Palestine, Texas was founded as the seat of Anderson County in 1846 and named in honor of Micham Main’s hometown of Palestine, Illinois. The arrival of the railroad in the 1870s led to significant growth and by 1898 more than 10,000 people called Palestine, TX home.
Palestine Civic Center, Elmwood Gardens, Bella Sera Ranch and Lakeview Methodist Conference Center hosts all kinds of events throughout the year. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice is the largest local employer with retail and healthcare also employing a significant percentage of the workforce. The Palestine Independent School District and Westwood Independent School District serve nearly 5,000 K-12 students locally. The University of Texas at Tyler operates a 50-acre campus in Palestine as does Trinity Valley Community College. Palestine Regional Medical Center is comprised of two facilities providing a full range of comprehensive care for approximately 100,000 people.
Lakes and parks are numerous throughout the Piney Woods of east Texas. Palestine is home to several including Steven L. Bennett Park, Regan Park, Wolf Creek Lake and Blue Lake. Gus Engeling Wildlife Management Area is a 10,000-acre research and demonstration area for the Post Oak Savanna Ecoregion. Pine Dunes and Wildcat Golf Course provide golfers of all skill levels a challenge. Arts and culture are also well represented at the Texas Theatre, Redlands Historic, Museum for East Texas Culture and Curious Museum of Oak Street. There are also several yearly celebrations held here such as Dulcimer Festival, Dogwood Jamboree, Frost Fest and Hot Pepper Festival.
A humid subtropical climate is prevalent in the region. Palestine, TX features 228 days of sunshine, hot summers and mild winters. Annual precipitation averages 46 inches of rain with April and May being the wettest months.