Forest Trail Region


The Jasper Newsboy, the weekly newspaper of the Texas Forest Trail community of Jasper, has been published continuously for over one hundred and fifty years, making it one of the oldest operating weeklies in the state. Jasper, once known as Snow River and Bevil’s Settlement, started early in the 1800s, giving itself plenty of time to develop an economy that would come to depend on the east Texas lumber industry. Cotton and pine log exports headed up Jasper’s businesses by the late nineteenth century, aided by the local cotton gin and a water-powered planing mill. Sawmills followed, producing about 125,000 board feet a day while approximately two hundred train cars full of logs, ties, poles, and pulpwood left Jasper mills every month. Today, Jasper serves as gateway to East Texas water recreation including Lake Sam Rayburn and B.A. Steinhagen Lake as well as the city’s own Sandy Creek Park along the banks of Sandy Creek. Nearby, the Sawmill Trail, located at Boykin Springs in the Angelina National Forest leads to the ruins of the old Aldridge sawmill and ghost town. Once a thriving sawmill town, residents abandoned Aldridge in the 1920s after the native timber was depleted.