A thriving port for Tyler and East Texas, from 1850s until arrival of railroads in 1870s. One of many ports established when settlers (as in eastern states) turned to rivers for transportation. In Texas, river-freighting proved rather disappointing. The long, winding rivers were difficult for even small, shallow-draft steamers to navigate. Boats on the Sabine fared very well, however, because of abundant rainfall and favorable terrain. For several months each year, light steamboats could ascend the river to Belzora. The Galveston News for that period included Belzora in listings of ports. In dry seasons it was local practice to load goods on barges, flatboats and other craft and wait for a freshet to send them downstream. In addition to the boat landing, Belzora had a ferry used by travel on the Dallas-to-Shreveport Post Road. The town had a dozen businesses, a post office and a combination church-schoolhouse. Ambitious plans for greater inland navigation, deepening of river channel, and building of locks and dams never materialized. Belzora, like many sister ports, became an historic relic-- a ghost town.
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