The seat of Upshur County, the city was founded in 1848 and became a trade center for a population of farmer-settlers. The East Texas oil boom of the early 1930s came in as cotton began to fade. Lumber, dairy and beef cattle are important today.

More than 50 historical markers are found in the city and around the county. Markers on the courthouse lawn tell about the Cherokee Trace. Gilmer features a downtown square, with brick-paved streets, shops and restaurants.

Gilmer is part of the Texas Forest Trail Region. Visit

The East Texas Yamboree in October pays homage to the sweet potato and is one of the oldest annual festivals in Texas.


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