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UNCERTAIN, TEXAS. Uncertain, also known as Uncertain Landing, is an incorporated community on the shores of Caddo Lake seventeen miles northeast of Marshall in northeastern Harrison County. The site was once known as Uncertain Landing, so named, according to one local tradition, because of the difficulty steamboat captains in earlier days had in mooring their vessels there. Another tradition has it that the town name came from the uncertainty that residents had about their citizenship before the boundary between the United States and the Republic of Texas had been established. The latter uncertainty was a substantial benefit to residents who did not like paying taxes. In the early 1900s the site included a hunting, fishing, and boating society called the Uncertain Club. During the 1940s the community had scattered dwellings, a sawmill, several camping lodges, and some five other businesses. In a bid to promote tourism by providing an area with legal alcohol consumption, the community was incorporated as Uncertain in 1961. Former city officials claimed that uncertainty at the time of incorporation led to the community name. That year many of its 213 citizens were fishing-camp operators. The population of Uncertain was estimated at 189 in 1988, and the town limits were irregularly shaped, as they were designed to include most of the restaurants and fishing camps along that part of the Caddo Lake shoreline. Beer Smith's Caddo Lake Airport, known as the Fly and Fish, also lay within the boundaries of the community. In 1990 the population of Uncertain was 194. The population was 150 in 2000, but fell to 97 by 2015.
Don Blevins, Texas Towns: From Abner to Zipperlandville (Lanham, Texas: Republic of Texas Press, 2003). Fred Tarpley, 1001 Texas Place Names (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1980). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.
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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, "UNCERTAIN, TX," accessed January 21, 2019, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hlu02.
Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on March 5, 2018. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.