- Annual Meeting
- Get Involved
WIERGATE, TEXAS. Wiergate is on Farm Road 1415 just off State highways 87 and 63, seventy miles northeast of Beaumont in north central Newton County. It had the last large lumber mill built in East Texas in 1917 by Houston lumberman Robert W. Wier, for whom it was named. The Wier Long Leaf Lumber Company was to clearcut an 86,000-acre tract of virgin longleaf pine in northern Newton, Jasper, and Sabine counties owned by the heirs of early lumbermen Henry Jacob Lutcher and G. Bedell Moore. The Lutcher and Moore heirs, who considered cutting and transporting the lumber to already established mills too expensive, gave Wier a contract to build a large sawmill on the site. According to one source, Wier wanted to establish his mill at Burkeville, but landowners there looked unfavorably upon the rough sawmill workers such a project would bring. Therefore Wier erected a new town, Wiergate, four miles west of Burkeville, around a mill with a cutting capacity of 200,000 board feet every ten hours. In its heyday Wiergate was in all respects a company town. With a peak population of perhaps as many as 2,500 persons, it had a company-owned commissary, a drugstore, a barbershop, an ice plant, a depot, a swimming pool, a movie theater, and two schools and community houses (one for blacks, one for whites). One resident recalled Wiergate as "a little world unto itself" in a "beautiful setting." Wier also built the fifteen-mile Gulf and Northern Railroad, which connected his town to Newton. He completed his task in 1943, dismantled the large mill, and abandoned the railroad. The population of Wiergate, estimated at 1,000 in 1936, fell to 350 by the end of the 1940s. However, a smaller mill, with a daily capacity of 50,000 board feet, was still in operation in 1990, using lumber from the region's second-growth forests. The timber resources and the town's proximity to Burkeville have helped the population of Wiergate to recover slightly. Since the mid-1960s the population has been estimated at over 450. In 1990 it was 461. The population remained the same in 2000.
BIBLIOGRAPHY:Robert S. Maxwell and Robert D. Baker, Sawdust Empire: The Texas Lumber Industry, 1830–1940 (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1983). Newton County Historical Commission, Glimpses of Newton County History (Burnet, Texas: Nortex, 1982).
Image Use Disclaimer
All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, Robert Wooster, "WIERGATE, TX," accessed January 16, 2019, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hlw34.
Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.