Historic U.S. Highway 80 in East Texas

U.S. Highway 80 sign in East Texas

The U.S. 80 Route

U.S. Highway 80 was an early transcontinental route, from Savanna, Georgia, to San Diego, California, covering a distance of 1,032 miles.

Most of the early route of the highway was along the Dixie Overland Highway.

The western legs of U.S. 80 from Dallas have been absorbed into newer Interstate and state highways in West Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California.

It entered Texas from the East between Shreveport, Louisiana, and Waskom as a two-lane road.

Today, U.S. 80 runs 161 miles through East Texas, parallel to Interstate Highway I-20, before it ends in Dallas. Cities and communities on the route include:

  • U.S. Highway 80 exits near I-635 in Dallas, Texas
    Waskom
  • Marshall
  • Longview
  • Hallsville
  • Gladewater
  • Big Sandy
  • Hawkins
  • Mineola
  • Grand Saline
  • Wills Point
  • Terrell
  • Dallas
Map of today's route of  U.S. Highway 80 from the Texas-Louisiana state line near Waskom to Dallas
Map of today's route of  U.S. Highway 80 from the Texas-Louisiana state line near Waskom to Dallas

 

Let's head west on U.S. 80 from Waskom, through several East Texas cities and towns ...

Texas state line marker on U.S. Highway 80 near Waskom
Texas state line marker on U.S. Highway 80 near Waskom

 

Marshall Texas

Marshall Texas Wonderland of Lights

Marshall is the first major city one enters on U.S. 80 after leaving Waskom. It is 150 miles east of Dallas and 40 miles west of Shreveport. U.S. Highway 59 runs north-south through Marshall.

Founded in 1841, Marshall is a major city in the East Texas economy, and a large supporter of the arts community and historical preservation. It is often called the "Cultural Capital of East Texas".

Marshall is well known for its "Wonderland of Lights," one of the largest light festivals in the country when lit during the Christmas season, and the original and largest Christmas festival in Texas.

Each evening, visitors can enjoy more than a million lights located in hundreds of displays that showcase Marshall’s historic town square and the Street of Dreams.

Marshall, Texas - Texas & Pacific (T&P) Railway Station, November 2011

Marshall has more than 100 historical markers and medallions, such as the T&P Depot marker , with several sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Many of Marshall's Victorian homes have been restored, and several function as B&Bs. Also fully restored is the Harrison County Courthouse.

Other popular attractions near the courthouse include the Michelson Museum which showcases the work of Russian-American artist Leo Michelson, and the Visual Arts Center where visitors can watch artists practice their crafts, and shop for paintings.

Earlier Views of Marshall

Street Scene, Marshall, Texas, early 20th Century
Street Scene, Marshall, Texas, early 20th Century
City Hall, Marshall, Texas
Historic postcard of City Hall, Marshall, Texas
Marshall Baptist College, Marshall, Texas
Marshall Baptist College, Marshall, Texas
Administration Building, College of Marshall, Texas
Administration Building, College of Marshall, Texas
Post Office, Marshall, Texas
Post Office, Marshall, Texas
Wiley College, Marshall, Texas
Wiley College, Marshall, Texas
Wiley College, Marshall, Texas
Wiley College, Marshall, Texas
Harrison County Court House, Marshall, Texas
Harrison County Court House, Marshall, Texas
Bath House and Lake View, Marshall Country Club
Bath House and Lake View, Marshall Country Club, Marshall, Texas
Bel-Air Motel, Marshall, Texas
Bel-Air Motel, Marshall, Texas
Longhorn Motel, Marshall, Texas
Longhorn Motel, Marshall, Texas
Burnett Motel, 33 Units, 14 Garages, Marshall, TX
Burnett Motel, 33 Units, 14 Garages, Marshall, Texas
Henderson Motel, Pinecrest Drive East, Marshall
Henderson Motel, Pinecrest Drive East, Marshall, Texas
The Gables Restaurant, Marshall, Texas
The Gables Restaurant, Marshall, Texas

 

Longview

Business Section, Longview Texas, Circa 1940s
Downtown business section, Longview Texas, circa 1940s

Heading west from Marshall, historic U.S. Highway 80 passes through Hallsville and then into the City of Longview.

U.S. Highway 259 traverses Longview in a north-south alignment, and Loop 281 provides additional traffic flow around the north part of the city.

Its economy is strong and diverse, and the oil and gas industry continues to play a major role in economic development. Longview is the county seat of Gregg County.

Although forged from a rich history in the oil and gas industry, Longview has a strong health care industry, manufacturing and technology.

Gregg County Historical Museum in Longview Texas
Gregg County Historical Museum in Longview Texas

In 2014, Forbes magazine ranked Longview as the sixth fastest-growing small city in the US. Residents of Longview enjoy an attractive quality of life with a wide range of educational, cultural, and recreational opportunities. Longview is certified as a Texas Urban Main Street City, and also is designated as a Certified Texas Retirement Community.

Longview's population in 2014 was about 81,000 residents.

