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Published: February 7th 2020
According to TexasExcapes.com, Wesley Love purchased much land North of Jacksonville, Texas (in Cherokee County) and planted a six hundred acre peach orchard in 1904. When Love died in 1925 his wife donated twenty two acres of the land to the State of Texas for a state park. Texas never acted on that gift. In 1934 the City of Jacksonville purchased that twenty two acres and another twenty acres (including what now is Love's Lookout) and developed both land tracts as city parks.
Very soon afterwards Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal invested in building a park, picnic area, and an amphitheater for services, plays, concerts, and other events. (The New Deal was a good plan by Roosevelt to put people back to work in our Great Depression.) The park had a swimming pool and a dance hall. People came from Dallas and Houston to spend a weekend there.
A fire lookout tower was built and functioned until the 1980s, when aircraft made the tower obsolete (and all other fire towers in East Texas also). I remember in my young college years; we could have free access and walk up the fire towers in Nacogdoches County and drink beer in some
According to TexasExcapes.com an earthquake damaged the amphitheater beyond repair in the 1980s. Another source claims that the earthquake event happened around 1970, but I dismiss that source. Now still visible by the chain link fence just South of the main view overlook, is the first dozen stone steps down to the old amphitheater; then a real drop-off to a lower level where you can not climb back up.
You can still see the two rock fences (upper and lower) near the lookout facility. Love's Lookout has a great view about 240 feet above the surrounding countryside. On a clear day you can see about thirty miles away. Some people say they can see structures over fifty miles away, but I think not.
From Jacksonville, Texas, take US Hwy 69 about three miles North of the Jacksonville City limits; and exit at the rest stop on the East side of the hwy. A modern visitors center with clean rest rooms is now available at the overlook. About a KM South of the lookout main view is a second lesser view.
From Jacksonville, Texas take US Hwy 69 about three miles North of the Jacksonville City
limits, and exit at the rest stop on the East side of the highway.
It was a warm and beautiful day when I arrived (with my Cherokee County guide) for my first time at Love's Lookout, and I was burning mega-pixels. We spent about 90 minutes there enjoying the view; then it was off to other adventures in Cherokee County.
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