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The Big Thicket Guidebook: Exploring the Backroads and History of Southeast Texas

Description: Start your engines and follow the backroads, the historical paths, and the scenic landscape that were fashioned by geologic Ice Ages and traveled by Big Thicket explorers as well as contemporary park advocates—all as diverse as the Big Thicket itself. From Spanish missionaries to Jayhawkers, and from timber barons to public officials, you will meet some unusual characters who inhabited an exceptional region. The Big Thicket and its National Preserve contain plants and animals from deserts and swamps and ecosystems in between, all together in one amazing Biological Crossroad. The fifteen tours included with maps will take you through them all. Visitors curious about a legendary area will find this book an essential companion in their cars. Libraries will use the book as a reference to locate information on ghost towns, historic events, and National Preserve features. “A result of a prodigious amount of local research as well as a great deal of driving and tramping around, this book might end up as a classic.”—Thad Sitton, author of Backwoodsmen: Stockmen and Hunters along a Big Thicket River Valley
Date: October 15, 2011
Creator: Bonney, Lorraine G.
Partner: UNT Press

Reflections on the Neches: a Naturalist's Odyssey Along the Big Thicket's Snow River

Description: When Geraldine Watson’s father was a teenager around the turn of the last century, he spent a summer floating down the Neches River, called Snow River by the Indians. Watson grew up hearing his tales of the steamboats, log rafts, and the flora and fauna of East Texas. So when she was sixty-three years old, she decided to repeat his odyssey in her own backwater boat. Reflections on the Neches is both the story of her journey retracing her father’s steps and a natural and social history of the Neches region of the Big Thicket. The Neches, one of the last “wild” rivers in Texas, is now being subjected to dams. Watson’s story captures the wildness of the river and imparts a detailed history of its people and wildlife. Profusely illustrated with drawings by the author and including maps of her journey, Reflections on the Neches will appeal to all those interested in the Big Thicket region and those indulging a feeling of wanderlust–and float trips–down the river.
Date: May 15, 2003
Creator: Watson, Geraldine Ellis
Partner: UNT Press

Big Thicket Legacy

Description: In Big Thicket Legacy, Campbell and Lynn Loughmiller present the stories of people living in the Big Thicket of southeast Texas. Many of the storytellers were close to one hundred years old when interviewed, with some being the great-grandchildren of the first settlers. Here are tales about robbing a bee tree, hunting wild boar, plowing all day and dancing all night, wading five miles to church through a cypress brake, and making soap using hickory ashes. "The book is a storehouse of history, down-to-earth information, good humor, leg-pulling spoofs, tall tales and all kinds of serendipitous gems . . . Readers inclined to fantasy might like to think of two giant Texas folklorists of the past, J. Frank Dobie and Mody Boatright, nodding and winking their approval of Big Thicket Legacy."—Smithsonian
Date: January 15, 2002
Creator: Loughmiller, Campbell & Loughmiller, Lynn
Partner: UNT Press

Big Thicket Plant Ecology: an Introduction

Description: Originally published in 1979, Geraldine Ellis Watson’s Big Thicket Plant Ecology is now back in print. This updated edition explores the plant biology, ecology, geology, and environmental regions of the Big Thicket National Preserve. After decades of research on the Big Thicket, Watson concluded that the Big Thicket was unique for its biological diversity, due mainly to interactions of geology and climate. A visitor in the Big Thicket could look in four different directions from one spot and view scenes typical of the Appalachians, the Florida Everglades, a southwestern desert, or the pine barrens of the Carolinas. Watson covers the ecological and geological history of the Big Thicket and introduces its plant life, from longleaf pines and tupelo swamps to savannah wetlands and hardwood flats. “This is the work on the plant biology of the Big Thicket.”—Pete A.Y. Gunter, author of The Big Thicket
Date: October 15, 2006
Creator: Watson, Geraldine Ellis
Partner: UNT Press