The bend in the Sabine, at the town of Madison, is like the Mississippi at New Orleans, on a small scale, and Madison is a miniature New Orleans. The houses are tastefully built, and the place has the appearance of quite a city : the principal business done here is the lumber trade. A number of steam saw mills are erected in and around the place, and the whole Sabine swamp abounding with the finest cypress in the world, lumber is both cheap and abundant. Immense quantities of shingles are also manufactured, and sell at about $2.50 per thousand. This town is on the west bank of the Sabine, about thirty-five miles from the sea-coast, or Sabine Pass, a small town. on the Gulf of Mexico. About twenty-five miles of this distance is through a beautiful lake, having an average depth of seven feet, and free from shoals. Sabine Lake is surrounded with low prairie land, which makes a fine stock range. On the way from Sabine Pass, Jefferson county, to Madison, Orange county, the traveller first crosses this lake this brings him to the mouth of the beautiful Sabine; twelve miles up the Sabine brings him to Madison. This distance the river runs through a low, marshy country ; but the navigation to Madison cannot be excelled by any river in the United States. Just above Madison, the timber begins ; and then, for 600 miles, the Sabine runs through a cypress swamp, and this world of timber must be manufactured to supply the western coast of Texas. There is, also, plenty of yellow pine, white oak, and timber of other kinds, necessary for ship building. – Braman’s information about Texas, 1858