Burke's Highways

After the railroad the mode of transportation that has most affected Burke are the highways. There have been three highways through Burke through the years.

Old Houston Road

The first major highway to pass through Burke was the Old Houston Road,which was an unpaved road to Houston. It was likely merely a series of local roads strung together between Lufkin and Houston.

The only remaining parts of this route are the Tree in the Middle Road in north Burke and the long drive from the Hoshall intersection to the Bloomer McCall home. As a young man Bloomer McCall would use a team of mules to tow people up a hill near his home. Cars leaving Houston early in the morning would arrive at the McCall place late in the afternoon, and Bloomer would be ready with a team of mules. The route passed between the Texas 35 and U. S. 59, intersection U. S. 59 and Tree Road. According to Ken Ryan the dirt highway passed in front of Uncle Bob Weisinger's Gulf station along the same route as the later Texas Highway 35.

Texas Highway 35

The first paved highway through Burke was Texas Highway 35, which ran parallel to the railroad through town. It is not as one would guess Old Highway 59. This road is now a county road and is known as the Old Diboll Highway. The road was proposed in 1919 to connect Paris, Texas to Houston and was completed to Corpus Christi by 1938. It is not clear when the road was constructed through Burke.

U. S. Highway 59

This is the current main highway between Lufkin and Houston. It was built in the early 1950s and expanded to four lanes about 1970. U. S. 59 moved the new center of Burke to the east slightly and resulted in the move of Jim Spears store from Old Texas 35 to the new highway.

FM 2108 (Airport Road)

This road, which was built about 1956, extends from Highway 59 in far north Burke, connecting with the Tree-in-the-Middle Road, east to the north of Angelina County Airport to FM 58 at Fairview.

FM 2497

This road, which was built after 1957,connects with US 59 north of Diboll, passes north through the eastern edge of Pine Valley, passes in front of Ryan Chapel Methodist Church, and eventually connects with Highway 94 west of Lufkin.

Sources:

  1. Homer McCall, Personal Recollections
  2. M. Lee Murrah, Personal Recollections