By Charles Ballard
Happy Birthday, San Jacinto County!
On Friday, Aug. 11, community members and county officials gathered to celebrate the 147th birthday of San Jacinto County. Party goers held a birthday party in the rotunda of the County Courthouse in Coldsrping.
County Judge John Lovett, Jr. read a resolution proclaiming that Monday, Aug. 13 be declared the birthday of San Jacinto County.
Cake and punch was served to all attendees, and a good time was had by all during Friday’s festivities.
The original Courthouse was a wooden structure and was located near the Old Town Jail. The structure was approved to be built for $8,000 on March 12, 1877 by the commissioner’s court. The Jail was built for $1,500. However, it burned in the early years of the county. The new Courthouse is located on the town square of Coldspring, originally named Coonskin. The building was built for $15,000.
During the 1975 and 1976 years the courthouse was renovated for modern facilities and air coniditiong. The arch way doors were added and lockable doors were added to the courthouse. During the restoration the stained glass above the rotunda was broken and florescent light fixtures were added to replace the broken glass.
The County was named after the Battle of San Jacinto, which gave Texas its freedom from Mexico. The county was a division of Liberty and Montgomery Countys that divided in 1870.
The original inhabitants of San Jacinto County probably belonged to either the Atakapa or the Patiri Indian tribes. Little is known about the latter group except the name. The Atakapans sparsely populated the area and hunted game such as deer and bear. Anglo-American settlement began in the lower Trinity River region during the 1820s.The population of San Jacinto today is 26,384, with Coldspring serving as county seat.