Grapeland is at the intersection of U.S. Highway 287 and Farm Road 227, twelve miles north of Crockett in northern Houston County. In the early decades of Houston County the Grapeland area was a crossroads on the route from Crockett to Palestine and it was served by a railroad depot. By the first decade of the twentieth century Grapeland had five general stores, two cotton gins, several mills, a hotel, a newspaper, and various other enterprises.
Cotton production and ranching were the basis of initial growth in the community, and forestry is important in the local economy. Cotton declined in importance to the area economy and after World War IIqv peanuts replaced it as the primary agricultural product. After 1936 oil and gas production became another important source of income for the town. Since 1945 Grapeland has celebrated an annual Peanut Festival, now set in October. A fiddler's contest that was part of the original "Goober Carnivals" has become the Labor Day Bluegrass Festival.
Grapeland is known locally as the "Queen City of the Sand Flats."