National Register Listing in
Rains County, Texas

The first domed stadium in the world, the Astrodome, was built in Houston in 1965 and hosted numerous sporting events and concerts over the years.
Rains County, located in northeastern Texas, has a rich history that spans back to the mid-19th century. The area was initially an integral part of Henderson County until it officially became a separate county on June 9, 1870. It was named after Emory Rains, who served as the Texas State Legislature representative and was known for his contributions to the area's development.

The first settlers in Rains County arrived in the early 1850s, primarily from the southern United States. They were drawn to the fertile land and abundant water sources, such as the Sabine River and its tributaries. Agriculture quickly became the backbone of the county's economy, with cotton, corn, and livestock playing major roles.

The construction of the Texas and New Orleans Railroad in the late 1880s bolstered the county's growth, as it provided an important transportation link to nearby towns and markets. The railroad brought prosperity and new opportunities, leading to the establishment of the county seat, Emory. The town was named after Emory Rains and became a hub of commerce, education, and social activities in the region.

Despite the challenges posed by the Great Depression and the decline of agriculture in the mid-20th century, Rains County continued to thrive with the development of recreational areas and the growth of tourism. Lake Tawakoni, one of the largest lakes in Texas, was completed in 1960, which drew visitors and outdoor enthusiasts to the area. Today, Rains County remains a close-knit community, focused on preserving its history while embracing the opportunities of the modern era.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Rains County, Texas.

  • 1870 - Rains County was established on June 9, 1870, named after Emory Rains, a Texas state legislator.
  • 1871 - The first county officials were elected and the county seat was established in the city of Emory.
  • 1873 - The first courthouse was built in Emory.
  • 1878 - The Texas and Pacific Railway extended a line into Rains County, boosting economic growth.
  • 1880 - The population of Rains County reached 3,901.
  • 1892 - The second courthouse was constructed in Emory.
  • 1913 - A fire destroyed the second courthouse, prompting the construction of the third courthouse.
  • 1930s - The Great Depression brought economic struggles to Rains County.
  • 1970s - The population of Rains County began to decline.
  • 2001 - Lake Tawakoni State Park was established, providing recreational opportunities for residents and visitors.
  • 2010s - The population of Rains County started to grow again, with increased interest in rural living and lakefront properties.