Downtown Historic Walking Tour

Old U.S. Post Office, 202 North Main

For nearly 45 years this classical revival building served as the county’s main post office. In 2002, the Rusk County Commissioners revitalized this historic building and today it serves as the county tax office.

Masonic Lodge Building, 101 North Main

Built in 1884, by S. W. Mims, Clinton Lodge 23 bought the building in 1893, and used it until 1935. The lodge met upstairs and leased out the ground floor as a commercial establishment. In 1992, a State Historical Marker was received.

Old Palace Theatre, 101 North Jackson

The theatre was constructed in 1929, by H. C. Griffin, who leased it out as a movie theatre for over 30 years. If features classical revival architecture with art deco details. The theatre stands on the site of the old Davenport Hotel. There are other fine examples of art deco architecture on North Jackson Street. Art deco was a popular choice for buildings built during the oil boom. The building was renovated in 2002.

Old Sinclair Service Station, 126 West Main

This early service station in Henderson was built in 1929, by Louisiana Oil Refining Company.

Chamberlain Chevrolet Building, 125 South Main

Built by H. B. Chamberlain and D. W. Farley in 1931, to house the first Chevrolet dealership in Rusk County. This building is distinguished by decorative brickwork featuring the Chevrolet logo.

Merritt Building, 100 East Main

Built in 1883, by J. F. Merritt as a saloon, the construction is attributed to Dave and Logan Howard. Around the turn of the century James Cameron leased the building and opened Cameron Drug Store. The drug store operated for nearly 50 years, while a succession of doctors and lawyers had offices on the second floor. The Merritt lawyers had offices on the second floor. The Merritt building was the first building restored on the square.

Kangerga Building, 102 East Main

During the oil boom, many businesses expanded their horizons. Built in 1931, this art deco building was built to house the Kangerga brother’s oil leasing, cotton brokerage, and investment business. The office was upstairs and the ground floor was rented out. Several men’s clothing stores has occupied the space over the years.

Rusk County Library, 104-106 East Main

The first floor was built in 1909, by Mille and Rade Kangerga to house their mercantile business. The second floor of the offices was added in 1916. M.E. Moses 5, 10 and 25 Cents Store occupied the building for many years. In 1988, the building was donated to the Rusk County Library.

Opera House, 122 East Main

Built in 1885, by J.T. Turner as an Opera House. Irregular performances were held until 1918, when the building was purchased by E.M. Dotson and J. E. Norvell, who operated a general mercantile business. The second floor gallery was partitioned as offices in the 1930s. The Henderson Civic Theatre holds seasonal performances at the theatre today.

Edward Barthold House, 116 South Marshall

One of the oldest brick residences in town, this home was built in 1877. The building displays elements of the Greek revival architectural style.

Old Fire Station, 109 South Marshall

The building served until the early 1940s as the city fire station and police office. The building has cast stone cornice on parapet with art deco details.

First National Bank, 101 South Marshall

The first two floors were built in 1902. The original architectural style was classical revival, but the building was remolded in 1932, when two more floors were added due to increased business from the oil boom. The bank building stands on the site of Henderson’s first commercial enterprise, a dry goods store which opened in 1838.

Southwestern Hotel, 114-116 North Marshall

Built by Calvin Barber, SR. in 1913, with guest quarters upstairs and retail space on the first floor. The hotel later called the Liberty, was briefly the home of “Dad” Joiner, discover of the Great East Texas Oil Field.

Wathen-March Building, 100 North Marshall

Locally known as the Mays and Harris building, after the department store that occupied the building through three generations of these two local families. The building was built in 1885, by the Howard Brothers.

123 East Main

The building housing Rayford Florist was gutted by fire in 1905. It was rebuilt in 1910. The building has an outstanding example of art deco black glass trimming on the front facade.

121 & 119 East Main

The 1905 fire started next door and damaged the rest of the block. These 1885 buildings were able to keep much of their original structure.

Marwill Building, 117 East Main

This building, built in 1885, was originally a public a saloon. W.L. Marwillskey (later Marwill) bought the building in 1893, where he operated a liquor store until 1906, when he converted to dry goods. Most of this block burned in 1905, and the businesses were gutted. Many of the store fronts were altered in the renovation.

Stewart Building, 111 East Main

The first floor was built 1885, the second floor was added in 1915, and served as a lodge. Except for a few years in the 1890s this building has housed a drug store for over 100 years. Following this long tradition is Strong-Hurt Pharmacy, the present owner.

The Alford Building, 109 East Main

The structure built circa 1885, is attributed to the Howard Brothers construction company. The property was operated as a drug store, until 1909, when E. B. Alford bought the building and relocated the Mayfield-Alford Co., a general merchandising store. The upper floor served as the Woodmen of the World lodge until the turn of the century.

105 East Main Street

Main Street Gallery was originally two stores build in 1885. In 1919, the two were made into one large general store.