The annual Great Texas Balloon Race has earned Longview the official designation as "The Balloon Capital of Texas" by the Governor of Texas.

Museums

  • Gregg County Historical Museum
  • Longview Museum of Fine Arts
  • R.G. LeTourneau Museum

Other popular area attractions

  • Los Pinos Ranch Vineyards
  • Fairhaven Vineyards
  • Longview Symphony
  • Opera East Texas
  • Longview Ballet Theatre

 

Historic Images of Longview Texas

Booth's Tourist Court, Longview, Texas, on U.S. 80
"Center of Largest Oil Field in the World"
90 modern cottages - free radio - fans & garage - reasonable rates - second guest free
Booth's Tourist Court, Longview, Texas, on U.S. 80, in the center of the largest oil field in the world


Gregg County Court House, Longview, Texas
Gregg County Court House, Longview, Texas

High School, Longview, Texas
High School, Longview, Texas

Texas & Pacific (T&P) - I. & G.N. Railroad Depot, Longview, Texas
Texas & Pacific (T&P) - I. & G.N. Railroad Depot, Longview, Texas

 

Gladewater

Snavely #1 - The Gladewater Discovery Oil Well
Snavely #1 - The Gladewater Discovery Oil Well

Gladewater is located 13 miles west of Longview on U.S. 80, and about 105 miles east of Dallas.

The city was founded by the Texas and Pacific (T&P) Railway Company in 1873.

In the late 19th century and early 20th century, the economy of the area was based mainly on timber and farming.

In late 1930, the first well drilled in the great East Texas Oil Field was completed, the Joiner Daisy Bradford No. 3 near Joinerville.

The discovery of oil near Gladewater in 1931 was the beginning of decades of economic growth based on the oil and gas industry.

During the 1970s, as oil resources began to be depleted, Gladewater transformed to a more diversified economy.

Today, Gladewater is a great place for exploring East Texas history, and is known for its large number of antique stores, antique malls, and festivals.

The population of Gladewater is about 6,300 residents. It is assigned telephone Area Code 903, and the Gladewater Post Offices uses Zip Code 75767.

Gladewater is known as the Antique Capital of East Texas, and is designated a Texas Main Street and a National Main Street city.

Bird's Eye View of Oil Wells and Part of Business District in Gladewater, Texas
Bird's Eye View of Oil Wells and Part of Business District in Gladewater, Texas

Four Lane Highway U.S. 80, Showing Oil Wells, Gladewater, Texas
Four Lane Highway U.S. 80, Showing Oil Wells, Gladewater, Texas

Mineola Texas

Leaving Gladewater, U.S. 80 is routed through the small communities of Big Sandy and Hawkins, and then into Mineola at the intersection of U.S. Highway 69 and Highway 80 in Wood County. Its population is about 5,000 residents. Elevation is 417 feet above sea level.

Mineola has sometimes been called “the forks of the river,” due to its proximity to the Sabine River, Lake Fork Creek, Big Sandy and Little Sandy creeks.

The city government was organized in 1873, a post office opened in 1875, and the town incorporated in 1877.

Water is important in any community, and Mineola's most famous public well was located at the intersection of U.S. Highway 80 and Johnson Street. Mineola became known for the mineral water found in it, which was detected during the drilling for salt in the late 1800s after the salt dome in Grand Saline was discovered. The well was thought to have therapeutic, healing properties to combat issues such as rheumatism, gout and diabetes, and the city shipped its mineral water across the country.

Vintage Postcard - Sunrise Courts, 517 E. Broad Street, Mineola, Texas
East Side of Town on U.S. Highway 80

Sunrise Courts, 517 E. Broad Street, Mineola, Texas, on U.S. Highway 80


 

Grand Saline

Located at the intersection of U.S. Highway 80 and Texas Highway 110 is the City of Grand Saline in Van Zandt County. Its population is about 3,000 residents. Elevation is 400 feet above sea level.

The name of Grand Saline was based on the large salt deposits located in the area, mined today by the Morton Salt Company.

Popular Grand Saline area attractions include the Salt Palace, located downtown, and area lakes.

U.S. Highway 80 sign in Grand Saline, Texas
U.S. Highway 80 sign in Grand Saline, Texas

 

Vintage Postcard - Westward Ho Motor Lodge and Cafe
U.S. Highway 80, Grand Saline, Texas
Historical Postcard - Westward Ho Motor Lodge and Cafe, Grand Saline Texas on US Highway 80

Westward from Grand Saline to Dallas on U.S. 80

As U.S. 80 leaves Grand Saline westbound, it travels through Wills Point, Terrell, Forney, Mesquite, and into Dallas.

Old section of U.S. Highway 80 in Wills point, Texas
Old section of U.S. Highway 80 in Wills point, Texas

Vintage view of the Grande Tourist Lodge on U.S. Highway 80 in Dallas, Texas
Vintage view of the Grande Tourist Lodge on U.S. Highway 80 in Dallas, Texas

Modern-day U.S. Highway 80 exits near I-635 in Dallas, Texas
U.S. Highway 80 exits near I-635 in Dallas, Texas