3 Fun Things to do in Palestine, Texas

Fun Things to do in Palestine, Texas

Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility

Located in Palestine this NASA facility is managed by the Physical Science Lab of New Mexico State University. The purpose of the balloon facility is to launch large (440 ft. diameter) unmanned, high altitude (120,000 ft), research balloons. These balloons have equipment suspended beneath them for which provides NASA with valuable information about what is going on high in the sky.

The balloons are made of a material that is the same type of polyethylene film that is used for plastic bags, about the same thickness as a sandwich bag. The balloon system includes the balloon, the parachute, and a payload that holds instruments to conduct the scientific measurements that help scientists collect data to answer important questions about the universe and beyond.

The same gas that is used in party balloons (helium) is used to fill these balloons. These large balloons can carry up to 8,000 pounds and fly 26 miles high and stay there for up to two weeks!

Types of research the balloons are used for:

  •  Cosmic Ray studies
  • Gamma Ray and X-Ray Astronomy
  • Optical and Ultra-Violet Astronomy
  • Infrared Astronomy
  • Atmospheric Sciences
  • Magnetospherics
  • Micrometeorite Particles

The balloons from here have flown experiments for the following countries:

  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • Germany
  • Great Britain
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Russia
  • Sweden

Location: 1510 E FM 3224, Palestine, Texas 75803

Phone: 903-729-0271

Davey Dogwood Park

If you have ever wanted to just find someplace that is both beautiful and smells good then you really want to visit Davey Dogwood Park. Here you will find over 200 acres of peace with the rolling hills, the forests that bring out that wonderful smell of the dogwood tree (when in blossom), meadows to run in, and flowing streams to cool your feet after hiking through the beautiful area.

There are picnic areas for you to enjoy. Paved roads with overlooks make the drive through the park an easy outing for anyone.

This park is a featured area during the annual Texas Dogwood Trails, late March and early April. Jut north of Palestine on N. Link St.

Location: 210 North Link St., Palestine, TX 75801

Phone: 903-723-3014

Howard House Museum

Take a trip back in time and visit the Howard House Museum to see Greek Revival style construction built in the mid 1880′s by Judge Reuben Reeves who then sold it to the Howard family in 1850.

The museum has exhibits from the time and period furnishings that will transport you back to the time when things were a bit quieter and the pace slower.

The museum has been designated a Texas Historic Landmark.  The house remained in the Howard family until it was sold to the city in 1963.

Location: 1011 N Perry St., Palestine, Texas

Phone: 903-729-5094

Open: Saturday and Sunday only from 12 Noon – 7 PM

Museum for East Texas Culture is another stop you can make while you are visiting Palestine.  The Museum opened in 1982 in the old Palestine High School building which was designed and built in 1915/16.  There is a railway room the Fire Department Room, The Reagan Campbell Room, the Main Floor Hallway.  There is also a huge collection of business and commercial historical documents as well as genealogy records stored here.

Location: 400 S. Micheaux St., Palestine, Texas

Open: Monday – Saturday 10 – 5, Sunday 1 – 4.

Admission: $1

McClure-McReynolds-Fowler House

This house, located at 921 N. Perry St., Palestine, was built in 1849 by Judge McClure.  He and another man started the first newspaper in the region, the “Trinity Advocate.”

The house was built as a center passage dwelling but the next owner, Zachariah McReynolds, changed it to a U shape plan in 1884.  McReynolds was a confederate veteran from the great state of Georgia.  His daughter married John Reagan’s grandson, Colonel Godfrey Fowler.  When they retired they returned to the house in 1934 when McReynolds died.  The house is still in the McReynolds family’s possession.

Shelton Hall was formerly the Shelton Gin, one of the earliest Gins in Palestine.  It began operations in the early 1840′s.  It was originally the Eureka Cotton Gin and then later changed its name to the Morris Gin Company.  Since the ginning season was a short one the gin only operated for a few months of the year.

Location: Old Town Palestine, 304 E. Crawford, Palestine, Texas

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