The History Center uses exhibits, both on-site and on-line, to showcase some of our vast collections of documents and photographs.
East Texas Railroad Photograph Selections
Onalaska, Texas, Log Train
Clem Porter (1936-2006) donated this post card view to us. His father, Arthur Porter Sr. (1886-1975), was a long time Texas Southeastern Railroad employee, serving as shop superintendent for many years. Before settling in Diboll, Clem’s father worked briefly for railroad logging operations at Onalaska, Texas, in western Polk County, and also in Arkansas and Oklahoma. The photo shows a log train pulled by Engine 7 at Onalaska, Texas in about 1909. Onalaska was one of Texas’ larger company sawmill towns from about 1905 until the mill closed in 1928. William Carlisle, a lumberman, named the Texas town reportedly after the line, “The wolf’s long howl from Oonalaska’s shore,” from the Scottish poet Thomas Campbell’s “The Pleasures of Hope,” published in 1799. Other lumber towns by the same name in the states of Wisconsin, Arkansas, and Washington also trace their names to the Aleutian island and fishing village Oonalaska, immortalized by Campbell’s poem.